On February 9, 2016, Port St. Lucie police arrested a male resident who allegedly sold Xanax and marijuana to an undercover narcotics agent. Per local media report, special investigators and SWAT team members discovered more than 10 grams of marijuana partially bagged for resale along with $166 cash, ammunition and a digital precision scale after searching the suspect’s home at about 5 o’clock that same evening.
Consequently, the 20-year-old occupant Karl Isaac Kelly was charged with possession and sale of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of ammunition. Court files reportedly disclosed Kelly’s designated status by currently applicable Florida state law as a delinquent who faces trial for felony drug charges as an adult. In addition, a bail bond agent reportedly surrendered a $3,750 surety bond posted on Kelly’s behalf after his previous arrest for unrelated vehicular burglary charges. Accordingly, Kelly was held on the more recent drug charges without bond at St. Lucie County Jail as of February 16, 2016.
Drug charges may range in legal severity from misdemeanor-level simple possession, to prescription fraud, to ‘doctor shopping,’ to narcotics trafficking or grass hothouses.
State law and existing judicial precedent have established two different types of drug possession denoted by prefixed labels as ‘actual’ or ‘constructive.’ Actual possession denotes knowing dominion or control of contraband. But constructive possession may be mere close proximity to where contraband is concealed without one’s knowledge. Police typically arrest all occupants of a vehicle in which drugs are found hidden in glove compartments, beneath floorboards or under seats.
However, absent other evidence of knowledge or control of concealed items found by police, insufficient proof exists to meet the legal standard required to convict criminal defendants of guilt ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ Thus, drug charges are subject to immediate dismissal before trial by a Port St. Lucie criminal defense lawyer filing a sworn C-4 motion with the presiding court.
Other pre-trial defenses challenge incriminating evidence obtained by legally defective search warrants or information provided by unreliable ‘confidential informants.’ Regardless of case-specific facts or relative severity assigned by law, all drug charges are serious and must not be trusted to random chance for a favorable outcome.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug crime, it’s vital to obtain qualified legal advice from an experienced Port St. Lucie criminal lawyer immediately. Jeffrey H. Garland has extensive practice experience in state and federal drug cases.