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Orlando Criminal Defense Blog

What you should know about having a drug trafficking charge

Under Florida law, anyone caught with a certain amount of illegal narcotics in her or his possession can be charged with drug trafficking. If you are facing a drug trafficking charge, you could end up in jail for quite a long time. A drug trafficking charge is a serious federal offense, even for first-time offenders. Because it can have a major impact on your life, you should consider the following information about drug trafficking charges. 

You could end up with a trafficking charge, even if you intended to use it for yourself. Sometimes, people who have drug trafficking charges were really just caught with possession of a controlled substance. Regardless of the circumstances leading up to your arrest, you should consider hiring an attorney. 

Possible defenses for Florida drug charges

Drug charges are serious. A conviction can lead to three years to life in prison, and charges alone are enough to ruin your employment and family relationships. Guilty or not, you deserve fair and lawful treatment from all involved in the justice system.

If you face any type of drug charge, you can work with a lawyer on a strong defense to reduce or eliminate the charges and legal consequences.

Factors that affect how the body absorbs alcohol

Drivers operating motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol are still a huge issue. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2015 alone, over 10,000 people died as a result of being in an alcohol-related car accident.

A big reason why drunk driving is still an issue is that people get behind the wheel of a car not realizing how impaired their abilities are. It actually does not take much for a person’s blood alcohol content to get over 0.08. A good rule of thumb is to simply avoid driving when you consumed beer, wine or liquor that evening because there are several factors that can affect how alcohol interacts with the body. 

Why the amount of drugs matters

When police officers say that they found drugs in someone’s possession, they use the amount to determine intent. In other words, someone who had enough only for personal use likely would not face charges with intent to distribute. On the other hand, someone who had a huge amount of the drug could face charges with intent to distribute.

This is important because an intent to distribute charge can bring much more serious consequences than a possession charge alone. This is true even if the charge focuses on prescription drugs versus drugs such as heroin.

Heroin possession charges in Florida

If you face heroin possession charges in Florida, there is no sugarcoating it - your situation is serious. Possession of any amount at all, no matter how minimal, counts as a felony. 

The one part of a possession case where the amount makes a difference is sentencing. Generally, the Florida penalty for possession of 10 grams or less consists of imprisonment for up to five years. If prosecutors prove possession of an amount over 10 grams, the penalty can be as much as 30 years. If the charges also include manufacturing, trafficking or intent to sell, additional harsh penalties can come into play.

When a confession is coerced

The arrest process is extremely distressing to almost every person. From drunk driving to aggravated murder, a conviction can lead to a criminal record that negatively impacts your future. How you respond to law enforcement officers who arrest and question you can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. 

Those arrested are at times coerced into making a false confession. One notorious example is the Central Park Five. After a jogger was raped and murdered, five men falsely confessed to the crime, even though they were innocent. What causes a person to confess to a crime they did not commit?

Could age be making you more sensitive to alcohol?

Adults of all ages can have problems with alcohol, but typically, senior citizens are not the ones going out to drinking parties. Unfortunately, as people age, their bodies change. Alcohol is not metabolized as efficiently as it was when a person was younger. Medications change how alcohol affects a person. It is essential to consider how alcohol affects you based on many different factors before you get behind the wheel of a car after you have been drinking.

What is double jeopardy?

If you have watched movies, TV or listened to the radio, then it is likely that you have heard the term double jeopardy in reference to criminal trials. Double jeopardy is part of a clause written into the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution that protects you from being tried twice for the same crime. There are a few exemptions to double jeopardy, and some states do not guarantee this right, although the Bill of Rights applies to all local and state governments, ensuring that all defendants get the same protection.

Why do I need a criminal defense lawyer?

It seems like common sense that you would want a lawyer to represent you if you are charged with a crime. It is not for nothing that the Constitution provides a right to be represented by counsel in a criminal case. However, for a variety of reasons, many people seriously consider representing themselves. Some simply do not trust lawyers, others are concerned about the expense, and yet others feel that their case is a simple matter they can handle themselves. While these feelings can be valid, there are several strong reasons that legal DIY is not a good idea.

Multiple functions let ignition interlock devices monitor drivers

If you should have the misfortune of being charged with driving under the influence, your whole life could be turned upside down. Even a single charge could result in a loss of your driving privileges. But if you should be arrested multiple times within a certain time frame, you will be facing a number of possible penalties that include a license suspension.

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