The Law Office of Jeffrey H. Garland, P.A.

2500 Rhode Island Avenue
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Fort Pierce, FL 34947

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The Law Office of Jeffrey H. Garland, P.A.

Drug Arrest Cases

Motion to Suppress Fenced Yard Wins Case
  • September 18, 2018

St. Lucie County deputies went to Armando Ring’s (not his real name) house on 4/5/18 to execute a misdemeanor arrest warrant for failure to appear. The deputies did not have a search warrant. As shown in the picture, Ring’s house was fenced, gated and posted against trespassers. The deputies disregarded the gate, fence and no trespassing sign to go knock on Ring’s door about midnight. The deputies announced who they were, but not their purpose. Deputies pushed the door open, as soon as Ring cracked it, and placed him under arrest. Incident to the arrest, the deputies found cannabis in his pocket. View of fence surrounding property Indian River County Drug Arrest Attorney Ring retained Indian River County drug arrest attorney Jeffrey Garland, who swiftly filed a motion to suppress, asserting that the police entry into Ring’s curtilage, without a…Read More

  • August 31, 2018

A Seminole Police Department (SPD) officer initiated a stop for speeding on a section of State Road 721 which was inside the Brighton Reservation. The SPD officer did not catch up to the SUV until it was well off the Reservation. SPD jurisdiction exists only on the Reservation. However, the law allows an SPD officer to stop a driver off the Reservation if the traffic infraction took place on the Reservation. Trouble is, the SPD officer acted like he still had police authority to search Ana Gomper’s (not her real name) SUV. Ana retained Indian River County criminal attorney Jeffrey Garland shortly after the incident. Garland promptly filed two motions to suppress after receipt of the discovery. Garland contended the vehicle search was “illegal” because Ana had refused consent. Even though the SPD officer had no jurisdiction, he searched the…Read More

Pot and Paraphernalia Charges Tossed
  • October 26, 2017

Adolphus Stevens (not his real name) was arrested by Port St. Lucie police on 4/17/17 for possession under 20 grams of cannabis and for possession of drug paraphernalia. Stevens made the mistake, you see, of walking across a vacant lot in broad daylight in a residential area. Several minutes later, a PSLPD officer detained and searched Stevens.  Following the arrest, Stevens retained Port Saint Lucie drug possession lawyer Jeffrey Garland. Port Saint Lucie criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Garland spotted the lack of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Garland filed a motion alleging that the detention and search were conducted in violation of the Defendant’s right to remain free from unreasonable search and seizures. The motion to suppress anticipated that police would argue that Stevens was detained under the loitering and prowling statute; and that the pat down of Stevens was…Read More

  • September 28, 2017

Pictures do not always tell the whole story. On 8/16/17, the jury returned verdicts of not guilty on charges of sale of cocaine, and possession of cocaine with intent to sell, in just 26 minutes. Evidence showed that a detective with the Okeechobee County Drug Task Force stopped the CI on 11/14/16 for an alleged traffic infraction. Per standard procedure, the narcotics detective ran a drug detection dog around the CI’s car. The K-9 alerted to the presence of drugs. A subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered .5 grams of cocaine. The CI was faced with a choice: either “cooperate” or be arrested. The CI chose to become a cooperating individual. The CI advised that he had just recently purchased the .5 grams of cocaine for $50. The CI was told that he would not be charged for the cocaine…Read More

  • May 29, 2017

“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. Martin County Drug Possession Attorney Jeffrey Garland At the 5/17/17 docket call, Attorney Garland complained that there had been no drug testing. The prosecutor…Read More

  • May 24, 2017

“Cowboy” was arrested on 9/10/15 in Okeechobee County on a capias charging conspiracy to commit racketeering. The long-lasting drama would finally end on 5/22/17 when the charge was nolle prossed by the State. The State theorized that Cowboy had conspired with a racketeering organization because he had supposedly purchased an “eight ball” (about 3-1/2 grams) of methamphetamine from Jetta Frake on or about 3/29/15. Jetta was subsequently prosecuted in federal court for meth conspiracy involving 14 other people. Jetta went to federal prison, as did all the others charged in federal court, including Steven Oakes. See U.S. v. Steven Lee Oakes, et al, Case No. 2015-CR-14046MARTINEZ (So. Dist. of Fla.). The State prosecutors theorized that the Steven Oakes conspiracy met the requirements of RICO. That assumption seems fair enough. However, the State further theorized that each customer of the RICO…Read More

