You’ll find many instances in which you’ll be asked to list your occupation — when you fill out an application for a job or for school, when you sign up for insurance, when you create an online profile, etc.
As our Palm Beach and Broward County drug crime defense lawyers know, one less common situation in which you’ll have to list your occupation is when you’re under arrest.
A Palm Beach man made headlines this month when he listed “drug dealer” as his occupation on an arrest report compiled after authorities arrested him on suspicion of — you guessed it — dealing drugs.
The man in question — whose honest response to a question on an arrest report is making headlines around the country — has been arrested more than a dozen times in Palm Beach County, according to the Palm Beach Post. In addition to his arrest record, he’s been convicted seven times on felony counts. Because of his transgressions, he’s served roughly nine months in prison (from April of 2011 to January of 2012).
The “drug dealer” (as he describes himself in terms of employment) found himself under arrest this latest time after drawing attention due to this reckless driving. Per the article referenced above, this latest run-in with law enforcement officers began after the man cut in front of an unmarked Sheriff’s vehicle (which was being driven by a detective) and nearly caused a serious collision. The detective in the unmarked Palm Beach County Sheriff’s vehicle followed the man and allegedly witnessed him engage in a “hand-to-hand transaction” (presumably a drug deal).
Officers in marked police cars eventually caught up with the man, who took off speeding. He eventually exited his vehicle and made his way into an arts and crafts supply store, where he barreled into a customer on his way out the back door, where deputies were waiting for him. In order to catch the man, police unleashed a police dog, who apprehended the suspect. According to the arrest report — the one on which the man listed his occupation as “drug dealer” — the man was in possession of 22g of heroin and over $2,300 in different denominations. Moreover, a search of the suspect’s (stolen) vehicle revealed hypodermic needles, 5.3g of crack cocaine and a drug scale.
The suspect is, after this latest incident, facing the following charges: three counts of resisting arrest with violence, two counts of possession of drug equipment and one count each of heroin trafficking, possession of a weapon or ammunition by a “career criminal” (which was substantiated in part by the suspect’s own listing of “drug dealer” as his occupation), possession of cocaine with intent to sell, committing a first-degree felony with a weapon, fleeing and eluding law enforcement at a high rate of speed, striking a police animal, battery and — last but not least — driving with a suspended license.
Our drug crime defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know that based on these charges, it seems as though the prosecutors in this case have an abundance of evidence with which to try this man in a court of law, assuming there is no plea deal arranged between prosecutors and the defense attorney. Nevertheless, even with all of the evidence — the cut-off in the stolen vehicle, the car chase, and all of the drug paraphernalia discovered by police — the suspect didn’t do himself any favors by listing his occupation as “drug dealer,” giving the prosecutors yet another tool to use against the man, this one provided by the defendant himself. While we obviously wouldn’t encourage anyone to lie on an arrest report, as doing so is both illegal and wrong, writing “N/A” or something to that effect would have been far safer, assuming the man did not have an actual occupation by standard terms.
If you’ve been arrested for or charged with a drug crime in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, please contact our drug crime defense lawyers at Leifert & Leifert by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363) to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you!