Drug charges may range from “simple possession”, to doctor shopping, drug trafficking, grow houses and importation.
Jeffrey H. Garland is a board certified criminal defense trial lawyer with extensive experience handling drug cases at both the State and federal levels.
Under Florida law, possession may be actual, joint or constructive. A person is not guilty of possession just because he/she happens to be in a car or a house where drugs are found. The State must show that the person charged knew that the drugs were present and had the ability to control them. Mere proximity to contraband does not establish either knowledge or the ability to control.
The defense of drug and drug-related charges is a complicated business. The handling of such important matters should be entrusted only to those attorneys that have established a track record of experience in all aspects of defense, including challenges to search and seizure techniques, wire tap warrants, touch DNA and cell phone extractions. This website includes many examples of Mr. Garland’s successful use of defense techniques against drug charges.
Technology has changed the way that drugs are distributed and paid for. Some transactions allegedly occur on social media. Other transactions allegedly occur on the dark web. In such situations, the deliveries might be made by the mail man, UPS or FedEx. The payments might be made over the dark web using Bitcoin or green dot prepaid cards. Tracking such cases by police employs techniques barely known just a few years ago.
Both State and federal drug cases are impacted by the evolving definitions of designer drugs, synthetic marijuana, and opoiod variants. Certain concoctions may not have been scheduled controlled substances in the recent past, but may now be. Mr. Garland has experience requiring that law enforcement laboratories be capable of specifically identifying such items in accordance with recognized forensic laboratory standards.
Federal cases have been hugely impacted by changes to the federal sentencing guidelines, as well as the First Step Act enacted into law at the end of 2018. Many of these changes effect current drug charges. Other changes are retroactive and can be applied to offenses committed years ago.