Criminal drug use in Florida continues to attract national attention – and not in the way residents of the Sunshine State are pleased about. Part of the reason is that, according to federal government statistics, Florida has a significantly higher rate of drug-related deaths than the national average.
One drug in particular that has, especially in the last decade, received a great deal of scrutiny is methamphetamine. Just a couple of weeks ago, as reported by the Palm Beach Post, four individuals were arrested by Okeechobee law enforcement officials in three different incidents, all involving methamphetamine.
Our South Florida drug crime defense attorneys know that being arrested for drug use in Florida is a serious issue with serious prospective penalties and that when methamphetamine is tossed into the mix, the stakes are even higher than usual.
The federal government has disclosed information regarding methamphetamine use, which suggests manufacturing and use of the drug is on the rise. According to the statistics, there was a 148% increase in methamphetamine lab seizures in Florida from 2007 – 2009 (the latest years for which there are available statistics). Now, whether this is indicative of an actual increase in meth labs or whether this just indicates that the police finally got around to busting the labs is open to debate.
With the heightened scrutiny surrounding methamphetamine use, there has been a consequent heightened awareness about the drug and its symptoms among citizens of Florida. The first two arrests mentioned above resulted from citizens calling the police and reporting two suspicious individuals – one driving erratically and the other injecting something via a syringe in the passenger’s seat. When police caught up with them, they found that, sure enough, they were in possession of methamphetamine.
The arrested individuals are being held on tens of thousands of dollars’ bail and face charges of possession of methamphetamine, which, under Florida law, carry a weight of up to decades in jail and tens of thousands of dollars in fines, depending on how much methamphetamine the arrested individual happens to have on them at the time of arrest. The fate of these individuals’ lives rest in the hands of their defense attorneys.
To add insult to injury, Florida has what is called “mandatory minimum sentencing,” which means that if you are convicted of a certain crime (in this case possession or trafficking of methamphetamine), there is a mandatory sentence that you must serve, leaving to discretion to the judge and little ability for the attorneys to hash-out a reasonable deal.
The fact of the matter is that methamphetamine is a dangerous drug with serious consequences. When charged with a crime relating to methamphetamine use, production or intended distribution, you need to be absolutely sure that you are defending yourself with all available resources.
The attorneys at Leifert & Liefert are former prosecutors; they used to work with the very same people that charge people and try them with violating drug laws. Therefore, with a defense built by Leifert & Leifert, you will have expert, inside knowledge of both the relevant law and the prosecutors who apply it.
If you are charged with a crime in Palm Beach or Broward counties, contact the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert, a Partnership of Former Prosecutors, for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1.888.5.DEFEND.