drugs

Two Elements To Every Drug Bust

Drug Defense Attorney

RJ Ferraro has defended against Drug convictions since 2001

With all of the focus on the legalization of marijuana in Florida, some important information on other types of drug charges may be getting overlooked. Remember that the crack down on drugs is not limited to pot, and even if you are engaged in legal activity regarding marijuana, there are still plenty of illegal activities as far as other substances are concerned. Once final, the legalization of marijuana will apply only to that substance, and if you are caught with cocaine, methamphetamine, or any other banned substance you can be arrested and brought up on drug charges.

Two parts to every drug bust, that is the responsibility of the State to prove in order to get a conviction against you, are:

  • That you were knowingly in possession of the drug in question.
  • That you were able to exercise control or ownership of the drug in question.

 

These two requirements mean that it is not sufficient to show that you possessed an illegal substance, you must also have done so both knowingly and willingly. These are difficult standards to prove and require an in depth analysis into each facet of your case. The prosecution will work hard to show that you knew you had the drugs on you, and that you did so of your own willful act. Our job is to dispute the evidence offered by the State, and minimize the possible range of punishment you face. This is done through careful investigation and persuasive argument. When an error is made by the prosecution, we point that out to the Court and make sure you get the benefit of a lawful proceeding against you. All cases are different and some are resolve by plea negotiation while others require a trial to prove the truth of the matter. You also need to know that the law defines possession as either actual or constructive. With actual possession it can be more difficult to rebut the presumption you knew you had the drugs on your person. Constructive possession, on the other hand, is a type of possession where the substance is simply near your and/or within your control. For more information about what to do if you are charged with drug possession, call our office.

If you have questions about drug possession cases, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for answers. Your first visit is a free consultation and we work with you to reach results that fit your needs.

Two Ways Mixing Alcohol With Marijuana Increase Your Chances Of DUI

On the other side of the country a couple of states have legalized the use of marijuana. The issue is current, and one that makes the news on a regular basis. Questions about whether the tax revenue raised from marijuana sales have significantly increased the money in the state’s coffers, and whether driving after smoking is the same as driving after drinking are frequently asked. But there is another issue that is making its way to the spotlight, and that is the issue of the impact of smoking and drinking at the same time. More specifically, opponents of marijuana legalization claim mixing the two can be deadly to the user or to other motorists if the user drives after mixing these substances.

Several studies have been done, with more underway, on just how dangerous it is to mix alcohol and marijuana. Part of these reports outlines two things to keep in mind if you add driving to the equation. These two things are:

  • Response times are slowed when using either substance, and using them together can cause an even slower reaction behind the wheel. This can cause accidents, and ultimately lead to charges of not only DUI but also drug charges.
  • The effect of alcohol on a person can be that the driver is over-confident, while use of marijuana yields the opposite result. Marijuana can cause paranoia, and mixing those feelings with feelings of being unstoppable creates a dangerous driving situation.

It is thought that mixing the two substances increases the likelihood of being in an accident, but the data is conflicting. So, while the odds of being involved in a car wreck if you drink and smoke remain uncertain, what is clear is the way law enforcement view the behavior. If you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI and the officer also believes you to have been smoking marijuana, you will also face drug related charges. In order to minimize the negative impact this combination has on your ability to drive and to remain out of jail, call us for help. We will investigate your case and explain your options, while aggressively fighting for your freedoms. Call today to find out more.

If you have questions about drug or DUI charges, call our office for answers. Schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

700 Million Reasons We Need Standard Drug Laws Nationwide

By now it is common knowledge that a handful of states have legalized marijuana. The first wave of legalization was for medicinal purposes, but in some states with those laws the move to legalize the drug for recreational use has also been made. Paving the way for more lenient laws regarding marijuana use was the State of Colorado. Now, the rocky mountain state is fighting a new battle regarding their use laws. A proposal to create a bank that would service the marijuana industry. This proposal was quickly shot down by the federal government, because the laws on marijuana legalization are not uniform across the states and there are still federal laws in place against use and/or possession, among other activities.

Not having a banking institution that can service lawful marijuana activity may not seem like a big deal, but it does present several problems. Some of the more significant problems for the $700 million a year industry includes:

  • Banking institutions that accept deposits related to marijuana transactions will not be able to redeposit those funds into the Federal Reserve system.
  • Those companies engaged in lawful marijuana related practices in Colorado will have to do so on a cash only basis without the backing of a bank that would provide the benefits of electronic banking as well as issuing credit.

The decision may be revisited, but for now the ruling leaves the marijuana industry in a difficult spot. This is due in part to inconsistent laws on the issue between the states as well as federal laws in place that make these activities illegal. And here at home, at least for now, engaging in the sale or distribution of a controlled substance is defined as a crime. The punishment for drug crimes in Florida depends on the substance as well as the volume. Whether you are a first time or repeat offender also plays a part in how severe the punishment for your case will be. The same is true for simple possession in Florida. If you have been charged with a drug related crime, call us for help.