  • March 22, 2017

The mother on the other end of the phone was frazzled and upset. Her baby girl had just been sentenced to prison. The mother could not understand what went wrong or why. The mother retained Jeffrey Garland on 8/2/16 to look into the matter. Attorney Garland filed the motion for post-conviction relief (PCR) three days later. The PCR motion asserted that the pleas and sentences should be set aside due to ineffective assistance of counsel. The gist of the claim was that the drugs allegedly sold were never tested. The arrest affidavit showed on its face that the supposed Dilaudid a/k/a hydromorphone was really clonidine. The second alleged sale involved supposed heroin. Yet, the substance field tested negative for heroin. The detectives cannot be blamed for this travesty of justice, because they wrote in all capital letters on the arrest…Read More

  • May 24, 2016

Roscoe Riley (not his real name) was charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering in Okeechobee County. The information alleges a conspiracy to violate unspecified provisions of Chapter 893, dealing with controlled substances. Attorney Garland sought, without success, to dismiss the charge for failing to properly outline the scope and purpose of the conspiracy. The motion was denied. Curiously, Defendant Riley was charged in a single-person information – even though the so-called “organization” supposedly involved several dozen participants. The discovery showed that Riley’s involvement, if involved at all, was as a retail customer of small amounts of methamphetamine. Each of the transactions occurred, supposedly, in Glades County. Okeechobee Criminal Attorney Jeffrey Garland sought, again without success, to dismiss the charge on the basis that retail customers cannot be participants in an enterprise selling and distributing methamphetamine. The court rejected arguments that…Read More

  • May 24, 2016

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Commander Russell Miner (not his real name) retained Attorney Jeffrey H. Garland to “clean up” old and erroneous entries on the criminal history maintained by FDLE. A FDLE examiner advised that an arrest for possession of cannabis under 20 grams remained “active”, even though the date of arrest was 6/14/1974. The St. Lucie County Clerk of Court advised that the case could not be reported as “dropped”, even after the passage of over 41 years. After conferring with the client, Attorney Garland sought to file a demand for speedy trial. However, the Clerk’s office advised that it could not accept the demand, because the case did not have a case number compatible with electronic filing. After some five weeks, the Clerk’s office advised Attorney Garland that the 1974 case was now equipped with a case number…Read More

  • May 10, 2016

Josh Berringer (not his real name) was arrested on 3/6/16, at the Okeechobee Music Festival, for trafficking in LSD. His family immediately retained Okeechobee drug trafficking attorney Jeffrey Garland. Garland identified irregularities in the manner of the search and the processing of evidence. The supposed field testing of evidence did not match the charge. There were also discrepancies in the client’s identifying information. All criminal charges were dropped on 3/29/16. Comment from an Okeechobee Drug Trafficking Attorney If you or someone you know is in need of a drug trafficking attorney, contact The Law Office of Jeffrey H. Garland, P.A. at  [number].  Drug trafficking charges are very serious and need to be reviewed and handled by an experienced attorney.Read More

  • April 21, 2016

Respect for law enforcement is diminished when an officer seeks to justify a stop for a reason shown to be false. Subsequent investigation proved that the stopped car had nothing but factory tint. Prosecutors, wisely, dropped charges on 1/20/16, rather than dispute the evidence from a defense expert concluding that the trooper’s “reason” for the stop was imaginary, confabulated and inconsistent with a citizen’s right to remain free from unreasonable search and seizures. Thanks to Florida Turnpike Drug Arrest Lawyer Jeffrey Garland The trooper initiated the stop on Florida’s Ronald Reagan Turnpike on 10/15/15, at about 5:31 P.M. The given reason for the stop was “dark tint”. The trooper would subsequently find a whopping 2.61 grams of cannabis in the underwear of the front seat passenger. An additional “stash” of 1.43 grams was found in the trunk. The trooper charged…Read More

  • August 6, 2015

A search warrant was executed on 8/13/14 on 1604-A Avenue K in Fort Pierce, Florida. According to the arrest affidavit, Jamie Baucomb (not his real name) was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. These charges were based upon nine crack cocaine rocks which were found “on the seat of the lawnmower near where Baucomb was standing”. The State subsequently filed an information formally charging Baucomb with these crimes. Baucomb was initially represented by the Public Defender. As some nine months passed, he lost confidence in the Public Defender due to a failure of communication and what Baucomb perceived as a lack of interest in his defense. Baucomb retained Attorney Jeffrey H. Garland on 5/8/15. Garland immediately identified the defense as a matter of construction possession. Baucomb provided Attorney Garland…Read More

  • December 5, 2016

The State gave up on efforts to convict customers on a weird theory that the drug customers had become “co-conspirators” with the drug trafficking organization. All charges against Justin Jaybird (not his real name) were dropped on 11/29/16. The strange saga began with a combined DEA-State investigation into methamphetamine distribution in the middle of Florida, including Polk, Highlands, Okeechobee, and Glades Counties. Fifteen individuals were indicted in federal courts for methamphetamine distribution conspiracy, United States v. Steven Oakes, et al, Case No. 15-CR-14042 (So. Dist. of Fla.). Others were charged with similar crimes in Polk County, State v. Stephen Hall, et al, Case No. 2015-CF-6476. Prosecutors in Okeechobee County sought to expand the “conspiracy” to include ordinary customers who allegedly purchased small amounts of meth for personal use. Jaybird retained Attorney Garland shortly after his arrest on 8/28/15. The initial…Read More

