IA Miami police officer was arrested recently by the FBI and charged with carrying cocaine and marijuana he seized from a dealer during a bust last year, The Miami Herald reports.
The story shows that anyone can get caught up in a bad drug possession charge in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere in South Florida. If a police officer, sworn to uphold the law, can be charged, so can anyone else. That’s why Fort Lauderdale Defense Attorneys, former prosecutors who understand how the state prosecutes cases, have spent years defending people who deserve a second chance.
According to the newspaper, the six-year police veteran who worked in the department’s crime suppression unit, was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine. According to the story, the officer kept the drugs in his police cruiser and used drugs and cash seized during a raid to pay off confidential informants.
Florida law has many drug possession charges on the books, so the specific details of a defendant’s case is the only way to know for sure what kind of punishment they may face. Depending on the weight of the drugs, the type of drugs and whether the person may be carrying a weapon when they were arrested are all potential factors in how the state pursues the case.
The type of drug can determine whether a defendant is charged with a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison or a misdemeanor, which can put someone in jail for up to a year.
The weight of the drug will determine whether a person is charged simply with possession of the drug or possession with intent to distribute, which can enhance the sentence. Drug trafficking in Florida (Florida Statutes 893.135) allows for a charge of a first-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
The penalties alone, not withstanding the potential for someone’s career and reputation to be ruined, are reasons to seek an experienced law firm of attorneys who are skilled at fighting these types of charges.
In cases where confidential informants are used, it’s possible that an entrapment defense can be used. Sometimes, the use of informants require defense attorneys to spend a lot of time questioning the credibility of the informant, who is usually a drug dealer turned witness. These people can’t typically be trusted.
Police officers sometimes bungle evidence or violate a person’s rights in the midst of a drug investigation. All of these factors are possibilities to get the charges dropped. So, if you are arrested for a drug charge, don’t speak with police until you have contacted Fort Lauderdale Defense Lawyers so your rights are preserved.
If you are arrested ondrug charges in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, contact Leifert & Leifert at 954-523-9600 or 561-988-8000 for a free consultation.