As our West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale drug crime defense lawyers know, you should feel safe, (even encouraged) calling the police if you believe something has been stolen from you — that is, of course, unless the items you’re complaining about having been robbed of are illegal drugs.
As a man here in Florida learned the hard way earlier this month, going to the local police department to report stolen marijuana plants (still illegal in the Sunshine State) will only lead to trouble.
Given the facts of this particular case, it seems that the Jacksonville man should have known that his report to the police would not go routinely: he went in to the police station complaining that police officers had stolen his marijuana.
To be sure, as our West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale drug crime defense lawyers know, his claim was not created out of thin air. Drug and vice unit detectives from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office had, in fact, eradicated dozens of marijuana plants from the man’s property. Earlier this month, while a Putnam County Codes Enforcement Officer was conducting a code compliance check at the property in Putnam County, he noticed marijuana plants.
The officer then called for assistance, leading to the arrival of the drug and vice unit detectives, who spend hours investigating the property and removing the 91 marijuana plants. After the detectives removed the plants, their next task was to figure out who owned the property and thus who might be held to answer for the crime of producing marijuana, a felony in the State of Florida. It seems, though, that their investigative work in attempting to locate the property owner was rendered unnecessary, when the property owner stormed into the police office to file a complaint about his marijuana plants having been removed.
As our West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale drug crime defense lawyers understand, the man told law enforcement officers that his complaint was founded upon the fact that the detectives had removed the marijuana plants without his permission; he added, too, that the marijuana plants were for making “medical marijuana,” an argument which might have worked in a number of other states, but will not now work in Florida, as the state does not allow the personal production of any type of marijuana (whether it be for “medical purposes” or not).
Despite likely being pleased with the man for eliminating the need for investigative work (i.e., locating the owner of the marijuana plants), officers still took the man into custody and booked him into jail; he was released after posting $1,004 bond.
This story goes to show that while the police are there to help secure your property and personal possessions, not only will they not help you recover illegal items which you should not have had in the first place, they will use your complaint to them (concerning said illegal items, like marijuana plants) against you.
If you have any questions about this or any other drug crime or other criminal defense issue, or if you have been arrested for or charged with a crime in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, please contact our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363) to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you.