  • January 15, 2015

Astor Johanson (not his real name) had just helped unload the catch from a commercial fishing trip. Johanson drove away from the docks in his SUV, happy to be back on dry land after a successful fishing excursion. An overly alert St. Lucie County Sheriff’s detective noted that Johanson was not wearing a seatbelt. Thus began the drama of a “traffic stop” and arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia. The eagle-eyed detective spotted a “clear capsule” on the floor. Without consent, the detective seized the empty capsule and the opportunity to “search” the SUV. Based upon the capsule – which never tested positive for illegal drugs – the detective literally tore the SUV apart. During the course of the search, the detective uncovered a “used syringe” under a seat. The overbearing and presumptuous detective asserted that such syringes are “commonly…Read More

  • February 18, 2014

Pot Charges Dropped Magnum Jones (not his real name) was arrested for possession of marijuana under 20 grams on August 27, 2013. Police approached two men who were simply standing next to a van located in a public place. The police officer claimed that there was nothing on the ground when he first engaged both individuals in conversation. Suddenly, the police officer asserted that a small plastic bag appeared “next to both males”, but “lying just beneath the vehicle”. The alert officer determined that the small plastic bag contained an enormous amount of marijuana, weighing in at nearly 1.5 grams. The police officer arrested both “suspects” in order to enforce the drug laws of the State of Florida. Of course, the arresting officer could not say where the small plastic bag came from, nor could he state which man (if…Read More

  • November 18, 2013

State Forced to Drop Trafficking in Cocaine and Oxycodone Charges Fletcher Bowdoin (not his real name) was arrested on 12/20/12 by the Fort Pierce Police Department. The police report states that Bowdoin was found hiding under a bed. The police claimed that 20 grams of “crack cookies” were found in the kitchen trash, together with 89 30mg oxycodone pills and 54 alprozalom pills. A Taurus .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol was also found in the same trash can. The police reported that $1,860 cash was found in a bathroom waste basket, and that Bowdoin had $475 in his right front pocket at the time he was placed under arrest. State Drops Fort Pierce Drug Bust Charges Natalie Waldron (not her real name) was also arrested in connection with this situation. Waldron was observed walking out of the same bedroom where Bowdoin…Read More

  • July 16, 2013

Johnny Morris (not his real name) was arrested on 2/16/12, in Okeechobee County for possessionof cocaine, possession of cannabis under 20 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, andmisdemeanor driving while license suspended (DWLS). Morris bonded out of jail. The Statesubsequently filed formal charges (which added a charge of evidence tampering), and provideddiscovery, which showed that Morris’ license was suspended for refusing to submit to testingeffective on 3/17/87. The discovery notably failed to provide the results of any laboratory testingto confirm the presence of cocaine. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles(DSHMV) driving history and a Driver and Vehicle Identification Database (DAVID) report bothshowed that Morris’ license was suspended only for refusing to submit to testing. While out on bond, Morris got himself into another “jam”. He was again charged with misdemeanor DWLS on 8/20/12. His original bond was then…Read More

  • December 10, 2012

MPD was residing in the State of Colorado, where he applied for and received a “Medical Marijuana Registry” card. This card permitted MPD to obtain and use marijuana in Colorado for medical purposes. MPD traveled to St. Lucie County, Florida, to visit his family. He had the misfortune to be charged with DUI. He pled to the DUI, without the assistance of an attorney, and was placed on the standard terms of DUI probation. He was permitted to “mail in” his probation reports, since he was a resident of Colorado. After returning to Colorado, MPD was contacted by his probation officer and told to submit for urinalysis at an approved Colorado facility. MPD did as instructed and, as expected, tested “positive” for marijuana. Upon receipt of the urinalysis results, the probation officer advised MPD that a violation of probation (VOP)…Read More

  • September 25, 2012

B.K.P. was charged with violating his Martin County community control due to a positive urinalysis for amphetamine and methamphetamine. Pursuant to the warrant, the defendant was taken into custody and held without bond. At that point, the defendant’s family retained Jeffrey H. Garland to look into the matter. Attorney Garland initially determined that the assistance of a medical expert would be necessary. After conferring with the client and his family, arrangements were made to retain Dr. Stefan Rose, a forensic toxicologist. Attorney Garland set out to discovery as much information as possible about the process of urinalysis and the possibility of either “false positives” or other circumstances which would explain the urinalysis results. The defense investigation established that the defendant, in fact, had a lawful prescription for Adderall which specifically contains amphetamine as its active ingredient. The defense investigation established…Read More

