Fort Pierce Drug Defense Attorney
Defense law firm proudly representing the Treasure Coast of Florida
In Florida, drug-related crimes keep the court systems and the Department of Corrections busy. Law enforcement resources at the Fort Pierce, St. Lucie County, Florida, and federal levels are constantly engaged in operations to curb the incidence of drug crimes, and prosecutors tend to be aggressive in pursuing convictions when controlled substances are involved. If you’ve been arrested and charged with position of marijuana or other narcotics, contact a Fort Pierce drug defense lawyer immediately to ensure that your rights are protected from the beginning.
In late 2014, the Florida Department of Corrections reported that it had 13,696 inmates serving prison sentences for drug related offenses, which is 13.6 percent of the incarcerated population. These figures do not include federal facilities, which are known to have even greater percentages of drug offenders.
In Florida, the term “drug trafficking” is loosely used by law enforcement to describe just about any situation that involves controlled substances. This means that everything from possession to use to conspiracies to facilitation can be initially construed as drug trafficking in Florida. Once suspects are charged and go through the court system, the offenses are narrowed down.
Mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders
Florida is notorious for its harsh punishment of drug offenders. Even misdemeanor drug arrests, which can be for minor offenses such as simple possession of marijuana, can invoke mandatory minimum sentences of a year in prison.
To a certain extent, federal drug offenders face less stringent sentences in Florida; nonetheless, those who have been convicted of drug crimes in the Sunshine State face a terrible stigma. Employment opportunities are diminished as well as the ability to obtain professional licenses and student loans. In some cases, former convicts may have a hard time renting an apartment or even exercising their right to vote.
Defending against drug charges in Fort Pierce
Although there are geographic, cultural and socioeconomic factors that make the Fort Pierce and the rest of the Sunshine State a predisposed region for drug trafficking, it could be argued that overzealous enforcement and high-pressure prosecution are also contributing factors.
Defendants who face drug charges in Florida should be aware that prosecutors will try everything to get a conviction, and this is something that can be corroborated by the high incarceration rates mentioned above. When drug offenders do not have adequate legal representation in the Fort Pierce, their chances of obtaining a positive outcome are diminished.
When a suspect is arrested on drug charges, representation by a seasoned Fort Pierce drug defense attorney is crucial. Absent this representation, the law enforcement agents and prosecutors will pounce on the defendant just to get an easy conviction, and many times this is done through an unfavorable plea deal.
Experienced drug crime attorneys in Fort Pierce know that local judges are eager to listen to the arguments of defendants who can point out deficiencies in their case. Contrary to popular believe, criminal division judges in Florida are not jaded; they are weary of the warehousing of drug offenders, and they are willing to listen to reasonable defense arguments.
There are many strategies that Fort Pierce drug defense attorneys can use to help their clients prevail. Law enforcement agents involved in narcotics cases often rush through their investigations; in some cases, they even exaggerate and fabricate evidence. Zealous prosecutors may lean on grandstanding instead of cases law. The burden is always on the prosecution; defense attorneys ensure that this burden is always high and favorable to their clients.
DRUG CHARGE FAQs
Are there any defenses for my drug case?
There are numerous defenses for drug charges, and due to the legalization of hemp at the state level, chances are greater than ever. For example, if a person’s vehicle is searched and narcotics found, the search could be deemed illegal if probable cause was determined by odor alone. Your drug defense attorney can best advise you as to which defense best suits your unique case.
What constitutes a federal drug charge?
Federal drug charges are often levied in cases involving drug trafficking and prescription fraud. If state lines are crossed during the commission of a drug-related crime, federal charges are likely. The feds tend to target illegal drug operations in which multiple people are involved. By contrast, cases involving possession, use and small-scale distribution.
When should I consult with a drug defense lawyer near me?
You should call a criminal defense attorney specializing in drug cases as soon as possible – even if you haven’t been arrested yet, but suspect you might be under investigation. By retaining a Fort Pierce drug lawyer beforehand, your chances of successfully fighting these serious charges improve greatly.