Drug Crime Attorney in West Palm Beach
The police just arrested my friend for drugs. How do I get him out of jail?
Depending on what time he was arrested, he will be taken to First Appearance court the next morning where bond will be set. You can retain an attorney for this hearing and you can also be present. Once bond is set, contact one of the many bondspeople available and give them 10% of the total bond. Your friend will be released the same day the bond is posted most times.
Is possession of drugs a felony offense?
It depends. For example, if you are charged with possession of marijuana less than twenty (20) grams, that is a misdemeanor. If it is more than twenty (20) grams, that is a felony. Possession of drugs like cocaine, heroin and scheduled drugs are felonies no matter what the amount. Even if you have a trace amount of cocaine in a baggy, for example, you can be charged with a felony.
What is trafficking?
I will be honest with you. Before I went to law school and moved to Florida, I thought trafficking had to do with sale and distribution of illegal drugs. I was wrong. Trafficking is based upon the weight of the drugs you are being accused of possessing and the weight alone. And if you are charged with trafficking, depending on the total weight, you will be looking at a minimum mandatory sentence if found guilty.
Is it true I can have my driver’s license suspended if I am convicted of a drug offense, even if it is a misdemeanor?
Yes, if you are convicted, or adjudicated, your driver’s license will be suspended for one (1) year. There are ways around a suspension, however. For example, if you are adjudicated guilty, your license will be suspended, but if you receive a withhold, you can avoid the suspension. A withhold also allows you to retain your voting rights, gun rights and leaves open the possibility of getting the charge expunged down the road. You can also ask your attorney to see if the state is willing to amend the charge to an attempt. If you plead guilty to an attempt, your license will not be suspended.
What if the police conduct an illegal search and find drugs on my person or in my car?
If an illegal search takes place, your attorney can file what is known as a Motion to Suppress. This motion would be heard by the judge and if the motion is successful and the search was deemed to be illegal, any drugs the police find as a result would not be able to be used as evidence. The drugs would be considered “the fruit of the poisonous tree”. This is one of the ways a competent attorney can get your charges dropped without having to go to trial.
What if I am in a car with other people and the police find drugs in the center console or underneath the seat?
Several factors would be considered when determining how to proceed, such as if you were the driver, how many people were in the car, if there is any DNA or fingerprint evidence linking you to the drugs and any statement made on scene. Usually, in a case such as this, a Motion to Suppress based upon constructive possession – meaning the drugs were not found on your person and could have belonged to at least one other person – would be appropriate. If the motion is granted by the judge, once again all charges would most likely be dropped.
What is Drug Court and would I be eligible?
Drug Court is a pretrial intervention program for people who have no prior felony record and are first time drug offenders. If you are charged with sale or the facts of the case show you may have been involved with selling drugs, you will not be eligible. You will be asked to attend four (4) NA/AA meetings prior to attending Drug Court, go to the Gun Club jail building one day a week for one hour, undergo random drug testing, be evaluated to determine the appropriate treatment and receive said treatment. It can last anywhere from 12-18 months, depending on your level of progress. The benefit is, if you successfully complete the program, all charges will be dropped. If you are unsuccessful, you will just be back where you started, with the same charges and the option to go to trial or take a plea still at your disposal.
While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get legal advice for your specific legal issue is to speak to a lawyer.
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Allen Ambrosino has been a member of the Florida Bar Association in good standing since 2006.
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