  • September 20, 2012

On March 25, 2009, J.A.R. was arrested for trafficking in oxycodone (28 grams or more), possession of under 20 grams of cannabis, and evidence tampering. He located Jeffrey H. Garland via the Internet and contacted him within days of the arrest. J.A.R.’s car was stopped, heading north on I-95 through Indian River County, at approximately mile marker 146. The initial stop was effectuated by Deputy David W. Turner, Sr., who was participating in a MACE “drug interdiction detail”. The car was reportedly clocked at 79 mph. Upon approaching the car, Dep. Turner reported smelling “the strong odor of burnt marijuana”. J.A.R., who was driving the car, denied any knowledge of marijuana. Dep. Turner conducted a search of the female passenger’s purse, and located 240 oxycodone pills. He also located, in the female passenger’s pants, a plastic bag containing a small…Read More

  • September 11, 2012

N.N. (not his real initials) retained Jeffrey H. Garland shortly after being charged in Martin County, Florida, with DWLS with knowledge. Attorney Garland promptly recognized that a plea of no contest to the charge would result in a 5-year habitual traffic offender (HTO) suspension. Avoiding HTO classification became the primary object of representation. The client had an essentially good driving record until the year immediately before the current charge. Several tickets were not paid on time. He changed insurance carriers which caused further problems. As a result, the client had pled, without an attorney, no contest (just by paying a ticket) to a previous DWLS charge which resulted in a “guilty” finding with points. He pled no contest to a second DWLS which resulted in a “withhold of adjudication”, but no jail. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor…Read More

  • September 11, 2012

EMD was arrested on June 9, 2008, in Fort Pierce as part of a “Weed and Seed” crackdown. EMD was passing through Fort Pierce, visiting friends, on her way to Key West. She was introduced to “Alex” who, unbeknownst to EMD, had an impressively lengthy criminal history. Alex was to assist EMD in securing “supplies” for the trip to Key West. These supply efforts caused EMD and Alex to drive into the “bullet hole” section of Fort Pierce, just off of Avenue D. EMD’s vehicle was stopped and searched. Six grams of crack cocaine were found in EMD’s purse. After Miranda, EMD explained that she had given money to Alex to purchase the crack for the trip to Key West. Law enforcement saw fit to charge EMD with possession of cocaine with intent to sell – even though there was…Read More

  • September 11, 2012

After many years of honorable service to the United States Navy, ACD (not his real initials) retired to pursue other interests. Upon retirement, ACD sustained serious injuries in a skiing accident. Over the years, they became progressively worse. But for his strong will, the combination of debilitating injuries and medication would have rendered ACD a paraplegic, perhaps worse. ACD was charged by the Fort Pierce Police Department with possession of cocaine and possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription. He promptly retained Jeffrey H. Garland to represent him in this matter. Although disputed, a trial would have been difficult in light of ACD’s physical condition and family obligations. ACD pled no contest to possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription. The State agreed to a withhold of adjudication, $500 fine, court costs, and probation which was…Read More

  • September 11, 2012

POT IN CAR CANT BE LINKED TO DRIVER PVS was arrested on September 30, 2006, for possession under 20 grams of cannabis by the Port St. Lucie Police Department.  PVS was driving his brothers car at the time of the vehicle stop.  There was a passenger in the passenger seat.  Both denied knowledge of the bag containing a green leafy substance found on the floor.  Attorney Garland announced ready for trial on January 14, 2007, at which time the State announced a nolle prosequi (dropped the case). Comment: The State cannot successfully prosecute any person in a car where contraband is found as long as 1) more than one person is in the vehicle, and 2) no other evidence connects an occupant to the contraband.  There is no presumption of knowledge or ability to control the contraband just because of…Read More

  • September 11, 2012

PJF was employed as a deputy sheriff.  On June 1, 2005, he was arrested on felony warrants charging prescription fraud and doctor shopping.  The next day, he retained Jeffrey H. Garland. On July 21, 2005, the State formally charged doctor shopping by failing to disclose information.  The alleged criminal act occurred on May 18, 2004. The defense investigation uncovered cell phone records which proved that PJF called the Vero Beach dentist’s after-hours telephone number.  The same records demonstrated that the dentist called PJF back.  After this telephone conference, PJF went to a hospital emergency room for treatment.  The defense investigation established that PJF truthfully and completely disclosed his health care providers to the emergency room personnel.  The defendant was given a prescription for a controlled substance by the emergency room, but only after full disclosure.  PJF, two days later, met…Read More

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