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How Do I Beat A Felony Drug Charge?

June 2, 2021 / Drug Charges

If you wonder how do I beat a felony drug charge, you may recognize that you face an uphill battle. Without legal representation, that fight will be even harder. The United States has made it clear for the last few decades that drugs and drug trafficking are going to be punished severely. What started off as local level enforcement quickly turned into a plethora of federal crimes and punishments intended to staunch the flow of drugs across state and national borders. Florida has become a prime location for federal and state law enforcement attention, clamping down on both commercial trafficking and individual users. Each year we have seen more laws and more punishments aimed at reducing serious drug crime. Unfortunately, many individuals whose offenses were relatively minor have found themselves being punished severely for felonies and crimes meant for much bigger problems than simple drug usage.

Drug Charges Should Not Be Ignored

Even a first-time drug felony violation can put someone in a Florida prison for a number of years. In making the punishment severe, the intent is to send a message that people should think twice before they take the risk. As a result, a number of penalties range anywhere from one to ten years just for one violation alone.

A strong legal defense may reduce felony drug charges and their associated severe penalties, at times even getting the charges dismissed. A lot depends on the quality and experience of the defense attorney involved.

So, How Do I Beat a Felony Drug Charge?

Many assume that attorneys simply apply the right formula, do the right things, file the right papers and the felony drug charge will be overcome. That’s not true. Beating a felony drug charge involves a lot of experience, knowledge of court rules, understanding of rules of evidence and criminal procedure, and having a keen eye for mistakes made by law enforcement. This takes time and work, so the sooner an attorney is retained to defend against felony drug charges, the better.

You May Still Worry: How Do I Fight a Felony Drug Charge?

One strategy focuses on looking carefully at how the case has been handled and the law applied, to detect and benefit from possible errors. This is commonly known as “getting off on a technicality,” but it’s really an admission that a defense attorney was smart enough to find a mistake someone made and use it effectively for a client. The most common technical defenses apply to how law enforcement acted during the arrest and evidence gathering. If these actions can be found as questionable or compromised, then the actions or even the evidence can be nullified in court. Sometimes prosecutors are then forced to either drop or reduce the charges or offer a more favorable plea agreement. These “technicalities” include:

  • Unlawful Search and Seizure Actions – The government cannot just enter a home and grab anything it wants. The 4th Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens against unreasonable search and seizure. If law enforcement officers breach it, a good defense attorney will find it out and assert that defense in court. The move is very useful in preventing the admission of incorrectly seized evidence.
  • Improper or Missing Miranda Rights Notice – Every person in police custody is to be informed of their rights before questioning. These are known as Miranda rights, named for a 1966 Supreme Court case. They include things such as the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning. Sometimes, though, law enforcement doesn’t follow the letter of the law. In these situations, a defense attorney can argue that anything said by the arrestee has to be thrown out as evidence.
  • Entrapment – When the government sets up a situation that causes a person to commit a crime that he had no previous intent to commit, that’s entrapment. Law enforcement can do a lot to investigate a suspect and criminal activity, but a line may be crossed when a target is encouraged to commit a crime. A successful entrapment defense can cause a case to be thrown out entirely, punishing the prosecution for bringing a faulty case in front of the court.
  • Plea Bargain Agreements – Prosecutors have a tremendous range of possibilities in what to charge a defendant with as well to negotiate different outcomes. The courts and prosecutors simply don’t have the resources to fully pursue every criminal case, so plea bargains and lower sentences are routinely offered in return for a guilty plea.  This strategy moves up to two-thirds of cases through the criminal court system faster. For the defense, a plea bargain offers a compromise approach; while a guilty plea is required, the agreement can potentially reduce a felony drug charge from its most severe level to one with less than 20 percent of the punishment. It depends on how weak the case is and how strong the defense argument may be. 

Can Felony Drug Charges Be Dropped?

In a word, yes, felony drug charges can absolutely be dropped. However, it takes the right expertise and skill. If you’re facing felony drug charges, securing qualified defense help is of utmost importance. The prosecutor may be threatening you with a worst case scenario, but your outcome can be significantly different with the right legal team. The drug charge attorneys at Panella Law Firm can help. Our criminal defense lawyers can provide you with some of the best strategy and effectiveness in Florida. Call us at 407-233-1822 or email us to connect. Your case matters, and the sooner we can engage, the faster we can begin to build a solid defense to protect your interests.

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