What Are Potential Defenses To Drug Related Cases In Florida?
In general, it is difficult for the State to prove possession of drugs without a confession, or a statement of a witness, as long as the area is not under the exclusive possession of the accused. So the easiest and best defense is the exercise of the right to remain silent. Persons who are being investigated for suspected crimes do not have to make a statement and would be well-advised not to do so without first having consulted with an attorney. A person placed in such a situation should very specifically say that they wish to exercise their right to remain silent and do not want to answer any questions without the presence of an attorney. Such words would be sufficient to invoke both the rights to remain silent and to counsel.
Drug cases can be defended on the basis that the evidence was obtained as the result of an unreasonable search and seizure. Florida law requires that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment be suppressed from use at a trial. The State must prove that the substance is the drug charged in the information. Usually, law enforcement officers cannot come into a trial and testify that the substance field tested positive for a given drug. The results of field tests are not admissible in court. Therefore, in most cases, the State is required to obtain the results of laboratory drug testing.
The defense of entrapment is available in drug-related cases in Florida. Entrapment exists when the government, or its agents, induce a person not otherwise predisposed to commit a crime. The entrapped person generally admits the drug charges but asserts that he was induced by police to commit the crime by improper police methods. In cases involving informants working off their own criminal charges, a person can defend that the informant is not believable. Even without entrapment, the informant may be the person who actually possessed the drugs or set up the deal. Jurors are instructed to consider the testimony of informants with skepticism because many such informants are motivated more by desire to escape their own punishment than a love of truth.
The particulars of any drug case could give rise to any number of other defenses. For example, law enforcement officers may “lose” or destroy material evidence which might have been relevant to the issue of guilt or innocence. The destruction of such material evidence could be the grounds for sanctions against the State.
How Does Florida Define DUI Charges?
DUI is defined as being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in the State of Florida when intoxicated to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired, or your blood or breath alcohol concentration is greater .08.
When Would A DUI Become A Felony Under Florida State Law?
There are several ways that a DUI can become a felony. A person charged with a third offense DUI, which occurs within 10 years of the second DUI conviction, may be charged with felony DUI. A fourth offense DUI may be up filed to a felony. DUIs may become aggravated to felonies by serious bodily injury or death.
For more information on Defenses To Drug Related Cases In Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (772) 242-6380 today.
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