Florida has a reputation for having easy access to drugs, but the state also has a reputation for handing out harsh punishment to those who get caught up with drugs. It is important to understand that there are classifications of substances, and not every case will be the worst case scenario. For instance, a possession of marijuana case will not be punished in the same was as manufacturing methamphetamine or distributing cocaine. Not only does the type of substance play a role in what type of charges are filed against you, but so do the actions taken in connection with the substance.
Four different types of drug charges that can be filed, regardless of the substance, include:
- Possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
- Distribution of a controlled dangerous substance.
- Possession with the intent to sell, or simply selling a banned substance.
- Trafficking in an illegal substance.
These are not the only possibilities, and you need to know that the State can come up with other combos of charges. As the type of activity becomes more involved, the range of punishment increases as does the piling up of charges. You also have to watch out for how much of a substance is involved in the case, as that can cause a case that might otherwise be filed as a misdemeanor to be filed as a felony. All of this information makes it close to impossible to keep track of the different combinations of charges that can be filed, but our team of experienced drug defense attorneys knows how to sort through a case. Once the facts of your case have been placed on the table, a defense strategy can be developed. We know which types of cases are more serious than others, and how subsequent convictions play a role in a new charge. We also know how important it is to you to get a good result in your case, and work with you every step of the way so vital pieces of information do not go overlooked. For more information about drug related crimes, and how to best defend them, call our office today.
If you have questions about how to defend a drug charge, 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.
Even though a lot of states are starting to legalize marijuana, at least for medicinal purposes, possession of marijuana is still a common criminal charge. Considering that several issues surrounding legalized use for medicinal purposes has been put to a vote (and generally accepted by the voters), it can be hard to know what is allowed and what is prohibited. Even with a legalization of marijuana for medical necessity, there are still several circumstances where possession of marijuana is illegal. And while many cases are classified as misdemeanors, the range of possible punishment can still be severe. Knowing what you might face is helpful; because it will help you put together the facts of your case and develop an effective defense.
If you engage in one or more of the acts still classified as illegal where marijuana is concerned, here are three types of punishment you can expect a for possession of marijuana charge:
- The possibility of going to jail and serving a term of incarceration, which takes away your freedom.
- Losing your driver’s license, which will mean you will be forced to find another way to get around.
- Resolving the case by agreeing to go on probation. While on probation you will be required to follow certain rules, much like if you are placed on probation for a DUI or other criminal charge, and if you are successful the charges can be either reduced or dismissed at the end of your probation.
Each of these possible forms of punishment is disruptive and requires you to change your day to day activities, especially if you are sentenced to a jail term. But the impact can be minimized with the right defense team by your side. We have experience defending possession charges, and can let you know what types of possession are being legalized. If you have been arrested for possession of marijuana, call us for help. We will examine the facts of your case and let you know your options. Our goal is to get you satisfactory results and make sure any agreement you make is one you can handle.
If you questions about drug possession charges, 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 Major Differences Between Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol And Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs
When most people hear the term “DUI” they think of someone who has been pulled over after drinking. But the truth is that any substance that impairs your ability to drive can be considered a DUI. This includes driving after smoking marijuana or taking other drugs. The bottom line is that if you drive after drinking, smoking weed, or taking other drugs you can be charged with DUI and in some cases will face additional charges.
A DUI is legally defined as driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher. However if you test positive for other substances you can be charged with DUI and other moving violations. Two major differences between a DUI that involves alcohol and one that includes drugs are:
- If you are charged with a drug related DUI you will face drug related charges, which usually include higher fines and penalties as well as longer possible jail terms.
- DUI’s that involve drugs usually include additional charges such as possession or maybe even possession with the intent to distribute. The type of defense you develop in relation to these charges is much different than the defense strategies typically employed in an alcohol related DUI case.
In the wake of these differences, which can be viewed in a negative light, it is good to know that the possibility having the charges reduced is still an option. Much like a DUI that involves only alcohol can be reduced to a lesser included traffic offense if you negotiate properly and successfully complete probation, a DUI with drugs can also be reduced to a lesser charge. The way to accomplish this is to obtain quality representation from a criminal defense attorney who focuses on these types of matters. Our DUI attorneys also have experience in other areas of criminal defense. We take on possession cases, probation violation cases, and all sorts of traffic violation matters. For legal help that meets your needs, call us today. We will work with you every step of the way and develop a strategy designed to fit the facts of your specific case. By working one on one with you we will find solutions that make sense.
If you have been arrested for DUI related to alcohol or drugs, or have received a ticket for any other traffic violation, call our office for help. 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.
The law is full of definitions and phrases that are subject to interpretation. One of the most commonly used phrases of art in criminal law is “intended to be used”…in connection with some sort of drug possession or paraphernalia charge. Defense attorneys see this a lot, especially with youthful offenders. Being charged with possession could mean possession of an actual substance, or the paraphernalia used in connection with the substance. In either instance it is important to vigorously defend the charges, and we can help.
Florida law gives the authorities broad powers when making claims that certain items are classified as drug paraphernalia. For example:
- How close in proximity the item was found to an actual controlled substance.
- Whether residue of a substance is found on the item.
- What has been said about the use of the item, by a person with the authority to use the item or someone who is exercising control over the item (like the owner).