If you have questions about drug charges, call our office for answers. Schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

What To Do When Your DUI Case Includes Drug Charges

Most DUI cases involve more than just the charge of drinking and driving. There is usually a traffic ticket that goes along with the DUI, or there may have been an accident with injury, and it is even possible that alcohol is not the only substance found in the driver’s bloodstream. Some cases involve not only alcohol, but also drugs. One of the most common drugs found either in the driver’s blood or in the vehicle, is marijuana. Specialized legal strategies are required for cases of this dual nature, which includes a thorough investigation of several factors.

In Florida, the DUI statutes call for a citation to be given for DUI when the blood alcohol content is 0.08% or more. When this circumstance is coupled with finding drugs on the defendant, the following things must be explored as well:

  • The timeframe leading up to the vehicle stop and arrest for DUI. Most drugs, including marijuana, stay in the system much longer than alcohol. So, it might be that the charges of DUI and the accompanying drug related charges are improper.
  • The testing procedures that identified drugs in the system should be examined carefully, because these types of substances are not detectable by typical breath tests. This means if you submitted to a blood test, the steps leading up to that test should be reviewed. When flaws are found, the existence of drugs in your system is a part of the case that you might be able to resolve quickly.

 

Any time drug related charges are filed the stakes are much higher. The penalties and fines increase, and the chance of jail time also goes up. Our goal is to identify the facts that are most favorable to you, and find solutions that make sense. Whether you are a first time offender, or are facing a subsequent offense, we know how to help.

 

For more information about DUI and drug cases, call our office today. Contact us today schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. The first visit is a free initial consultation.

What To Do When Your DUI Case Includes Drug Charges

Most DUI cases involve more than just the charge of drinking and driving. There is usually a traffic ticket that goes along with the DUI, or there may have been an accident with injury, and it is even possible that alcohol is not the only substance found in the driver’s bloodstream. Some cases involve not only alcohol, but also drugs. One of the most common drugs found either in the driver’s blood or in the vehicle, is marijuana. Specialized legal strategies are required for cases of this dual nature, which includes a thorough investigation of several factors.

In Florida, the DUI statutes call for a citation to be given for DUI when the blood alcohol content is 0.08% or more. When this circumstance is coupled with finding drugs on the defendant, the following things must be explored as well:

  • The timeframe leading up to the vehicle stop and arrest for DUI. Most drugs, including marijuana, stay in the system much longer than alcohol. So, it might be that the charges of DUI and the accompanying drug related charges are improper.
  • The testing procedures that identified drugs in the system should be examined carefully, because these types of substances are not detectable by typical breath tests. This means if you submitted to a blood test, the steps leading up to that test should be reviewed. When flaws are found, the existence of drugs in your system is a part of the case that you might be able to resolve quickly.

 

Any time drug related charges are filed the stakes are much higher. The penalties and fines increase, and the chance of jail time also goes up. Our goal is to identify the facts that are most favorable to you, and find solutions that make sense. Whether you are a first time offender, or are facing a subsequent offense, we know how to help.

 

For more information about DUI and drug cases, call our office today. Contact us today schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. The first visit is a free initial consultation.

 

Minimum Sentences For The Top Three Drug Trafficking Offenses

When most people think of drug trafficking, especially in Florida, images of contraband being transported into the country come to mind. Perhaps Miami Vice influenced how most Floridians view drug trafficking, but the truth is the offense has more to do with the amount of drug being transported and not whether you were actually travelling. The consequences for drug trafficking offenses are serious, because Judges are required to impose punishment pursuant to statute, without deviation.

The statute in question provides for the following punishment, for the top three most common drug trafficking offenses:

  • For marijuana, between 25 and 300 pounds, you face 3 years in jail. The more you have, the longer your jail sentence.
  • Trafficking between 28 to 200 grams of cocaine will also land you in jail for three years. The most severe sentence for cocaine is life, for trafficking in excess of 150 kilograms.
  • From between 4 to 14 grams of oxycodone, you can expect a 3 year sentence as well.

 

 

The key factor for punishment in every trafficking case is the amount, and as you can see as the weight increases so does the potential punishment. Because weight is the determining factor in your sentence, this is where you should focus your defense. Our team of drug trafficking defense attorneys will review the facts of your case and develop a strategy that is likely to minimize the consequences.

 

For more information about the range of punishment for drug trafficking cases, call an experienced defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We work with you to tailor a defense that fits the specific facts of your case. We offer an initial consultation for no charge, and look forward to helping you resolve your case in a satisfactory way.

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