“Fisherman” was arrested in Martin County for possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia on 12/30/16. He exercised his right to remain silent, figuring the deputy would not listen anyway. So Fisherman retained Attorney Jeffrey Garland. He turned down drug court because he “knew” there were no drugs.
Attorney Garland contacted the Indian River Crime Laboratory directly for the results of drug testing. The lab responded that “no evidence items in regards to the case…have been submitted to the lab for analysis”. Thereafter, Attorney Garland wrote the prosecutor that the lab had reported that no evidence had ever been submitted for testing. Garland requested that the items be submitted for testing to determine whether heroin was present.
At the 5/17/17 docket call, Attorney Garland complained that there had been no drug testing. The prosecutor replied that the State does not test until a case is set for trial. Judge Lawrence Mirman, therefore, set the case for trial on 5/30/17.
The State filed a nolle prosse on 5/18/17, which dropped the entire case. Fisherman claimed all along that the syringes were used for fishing purposes only. He was, apparently, right.
Fisherman won because he demanded that the State carry its burden of proof. In this case, the correct course was to demand to test.