Fort Lauderdale Drug Crimes Attorney
If you have recently been arrested for a drug crime in Broward County it is important to begin working on your defenses immediately. Whether you are in custody or out of custody, retaining experienced and reliable counsel should be your number one priority. The Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers at Pagan & Stroleny, P.L. have years of experience and countless successes in handling criminal drug offenses ranging from misdemeanor cannabis possession to trafficking in controlled substances. Criminal defense attorneys Christopher Pagan, Esq. and Julian Stroleny, Esq. were previously Assistant State Attorneys prosecuting drug crimes in state court and now they put that experience to use in defending our clients.
We Represent Clients for all Drug Crime Cases, including:
- Possession of Drugs
- Sale of Drugs
- Transportation of Drugs
- Trafficking in Controlled Substances
- Federal Drug Crimes
- State Drug Crimes
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
- Prescription Drugs
Analyzing a Drug Crimes Case
There is no substitute for experience. Handling drug cases, litigating drug cases, and being knowledgeable about drug court are the best preparation for defending drug crimes. Some important questions that need to be asked are:
- How did law enforcement come into contact with the accused?
- Where were the drugs located?
- Did law enforcement have a warrant or legal justification for a search?
- Was there a confidential informant?
- What was the confidential informant promised in exchange for their assistance?
- Was the alleged transaction videotaped? Were there wire taps?
- What statements were made by the accused? What were the circumstances of any statements made?
- Was a K9 unit involved?
Common Fort Lauderdale Criminal Drug Charges
Florida’s most common drug arrests are possession charges. Possession is the willful holding of a controlled substance whether for personal use, or to sell.
To establish an individual is in possession of an illegal drug, certain elements must be proven by the Assistant State Attorney. One such element is the illegal nature of the controlled substance. The prosecutor must show that what was seized from the defendant is deemed a controlled substance under Florida law, this is usually performed with the assistance of a crime lab. Most importantly, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant had control over the location of the controlled substance. This is sometimes difficult to prove when the drug was not found on the Defendant’s body, or in a container on the individual’s body.
While it is illegal to possess illegal substances, it is also illegal to possess any equipment that promotes the distribution or consumption of these unlawful drugs. Use, possession, manufacture, delivery, transportation, advertisement, or retail sale of drug paraphernalia are violations of Florida statute 893.147 and may result in jail time or probation.
Any individual who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, or imports unlawful controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or any illegal drug is facing a severe criminal offense in the state of Florida, which requires a substantial legal defense. All Florida drug trafficking crimes are First (1st) degree felonies and carry mandatory sentences. (§893.135, Fla. Statute)
Florida Marijuana Trafficking – Mandatory Minimum Penalty
- 25 to 2,000 pounds > 3 years prison time, $25,000 fine
- 2,000 pounds but less than 10,000> 7 years prison time, $50,000 fine
- 10,000 pounds or more> 15 years prison time, $200,000 fine
Florida Cocaine Trafficking – Mandatory Minimum Penalty
- 28 to 200 grams> 3 years prison time, $25,000 fine
- 200 to 400 grams> 7 years prison time, $100,000 fine
- 400 grams to 150 kilograms> 15 years prison time, $250,000 fine
Florida Heroin Trafficking – Mandatory Minimum Penalty
- 4 to 14 grams> 3 years prison time, $50,000 fine
- 14 to 28 grams> 15 years prison time, $100,000 fine
- 28 grams to 30 kilograms> 25 years prison time, $500,000 fine
Drug Crimes Penalties
Penalties for drug crimes vary from diversion programs and probation sentences all the way to lengthy prison sentences and in the most severe cases capital punishment. Regardless of the drug crime you are charged with in Broward County, your best bet is to consult with a criminal defense attorney to understand the liability you are facing. Commonly, those accused of a crime are shocked to hear the potential consequences they face over a small amount of drugs only intended for personal possession. Oftentimes, drug crimes in Broward come with minimum mandatory sentences as outlined in Florida Statues, Section 893. Preparing your defense early on means better results in the future.
Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are concerned about the consequences of a drug arrest in Broward County, call the offices of Pagan & Stroleny, P.L. to immediately schedule your free consultation, (954) 256-1464. Meet with our former drug crime prosecutors and discuss your options for fighting your case. Our criminal defense lawyers are ready and willing to help you get the best possible result on any criminal drug charge.