Florida may seem like a dream come true with its sunshine and beaches. Still, the reality can be very different if you’re accused of drug trafficking. Florida has strict drug laws, and a drug trafficking conviction can result in harsh penalties like lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record.
If you are facing these charges, you may be wondering how to get a drug trafficking charge dismissed in Florida. The good news is that there are defenses that may result in reduced charges or even a dismissal when you have the help of a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. Contact Moses and Rooth to discuss your options.
Know Your Rights: A Crucial Weapon in Your Defense
Certain fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Florida law protect you throughout the criminal justice process. A violation of these rights can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Here are some fundamental rights to remember:
- The right to remain silent,
- The right to an attorney,
- The right to know what the charges are and why they are being brought against you,
- The right to a fair and speedy trial,
- The right to an open trial by an impartial jury, and
- The right to be protected from unlawful searches and seizures.
You can avoid incriminating yourself and ensure a fair legal process by exercising these rights calmly and politely.
Common Drug Trafficking Defenses in Florida
It may be tempting to handle the legal system on your own, but it’s important to remember that every case is different. The best defense often requires the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Below are eight of the most commonly used defenses against a drug trafficking charge in Florida
Unlawful Search and Seizure
Did the police go beyond their legal authority during your arrest?
Were search warrants properly obtained?
If not, any evidence gathered may be deemed inadmissible. If critical evidence is excluded, the judge might dismiss the case. A lawyer can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your arrest and petition the court to suppress any illegally obtained evidence.
Lack of Probable Cause
For the police to charge you with drug trafficking, they are required to base the arrest on more than just a hunch. The entire case may fall apart if the police cannot show that, at the time of the arrest, they had sufficient grounds (i.e., probable cause) to suspect you engaged in the crime. Your attorney can challenge the basis of your arrest and highlight any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
If you had the drugs for a legitimate medical reason, it could be a strong defense. This could include having a valid prescription for a controlled substance or being diagnosed with a medical condition that requires its use. Medical records and doctors’ testimonies can be extremely helpful in establishing this defense.
Duress or Coercion
If you were forced or threatened into participating in drug trafficking, silence is not your friend. Demonstrating that you were a victim of duress or coercion can be a compelling defense, potentially leading to dismissal or reduced charges.
Were you pressured or manipulated by law enforcement officers into committing a crime you wouldn’t have otherwise? If so, this illegal tactic could lead to the dismissal of the charges against you. Your attorney can carefully examine the interaction with law enforcement. If such manipulation exists, they can construct a compelling case for entrapment.
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have serious consequences. If you were not the perpetrator, your lawyer can address this in one of two ways at trial. They can poke holes in the testimony of the prosecution’s identification witnesses by presenting witnesses that contradict the identification, analyzing surveillance footage, and pointing out inconsistencies in the identification process. In other words, if they show the jury that the identification was questionable, that would amount to reasonable doubt, and you could win a not guilty verdict at trial.
Another way to handle this in Florida is to assert an alibi defense. This is an affirmative defense, which means that as the defendant, you will have to offer evidence of your alibi. This could be a person who was with you at another location at the time of the offense. Either way, establishing the identification as faulty could get your case dismissed or win an acquittal at trial.
Lack of Knowledge or Intent
Were you unknowingly in possession of drugs? Were you coerced into taking part in a drug trafficking operation without knowing what it entailed? Using your lack of knowledge or intent to your advantage can be a powerful defense.
Chain of Custody Issues
The State must handle the evidence against you and document it with extreme care. The prosecution weakens its case if gaps or inconsistencies exist in the chain of custody.
Working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to assist you in exploring these and other potential defenses is critical to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.
When facing a drug trafficking charge in Florida, choosing the right defense is crucial. Moses & Rooth, with over 30 years of experience navigating Florida’s complex legal landscape, stands by your side. Our seasoned criminal defense attorneys have secured countless dismissals and favorable outcomes for clients in similar situations. We meticulously analyze the facts, identify flaws in the prosecution’s case, and craft a defense tailored to your specific circumstances. Don’t gamble with your future. Let Moses & Rooth’s proven track record and unwavering commitment to client success fight for your freedom and help you beat your drug trafficking charge in Florida. Contact us today.