Fort Lauderdale Drug Crime Lawyer
Drug crimes are vigorously pursued by law enforcement in Florida. Police chiefs and district attorneys can make headlines, make a name for themselves, and make their careers off of a large drug bust or a history of taking a hard-line on drug offenses. For individuals, this means that low-level drug offenders or innocent people can be swept up in this net, being heavily charged for minor offenses or pressured into pleading guilty to serious crimes that may not actually be supported by the evidence. Steep mandatory prison sentences await convicted drug offenders in Florida, often without the option of probation or a suspended or deferred sentence. In the federal system, offenders risk lengthy prison terms, federal asset forfeiture of their cars and bank accounts, and fines into the thousands.
Drug crimes are zealously prosecuted in Florida, and those arrested for drug offenses need zealous representation of their own. Fort Lauderdale drug crime lawyer Robert H. Trachman of Trachman & Ballot-Lena, PA puts 45 years of criminal defense experience to work for the benefit of his clients, helping them achieve the best possible outcome in their given situation.
Defense of all manner of Florida drug crimes
Most drug offenses can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the type of drug and amount involved. Some offenses are serious felonies only. Trachman & Ballot-Lena, PA can help with any drug offense, including all of the following:
Possession – including having actual physical possession of drugs as well as what is known as constructive possession, meaning that drugs are found in some location that you presumably have exclusive access to
Possession with Intent to Sell – Prosecutors often tack “intent to sell” to possession offenses to scare arrestees into pleading guilty to lesser charges or inform on others. Prosecutors may attempt to prove intent in a number of ways, often based on other evidence retrieved or simply the amount of drugs involved.
Trafficking of a Controlled Substance – Drug trafficking charges can be based on more than just
knowingly bringing drugs into the state. The serious charge of trafficking may include any offense involving the manufacture, cultivation or transportation of controlled substances and can include a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison and a $200,000 fine.
Marijuana – Just delivering less than an ounce of marijuana is a first degree misdemeanor. Charges and penalties increase as weights go up and prosecutors decide that amounts in possession are “intended” for distribution or sale.
Methamphetamine – The manufacture of meth, including possession of precursors with intent to make meth, carries a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison if a child under 16 was present in the home or other location. If such a child suffered “great bodily harm,” the mandatory minimum sentence is ten years.
How Our Fort Lauderdale Drug Crime Defense Lawyers can Help
A person charged with a drug offense may have any number of defenses available. The burden is on the prosecution to prove every element of the alleged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Defendants are entitled to be represented by counsel and to raise any and all available defenses. Applicable defenses in a drug crime prosecution may include, for example:
- Illegal search and seizure
- Lack of possession, or possession of drugs which belong to another
- Having a valid prescription for a controlled substance
- Lack of knowledge
The first drug court in the United States was started in Miami-Dade County back in 1989. Today, drug courts are available across Florida, including Broward and Palm Beach counties. These courts provide an alternative to the criminal justice system and incarceration by providing treatment options to eligible participants. There are pros and cons to consider before trying to move your case into drug court. While drug court may offer a positive outcome for many, it is important to discuss the matter with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can properly advise you on your options given the unique circumstances of your individual case.
Help is Available for Serious Fort Lauderdale Drug Crime Defense
For practical legal advice and excellent representation in a Fort Lauderdale drug crime prosecution, call Trachman & Ballot-Lena, PA at 954-462-2208 to have your case reviewed at no cost by an experienced and successful Broward County criminal defense attorney.