Orlando Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

Drug Crime Defense

Drug crimes generally fall into one of three groups with increasing seriousness: possession, sales or distribution, and trafficking. Depending on which group your charges fall under, the nature and quantity of the drugs involved, and other factors, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony with varying penalties.

Defending Your Drug Possession Case

Every drug possession case is different. Our goals are to:

  1. Determine the lawfulness of the police officer’s conduct;
  2. The existence of favorable evidence;
  3. Identify all possible defenses, and
  4. Determine what needs to be done to avoid a drug conviction.

Mandatory One-Year Driver’s License Suspension

If you are convicted of possession of any controlled substance, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is required to suspend your driver’s license for one-year. Any drug possession conviction will also result in a permanent criminal record that will disqualify you from ever having this conviction sealed or expunged from your criminal history.

Call Bryce Fetter Today

If you were recently arrested or you are being investigated for any Florida drug charge, please call our Winter Park criminal defense law firm at 407.740.7275 to discuss your options. We offer a free consultation so that we can learn about you, learn about your case and determine how we can help.

Florida drug crimes range from misdemeanor possession of marijuana to possession with intent to sell, manufacture, cultivation, transportation, distribution, and trafficking of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin and other prescription pills. Drug crimes also include the possession of drug paraphernalia such as pipes, grinders and scales as well as the unauthorized use or sale of prescription drugs, such as Xanax, oxycodone and hydrocodone. Drug crimes generally fall into one of three groups with increasing seriousness: possession, sales or distribution, and trafficking. Depending on which group your charges fall under, the nature and quantity of the drugs involved, and other factors, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony with varying penalties.

Defending Your Possession of a Controlled Substance Case

Every drug possession case is different. Our goals are to:

  1. Determine the lawfulness of the police officer’s conduct;
  2. The existence of favorable evidence;
  3. Identify all possible defenses, and
  4. Determine what needs to be done to avoid a drug conviction.

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Defending Your Constitutional Rights Against Illegal Searches

Drug crime cases almost always involve constitutional issues regarding why you were stopped, how drugs were discovered and how they were seized. We examine all legal issues surrounding your drug charges as the police must have a lawful basis to stop and detain you, pat you down and to search your person, vehicle or other property. Unlawful police conduct can lead to the suppression of evidence including the suspected contraband after an illegal search or traffic stop. Essential questions that should be answered to determine if the police acted lawfully are:

  1. Were you stopped and detained for a lawful reason?
  2. Did the police officer have the right to search your person, property or vehicle?
  3. Did you consent to a search of your person, property or vehicle?
  4. Were you read your Miranda rights?
  5. Were any of your statements illegally obtained?

The Drug Possession Element under Florida Law

Under Florida law, to ‘possess’ means to have personal charge of or to exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over the thing possessed. There are three elements required to prove a possession charge in Florida:

  1. The defendant possessed a certain substance,
  2. The substance is designated controlled substance, and
  3. The defendant had knowledge of the presence of the substance.

Whether you are arrested for possession of cocaine, prescription pills, or any other controlled substance under Chapter 893 the State must prove that you possessed the drugs. This equally applies to possession of drug paraphernalia. This must be proven through either actual possession, joint possession or constructive possession as defined below. Actual Possession means the drugs were found on your person. Joint Possession means the drugs were jointly possessed by you and another person. Constructive Possession means that while you did not actually possess the drugs, you knew of their existence and you had the ability to exercise dominion and control over the drugs. Important questions that should be answered before the State can show that you possessed the drugs are:

  1. Where were the drugs found?
  2. How many people had access to the place where the drugs were found?
  3. Were the drugs found in someone else’s vehicle or house?
  4. Did the drugs belong to someone else?
  5. Did someone else hide or conceal the drugs?
  6. Were the drugs lawfully prescribed medication?

Mandatory One-Year Driver’s License Suspension

If you are convicted of possession of any controlled substance, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is required to suspend your driver’s license for one-year. Any drug possession conviction will also result in a permanent criminal record that will disqualify you from ever having this conviction sealed or expunged from your criminal history.

Recent Florida Dug Case Law

Fletcher v. State, 168 So.3d 330 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) Testimony that church services were held regularly at time of trial was not sufficient evidence of regularly conducted religious services at time of offense, which was approximately six months prior to trial, in prosecution for possession of cocaine within a thousand feet of a church and possession of cocaine with intent to sell within a thousand feet of a church.

Lemaster v. State, 162 So.3d 56 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) To convict a defendant of sale or possession with intent to sell a controlled substance within a thousand feet of a church, the state must present evidence establishing that, during the time frame when the offense occurred (not the trial) religious services being conducted.

Call an Experienced Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you were recently arrested or you are being investigated for any Florida drug charge, please call our Winter Park criminal defense law firm at 407.740.7275 to discuss your options. We offer a free consultation so that we can learn about you, learn about your case and determine how we can help.

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