It’s not exactly news to point out the Orlando area has a problem with drug dealers and illegal drug manufacturers. Indeed, many drug operations work inconspicuously out of residential homes. Perhaps you suspect there is a dealer or producer in your own neighborhood.
Here are a few common signs, based on advice from law enforcement, that may indicate your neighbor is involved with the drug trade.
- There’s an unusual amount of foot traffic in and out of the house. Lots of people run (legal) small businesses out of their homes. But if you notice a large amount of people coming and going from a house, particularly at night or outside of normal business hours, that suggests there may be something fishy going on. Take note if there are a lot of strangers–i.e., people who don’t live in the neighborhood–paying quick visits, making deliveries, and exchanging small items for cash.
- Your neighbors appear to be financially successful despite not having jobs. If you live in a run-of-the-mill, middle-class neighborhood, it won’t escape notice if someone moves in and owns a flashy car or a big-screen television. In and of itself, this is not cause for alarm. But if your new neighbors do not appear to have jobs or any obvious source of income, that may suggest something more sinister.
- The house itself does not look or smell right. If you smell noxious or musty odors coming from a house, that could suggest the presence of a meth lab. Additional visual cues include blacked-out windows (even during the day) and unusually high fences or similar security measures that seem out of place for the neighborhood.
- You notice drug paraphernalia in the area. Drug dealers–and their customers–are not always neat. If you find syringes or small plastic bags littering the area, that’s a good indication there’s at least drug use in the area. Also take note if there are a high number of chemical containers in your neighbor’s trash, such as paint thinner, antifreeze, and drain cleaner. All of these items are used in the production of meth.
Should I Call the Police?
Of course, suspicion is not evidence. And many people are understandably reluctant to contact the police based on nothing more than a hunch and some unusual activity. So what should you do if you suspect drug activity?
One step you can take is to check and see if your neighbors have a criminal record. Arrests and convictions are a matter of public record. And there are a number of online services that allow you to conduct a more comprehensive criminal background check.
But above all else, never attempt to confront someone if you suspect they are manufacturing or selling drugs. If you honestly believe there is a problem, you should contact the local police or sheriff’s office and let them look into it. Do not take the law into your own hands.
Have You Been Falsely Accused of Making or Selling Drugs?
On the other side of the fence, many Orlando-area residents find themselves the target of false and unsubstantiated drug charges.
Concerned citizens who call the police thinking there is drug trafficking happening at a nearby home aren’t always right. Sloppy and lazy police work worsens the problem and can lead to false accusations and possibly even a false arrest.
What Happens If the Police Arrest Me for Drug Distribution?
What happens if the police raid your house because your neighbor thinks you have a drug distribution enterprise in your home? Are you responsible for proving your innocence? What if you believe the police are disregarding your civil rights while arresting you? That’s when you need a highly-experienced Florida drug charge defense lawyer to fight for you. A skilled drug defense attorney will know the best defenses for your situation.
What Can A Defense Lawyer Do For Me?
Making a drug case against someone is tough if the police do not find any drugs. But they can try to make a case for manufacturing narcotics if they find contraband generally associated with making drugs—even if they didn’t seize any drugs from you or your home.
The cops can also charge you with intent to distribute even if you have only a small amount of drugs on you. The police will look for evidence to strengthen their cases, like piles of cash, digital scales, and packaging materials.
However, a skilled and knowledgeable narcotics defense attorney can use that evidence to benefit their client. Having money is not a crime. Also, drug packaging and a digital scale could merely mean a drug user weighs their drugs before using them. Many drug users weigh their drugs to see if their dealer “shorted” them.
An experienced lawyer understands how to challenge a search warrant. Challenging the search warrant affidavit is one way to get your charges dismissed or reduced. The police have to gather enough evidence to amount to probable cause before getting a warrant. And although it’s not a high standard to meet, the judge has to throw out the evidence against you if the police put unsubstantiated charges in their affidavit warrant.
Do You Need Help with Drug Charges in Orlando?
If you are arrested and charged with possession or distribution, you need to contact an experienced Orlando criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the offices of Moses & Rooth, Attorneys at Law, at (407) 377-0150, to schedule a consultation with a member of our team today.