2500 Rhode Island Ave, Suite B, Fort Pierce, FL 34947
Call Today: (772) 489-2200
2500 Rhode Island Ave, Suite B, Fort Pierce, FL 34947
Call Today: (772) 489-2200

2500 Rhode Island Avenue
Suite B
Fort Pierce, FL 34947

Call Now For A Personalized Case Evaluation

(772) 489-2200

Two Stuart Men Charged With Multiple Drug Offenses

Stuart drug possession lawyer

Are You in Need of a Stuart Drug Possession Lawyer?

Drug offenses are treated harshly in Florida. When a gun is involved, the charges can be even more serious. Similarly, possessing drugs in amounts above a statutory threshold, possessing prescription drugs without a valid prescription, or possessing multiple different types of drugs and paraphernalia indicating they were possessed with the intent to sell could result in drug trafficking charges. Stuart drug possession lawyer Jeffrey H. Garland defends people who are accused of all levels of drug crimes, including serious drug felonies. Recently, two Stuart men were arrested and charged with several drug offenses.

Men Arrested for Drug Crimes

According to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, two Stuart men have been charged with multiple offenses following a traffic stop. The men were ages 23 and 20. Sheriff’s deputies pulled the men over and searched their vehicle. During the search, the police reportedly found baggies containing oxycodone pills, crack cocaine, alprazolam, and MDMA. They also reportedly found a handgun with the serial number scratched off.

The driver of the car was charged with possessing a firearm with an altered serial number, possession of a controlled substance, and drug trafficking. The passenger was charged with possession of a controlled substance and was subsequently released from custody on a $5,000 bond.

Drug Possession and Gun Offenses in Florida

Under § 893.13, Fla. Stat. (2021), drug trafficking is a serious felony carrying the potential for a lengthy prison sentence. Possessing crack cocaine with the intent to sell is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The driver or passenger could also face multiple counts based on the various substances the police found in their vehicle.

Possessing a gun with an altered serial number in Florida is also a serious crime. Under § 790.27, Fla. Stat. (2021), possessing a handgun with the serial number removed is a first-degree misdemeanor carrying up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, possessing a handgun when the possessor has altered or removed the serial number is a third-degree felony carrying up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Under § 775.087, Fla. Stat. (2021), carrying a handgun while engaged in drug trafficking can also be used to enhance or aggravate the trafficking offense. In this situation, the second-degree felony could be aggravated to a first-degree felony carrying up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 with a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years.

The prosecutor could charge both men with multiple offenses and stack the charges, meaning that they could potentially face decades in prison.

Potential Defenses

While drug trafficking and weapons offenses are serious crimes, it is still possible to defend against them. The available defenses will depend on the individual facts of a case. Some of the potential defenses that might be available to the two men might include challenging the officer’s reasonable suspicion and probable cause for the stop and the search.

Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to believe motorists have committed a traffic violation to pull them over. They can’t stop vehicles based on a hunch. They must also either get a warrant to search a vehicle or meet an exception to the warrant requirement such as the owner’s consent to search or the officer seeing the drugs or weapon in plain view. If the men did not consent to the search, and the police did not see the drugs or gun in plain sight, a Stuart criminal defense lawyer might file a motion to seek suppression of the evidence.

The passenger who was charged with drug possession might also be able to argue that he did not know the drugs were present in the vehicle if none were found on his person. Other defenses might also be available. An experienced defense lawyer could review the case to identify all potential defenses.

Talk to an Experienced Stuart Drug Possession Lawyer

If you are facing drug possession charges, you should talk to attorney Jeffrey H. Garland, Esq. as soon as possible. Mr. Garland has more than 40 years of experience defending people against serious criminal offenses, including drug crimes in state and federal court. Contact our firm today at (772) 489-2200 for a case evaluation.