Fort Lauderdale, FL – The state of Florida has experienced increases in problems related to heroin, oxycodone, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Fatalities related to these narcotics have been going up annually.
There are potential criminal penalties for anyone caught in possession or selling these drugs, and issues related to drugs are one of the most common ways that defendants end up in criminal court in the state. Anyone who has been charged should retain an attorney and get legal advice before agreeing to a plea or making any statements to law enforcement.
Drugs and felony charges
Many drug crimes related to possession and distribution are charged as felonies in Florida. This means that there is the potential for a prison sentence of greater than one year. It is also possible that in addition to prison time, the sentence can include long periods of probation, fines, rehabilitation, and other conditions. Marijuana is one of the only drugs where a defendant may get a misdemeanor charge for possession of small amounts.
Federal drug charges
Florida is considered a gateway state for drugs into the United States by the federal government. This is due to its large coastline that allows many individuals and organizations to traffic drugs into the country by sea. If these individuals are caught by federal law enforcement or the coast guard, they will be charged and tried in federal court. These kinds of charges tend to be even more difficult to defend than those that end up in state court in Florida. The federal criminal courts are known for having the absolute minimum amount of procedural protections for defendants, along with a high conviction rate.
Criminal defense lawyers
A person is only sentenced if the state can prove the charges beyond all reasonable doubt at trial, or if the person chooses to take a no contest plea. A plea deal often has a lesser sentence than if the same defendant would lose at trial.
Defense attorneys are supposed to use every means available to ensure that the state cannot prove these charges and sentence the victim unless they have a sound case with sufficient evidence to meet the burden of proof. There may be procedural problems with the way the evidence was collected, issues with witness testimony, illegally coerced statements, and other forms of evidence that can be excluded. Individuals in the United States have fairly strong protection from illegal searches and seizures, and defense attorneys can utilize the Fourth Amendment to weaken or eliminate the state’s case in some situations. Charges may be reduced or dropped altogether based on insufficient or illegally collected evidence.
Florida criminal defense lawyers
There are defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale who can fight against the state’s charges. Gabriela C. Novo is an experienced criminal attorney who works with local clients.
Firm contact info:
200 SE 6th St., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301