If you were arrested on drug charges, do not wait before seeking legal help. These crimes are a high priority for local police and prosecutors, and individuals charged with drug offenses need a savvy criminal defense attorney on their side from the beginning.
A Lake Mary drug lawyer has extensive experience helping people accused of drug crimes obtain the best legal outcome possible for their situation. Call the Umansky Law Firm as soon as you are arrested to get a knowledgeable advocate working for you.
Drug crimes can either be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies. The state has a complex scheme of drug laws that impose different penalties depending on the offense charged, the drug involved, and the accused’s criminal history. Florida Statute § 893.13 generally prohibits people from selling, manufacturing, or delivering a controlled substance or possessing a controlled substance with intentions to distribute it.
The laws offer prosecutors significant discretion about what charges to bring in a specific case. For example, an individual could face a drug possession charge even if the substance was not on their person but they knew drugs were present. This flexibility in drug law makes it nearly impossible for an individual in Lake Mary to successfully defend themselves without the guidance of an attorney.
A critical step in defending drug charges is ensuring that the process leading to an arrest is legal. Law enforcement sometimes oversteps the boundaries between effective policing and respecting a suspect’s rights. For example, police cannot stop a car or question a person randomly. They must reasonably suspect a crime has been or is being committed. Similarly, they cannot search a person, vehicle, or premises without probable cause or a warrant.
If there were errors in police procedure, a motion to suppress could exclude any evidence obtained through improper means. Prosecutors often decline to proceed with cases if a suppression motion is likely to be successful.
Courts prefer to direct their limited resources toward imprisoning criminals who supply illegal drugs, and have created alternatives for first-time offenders and people who suffer from drug addiction. Drug court is one such program. Completing a drug court program could result in dropped criminal charges and no drug-related crimes on a person’s record. A seasoned Lake Mary drug attorney could investigate whether this program is appropriate for an individual’s specific situation.
Tier I drug court is for people without a significant drug addiction problem and no prior felony convictions. This program lasts up to a year and offers classes in drug education, STD awareness, supervised probation, and life skills. Upon graduation from the program, a person’s criminal charges are dismissed.
Regular drug court is an intensive program for people with significant drug use issues. The program could last several years and includes drug rehabilitation, group therapy, frequent appearances in court and meetings with a probation officer, and regular drug testing. Participants must enter a guilty plea to their charges but the court defers sentencing until they have completed the program. Upon graduation, the court dismisses the charges. If the enrollee does not graduate, the court will sentence them in accordance with their plea.
If you were arrested on drug charges, you could be facing years in prison. With so much on the line, attempting to handle matters on your own is not advisable.
A determined Lake Mary drug lawyer could put our many years of experience to work for you. Call as soon as you can after you are arrested to find out how to begin pursuing your defense.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys