Law enforcement agencies often cast wide nets in undercover drug investigations, and sometimes individuals who were in the wrong place at the wrong time find themselves facing serious charges. An allegation that a drug crime has occurred does not automatically lead to a conviction, and a strong criminal defense can challenge the prosecution's evidence and protect the accused from potentially long-term negative consequences.
More than six dozen people are now facing criminal charges in connection with a four-month investigation in Central Florida. Multiple law enforcement agencies served arrest warrants after seven ounces of cocaine, two pounds of heroin and several hundred prescription pills were seized by investigators. Police also seized weapons and vehicles belonging to the suspects.
A person can face additional charges if police believe that a drug crime was committed in the presence of a child. In this case, authorities say that children were present at three of the residences that were searched. Those children have reportedly been placed in the care of other family members.
Large-scale drug investigations are complicated, and police often make mistakes. For a person to be convicted of a drug offense, authorities must establish an evidentiary link between the individual and the drug in question. In many cases, it is possible to show that no such link exists. Additionally, if at any point police overstepped their bounds and violated a defendant's rights, then it may be possible to have evidence suppressed and the charge dismissed.
Anyone accused of a drug offense has a right to fight the charge. A criminal defense attorney can investigate the allegations, develop a defense strategy and work to minimize the negative impact on the accused.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, "'Huge bust' in Lake results in drug charges against 74 suspected dealers," Jayna Omaye, Sept. 2, 2014