The most frequently thought of case of this type is a possession of marijuana case, where other things are found with the marijuana (like a pipe, baggie, or baggie ties). If you have a substance inside a bag it is likely the bag will be considered paraphernalia and if you have a lot of bags with the other items needed to tie up those bags it can look like you are preparing drugs for distribution. This is how the prosecution is able to stack charges, one on top of the other, and is a good example of how simple possession cases can quickly spiral out of control. Another thing to be wary of is the fact you do not actually have to be in possession of the item to be charged with possession. It is possible for an arrest to be made for possession when the items and/or substances are within your reach. If you are facing drug possession charges, call our office to talk with a criminal defense attorney for help. These cases often include more than meets the eye, and we know where to look to figure out what type of defense strategy to develop.
If you have questions about drug 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.
Drug cases often turn on whether the defendant was in possession of a controlled substance or paraphernalia, and most people think this requires the prosecution to show that the defendant had something on their person. But there are actually two types of possession as far as the law is concerned, and either one of them can cause you to face a possession charge. Understanding the different types of possession, as the law defines both, will help you to properly defend the charges against you.
The two types of possession for drug cases include:
- Actual possession: this means the defendant actually had the item or drug on them, personally. This happens most frequently when drugs are found in your pockets, in a cup or other container you are holding, or in your bare hands.
- Constructive possession: this means the defendant did not have the item or drug on their person, but had easy access to the item or drug in question. This type of possession can occur when you are driving and there are drugs or drug paraphernalia in the backseat, the glove box, or under the driver’s seat. The key here is that the person being charged can quickly and easily access the banned substance.
With constructive possession it is also easy to be charged with other types of violations, such as a traffic infraction or even a DUI, especially if the items are found while you are pulled over in your car. This is because when the police pull you over for speeding and suspect you have been drinking and also spot things in your car, they will articulate a reason to do a search. When things are found as a result of the search, you can face a multitude of charges. In order to successfully these types of cases you first want to look at whether the stop was valid, if not you may be able to have the search results thrown out. You should also challenge the search itself and argue there was no legal basis for having the search performed. Our team of DUI defense attorneys has experience in cases with multiple charges and is ready to help defend you today.
For more information about criminal defense, call an experienced defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We offer an initial consultation for no charge, and look forward to working with you
There are several reasons to remain drug free, the least of which is how mixing drugs and alcohol can impact you physically, and legally. Possession charges can lead to jail time, but when you take the wheel of a car and combine drugs and alcohol the legal equation becomes quite difficult. DUI charges become enhanced when drugs are involved and you can be looking at hard jail time if you do not act fast. This is true even if you are dealing with a seemingly harmless substance, such as marijuana.
A lot of people look at smoking marijuana as nothing more serious than smoking a cigarette. And, with a handful of states legalizing the drug it is easy to take for granted some of the side effects of the substance. For instance, you might be surprised to learn that marijuana can stay in your system up to thirty days, and those thirty days can be reason enough to avoid the temptation to “smoke a little weed”. Here are some of the things that can happen if you smoke marijuana and then drink and drive:
- The charges against you will include DUI as well as possession, making it necessary to defend multiple criminal charges as well as fight for the right to maintain your driving privileges.
- DUI’s that include drugs are a higher class of criminal charge and may be more difficult to keep off your record.
- You may not be able to seek an expungement of a DUI that also involves drugs.
The police have the power to test you for substances other than alcohol if they believe those other substances exist when you are pulled over. If you are required to take a blood test rather than simply blowing into a breath test machine, the results are a little more difficult to challenge. Blood tests typically yield more reliable results than do simple breath tests, but that does not mean you do not have a defense. What it does mean though is that you have to act fast and provide your attorney with the information needed to develop a defense as soon as possible. Call us today to learn more about how drugs and alcohol don’t mix well in the eyes of the law.
If you have questions about DUI and possession charges, call a competent criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for help. Call us to schedule an appointment.
With so many states taking steps to legalize marijuana, possession of the substance is becoming more and more common. But Florida has not yet made the leap to legalization, and possession remains a crime. The range of punishment if you are caught with marijuana depends on several factors, one of which being the quantity possessed. If the amount is less than 20 grams, the offense is a misdemeanor. The idea of being charged with a misdemeanor does not usually conjure up serious punishment in the minds of most people, but when talking about possession of marijuana, the consequences can be severe.
Possession can be the actual possession of the substance, or possession by another while under your control and within your knowledge. The charge is serious, but not impossible to defend. A good starting point when developing a defense is understanding the possible outcomes. Three possible punishments for possession of marijuana in Florida include:
- Jail time to serve.
- Agreeing to go on probation for a period of time.
- Loss of your driver’s license and the right to drive.
Any of these three things can wreak havoc on your daily schedule, and require you to make adjustments to your routine. Any time significant change to your activities is necessary, it can be hard. For instance, if you lose your right to drive you will have to rely on friends or family, or find reliable public transportation to get you to where you need to go. If you are placed on probation, you will be expected to stay out of trouble and to follow other rules. If you fail to abide by the terms of your probation you can face the full weight of the punishment for the crime as well as be made to answer for the crime of violating probation. The result may be jail time, which takes away your freedom. We have experience helping people who have been charged with drug crimes, and can help you too. Call us today for more information.
For answers to questions about possession charges, call an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help you reach workable solutions. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.
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.
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.
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.