Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Been Charged with a Drug Violation?! Watch This Video for Answers

Use, possession, sales, or manufacture of illegal drugs or controlled substances are the common drug offenses in Florida.

Drug offenses in Florida

Some of the most common crimes in Florida involve the use, possession, sales, or manufacture of illegal drugs or controlled substances.  If you have been apprehended with an amount of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, meth, molly, or any other illegal or prescription drug, how you are charged in Florida when you are found to be in possession of illegal substances is a largely discretionary call by the prosecution. Getting an attorney that is experienced in the defense of drug-related crimes immediately is crucial.
 When you are arrested for a crime involving drugs in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach area, important things that may adversely affect your future are happening right away. Once an officer books you, the evidence and reports are transmitted to the Case Filing Unit for the prosecutor's office in the county in which you were arrested. The local case filing attorneys look over the reports, evidence, and other items, and decide what charges to file against you. What the officers arrest you for determines your bond amount but are merely suggestions that the prosecutor's office is free to accept or reject. A case filing attorney may file the charges as presented by the officer, elect to file different charges, or file no charges at all.
 While the above is true for all South Florida criminal cases, this process becomes especially important in the context of drug cases. In Florida, if you are arrested with an extremely small quantity of illegal drugs, you will generally be charged with simple possession of that contraband substance. If you are arrested with a large quantity of illegal drugs, that is all the State of Florida requires to charge you with the crime of Drug Trafficking, a charge that in most cases is punishable by a sentence of up to 30 years in Florida State Prison, with minimum mandatory sentences of up to 25 years.
 In the hugely common middle ground however, where an individual is caught with a moderate amount of an illegal drugs, that same person may be charged with a misdemeanor, a felony, or a felony with accusations of intent to distribute the substance. The range in penalties range from as little as a maximum of 364 days in jail, to as much as 15 or even 30 years in Florida State Prison. How a case is filed has far reaching effects on what punishments are available to the state, and what resolutions may be available to you.
 If you want to aggressively protect your rights, you should retain an attorney that is experienced in defending drug-related charges immediately after you are arrested. That attorney can negotiate with the case filing prosecutors and present your mitigating facts. In the prosecutor's discretion, this may result in reduced charges at the outset. Even if your situation is very serious and you are in fact subject to Drug Trafficking charges, or are alleged to have been involved with the manufacture, sales, delivery, or intent to deliver illegal substances, there are solutions we can pursue for you that may not be available later in the case.
 According to the Florida Department of Corrections, drug offenders who have been sentenced to prison under the current minimum 85% of sentence served policy will, on average, serve a significantly longer period of time in prison than at any time over the past 25 years. The average prison sentence under this policy has resulted in 2.5 years of incarceration compared to 1.8 years under the parole system of the early 1980's and 1.2 years during the early prison release policy of the late 80's and early 90's. Don't gamble with your freedom, protect your rights.
Because the State of Florida is cracking down on drug possession, sales, and trafficking cases, individuals are receiving wildly different sentences for the very same charges. You will want to make sure that you have a criminal defense attorney in your corner with extensive experience in this field of law. Many criminal lawyers concentrate their practice on DUI, traffic tickets, or white collar crimes.  I have successfully defended thousands of individuals over the past decade that were charged with drug related offenses.
If you are getting calls from a narcotics detective of if law enforcement officers have stopped by your home or place of business,  DO NOT speak to any law enforcement personnel without obtaining a lawyer! Anything you say can be used against you in furtherance of your arrest and ultimate conviction. Remember, an officer is legally permitted to lie to you during the course of his or her investigation, and any deals that are promised are completely unenforceable if you do not have representation.
In addition, many first time offenders have diversion or drug court options that are available to them somewhat comparable to a term of probation. The important difference being, your case is usually dismissed upon successful completion of the program. If you enter this program, you may report to a supervisor similar to a probation officer, and you will be expected to undergo random drug testing. You will be subject to regular court appearances as well. Of course, any new criminal charges will immediately end this program. However, if you complete the program successfully, without being arrested again during the term, the charges are generally dismissed.  Anyone charged with a drug offense should consult with an attorney to see if these options may be available in their case.
Call the Law Offices of Eric A. Kay today at 954-330-8994 for a free consultation. We will listen to the facts of your case, and determine what options and solutions are available to you. Whether you have just been arrested, or have been fighting a drug-related case for a long time, call today to protect your rights.
 The Law Offices of
Eric A. Kay, PA

12 SE 7th Street Suite 707
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

The Law Offices of
Eric A. Kay, PA

123 SE 3rd Avenue #252
Miami, FL 33131

Phone: 954-330-8994
Fax: 954-764-8220

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