Evidence Dismissal and Other Strategies Against Drug-Related Charges
Drug-related charges can lead to consequences that can be incredibly disruptive to a person’s life. Those convicted of drug crimes could be facing imprisonment, fines, and a lasting criminal record.
Engaging the services of an experienced Clearwater criminal defense lawyer is crucial for those seeking to have drug evidence dismissed after an arrest in Pinellas County. Through strategic legal maneuvers, seasoned professionals can challenge the validity of evidence, explore constitutional violations, and provide a robust defense aimed at securing the best possible outcome for their clients.
Common Drug-Related Charges and Possible Penalties
Florida enforces strict laws against drug offenses. For example, arrests have occurred due to an individual unlawfully possessing drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or prescription medications without a valid prescription.
On top of possession, some in Florida are accused of possessing drugs with the intent to sell or distribute, which often results in more severe penalties. Trafficking charges involve the transportation, sale, or distribution of large quantities of controlled substances, leading to significant penalties.
If a person is convicted of a drug crime, the penalties that follow will depend on different factors such as the type and quantity of drugs involved and if the individual has a prior criminal history. When imprisonment is part of a sentence, the timelines could range from a few months for simple possession to many years for trafficking offenses. Monetary penalties are also common and offenders may be required to complete probation, during which they must adhere to specific conditions set by the court.
Additionally, it is important to recognize that some drug offenses carry mandatory minimum sentences, and when these minimums are in place it limits a judge’s discretion in sentencing.
Strategies to Have Drug Evidence Dismissed
A skilled attorney can employ various defense strategies to challenge drug evidence and work towards having charges dismissed.
- Unlawful searches and seizures. When a search is unlawful, it violates an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights. If evidence was obtained through an illegal search, it may be deemed inadmissible in court.
- No clear chain of custody. Prosecutors must establish a clear chain of custody for seized evidence, and any breaks or inconsistencies in this chain can raise doubts about the reliability of the evidence.
- Insufficient cause. Law enforcement must have a valid reason, known as probable cause, to conduct a search or make an arrest. If not, the evidence may be challenged.
- Miranda rights violations. If not informed of their Miranda rights during the arrest, an arrested party’s statements during interrogation may be inadmissible.
- Lab errors. If evidence was mishandled, contaminated, or improperly analyzed in the crime lab, it may not be admissible in court.
Whether you are accused of simple possession or more serious offenses like trafficking or manufacturing, a Clearwater criminal defense lawyer can assess the specifics of your case, identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence, and craft a defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.
Could you use legal support after a FL drug arrest? Individuals facing drug-related charges, regardless of the severity, benefit from the expertise of the legal team at King Law Group. Schedule your free consultation today.