Dealing in Drugs in Florida

The State of Florida views drugs as the direct cause of most criminal activity in Florida. And because of the correlation of drugs use and criminal activity, the penalties for the sale and delivery of drugs are very severe.

If you are suspected of dealing drugs, the State of Florida will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. Therefore, retaining a criminal defense attorney with skill, legal knowledge, and trial experience is a necessity.

Some of the most commonly charged crimes involving the sale and delivery of drugs are:

Defenses to Sale or Delivery of Drugs

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, common defenses to the crime of Sale or Delivery of Drugs are:

Constructive Possession

If the cocaine was found in a place where more than one person had access, the prosecutor would have to comply with the law of constructive possession, which requires the prosecutor to prove the following two elements before you can be convicted of Sale or Delivery of Drugs: [1]

  1. Knowledge of the Drugs' presence; and
  2. Dominion and control over the drugs, which means more than the mere ability to reach out and touch the drugs. [2]

Below are scenarios where it can be argued the prosecutor could not meet their burden of proving constructive Sale or Delivery of Cocaine.

Scenario 1: You were stopped while driving a friend's car and police found drugs in the glove box, they would be unable to convict you of Sale or Delivery of Drugs unless they had some proof that you knew the drugs were present.
Scenario 2: You were driving your car, had a friend with you, and your friend takes a large bag of drugs and places it at his feet. The police then stop you, see your friend's bag, and arrest both of you. They should be unable to convict you of Sale or Delivery of Drugs because even though you knew the drugs were present, your friend is the only person who exercised dominion and control over them.

Illegal Search and Seizure

More often than not, law enforcement exceed the scope of their authority and require people to submit to a vehicle, home, or body search; or they may coerce a person into agreeing to a search. If we can prove that either instance occurred, the courts will suppress the resulting evidence as having been illegally obtained.

Other suppression possibilities that may present themselves are: if law enforcement obtained a search warrant in bad faith or if you were arrested without probable cause.

Lack of Knowledge

It is an affirmative defense to the crime of Sale or Delivery of Drugs if you can prove that you did not know the substance in your possession was an illegal drug. Because knowledge is an affirmative defense, you would be required to testify to a lack of knowledge of the substance's illegal nature. [3]

Personal Use

It is a defense to the crime of Sale or Delivery of Drugs that the drugs were possessed for personal use. [4]

In such cases, the State would have to present evidence that is inconsistent with personal possession; such as an abnormal quantity of drugs, scales, bundled money, ledgers, or distribution paraphernalia.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been charged with the crime of Sale or Delivery of Drugs in Central Florida or the Greater Orlando area, contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.

References

  1. GG v. State, 84 So. 3d 1162 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2012)
  2. Smith v. State, 123 So. 3d 656, 658 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013)
  3. Florida Statute 893.101
  4. Glenn v. State, 824 So. 2d 1046 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002)