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Florida Criminal Defense Blog

Florida traffic stop leads to meth seizure

A routine traffic stop on the evening of April 3 led to the discovery and seizure of a significant quantity of methamphetamine according to a report from the Gainesville Police Department. A 41-year-old Gainesville man and a 38-year-old Deltona man were taken into custody at the scene in connection with the seized drugs. Media reports reveal that they have been charged with trafficking narcotics and possessing drug paraphernalia and are being held at a detention facility operated by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office. The bonds for both men have been set at $51,000.

According to the GPD, the car the two men were traveling in was pulled over on Interstate 75, which is also known as Florida State Road 93, at approximately 7:45 p.m. for speeding and tailgating. The officer who made the stop says that he became suspicious when he noticed one of the men attempting to conceal an item by placing it between his legs. The officer claims that he then searched the man and found a plastic bag containing 5.2 grams of a substance that appeared to be methamphetamine. A subsequent search of the car is said to have led to the discovery two sandwich bags containing a further 193 grams of the drug along with digital scales and a meth pipe.

Florida man accused of selling drugs near school

A Florida man has been charged with various drug possession offenses after cocaine, marijuana and drug processing and packaging materials were discovered in his home and vehicle, according to a report from the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office. OCSO Deputies assisted by members of the Okaloosa County Street Crimes Unit conducted searches of the man's vehicle and Fort Walton Beach residence on March 21. Media accounts do not reveal what may have led law enforcement to believe that the Lloyd Street property was being used to store and distribute drugs.

Before the search warrant was executed, the man admitted to deputies that a container in his garage contained about 10 grams of marijuana. However, when deputies looked inside the container, they say they found cocaine hydrochloride that had been packaged for sale along with marijuana and drug paraphernalia. A search of the kitchen reportedly led to the discovery of additional items of drug paraphernalia including a device used to grind marijuana. Deputies say they found more cocaine hydrochloride and drug packaging materials in the man's car.

Florida corrections officer charged with fentanyl trafficking

A Florida corrections officer faces felony drug charges that carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 25 years in prison after police allegedly discovered large amounts of drugs and drug paraphernalia in her home. The 33-year-old woman and her 35-year-old boyfriend were taken into custody when officers from the Hollywood Police Department executed a search warrant on March 7. Broward County court records reveal that she is being detained on a $100,000 bond.

According to a HPD report, the couple's alleged criminal activities came to light during an undercover narcotics operation. Police say that the pair trafficked fentanyl mixed with heroin less than 1,000 feet from an elementary school. During the search of the couple's residence, officers claim to have discovered approximately 65.6 grams of fentanyl, unspecified quantities of cocaine and heroin, a firearm, ammunition for the firearm, a credit card skimming device, and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Florida case challenges police searches based on marijuana odor

A lawyer for a man arrested in Southwest Miami-Dade County has filed a motion to challenge the validity of a search and seizure. The public defender argued in his court filing that the increasing legality of marijuana products in the state eliminated its scent as a reason to suspect criminality.

The defendant faces charges for possession of marijuana and intent to sell or deliver as well as cocaine possession. Police claim to have found both substances in the man's vehicle after initiating a search because they smelled marijuana. His lawyer hopes to eliminate the evidence from the case on the grounds that the search violated the man's Constitutional protection from unlawful searches.

Defense casts doubt on witnesses in Medicare fraud trial

Federal prosecutors have launched their trial against a health care executive accused of fraudulently billing Medicare and Medicaid for approximately $1 billion. The 50-year-old defendant ran over 20 nursing or assisted living homes in Florida. Prosecutors have built their case on secret recordings of conversations between the defendant and two co-conspirators who cooperated with the FBI after entering guilty pleas on criminal charges. The defense attorney warned jurors to remain skeptical of statements from witnesses with criminal backgrounds who might wish to redirect blame onto the defendant.

The defendant's attorney framed criminal accusations of fraud as business disputes over billings to government health programs. The defendant was focused on running his businesses and the treatments described on billings came from doctors.

Thousands of Florida doctors skipped mandatory opioid training

Every state in the U.S. currently faces a devastating opioid crisis. The addictive prescription drugs have caused 1700 deaths by overdose in Florida alone. Many factors contribute to the widespread abuse of opiates, including the over-prescription of these drugs by physicians.

To combat over-prescription, the state of Florida mandated all doctors and dentists take a two-hour continued education course on prescribing opioids. However, according the Florida Department of Health, 25 percent of Florida’s physicians did not participate in the mandatory training.

What is the penalty for using stolen credit cards in Florida?

Because of the vast number of visitors to Central Florida each year, the area is a haven for stolen credit cards.

However, what constitutes the usage of a stolen credit card is more broad that most people think. You can be guilty of credit card theft if you:

Drug Charges - Mandatory Minimum Sentences - Can I Get A Downward Departure?

So often my clients ask me if they qualify for a downward departure when facing a drug trafficking charge or drug charges where the quantity is high enough that it qualifies as a "trafficking" charge.  This is one of the most devastating effects of our current laws regarding drug trafficking -- A judge has NO discretion to downward depart on a drug trafficking charge UNLESS the State attorney (the prosecutor) agrees.  Otherwise, the Judge, regardless of it being a first offense or that the person was not selling drugs, but merely possessed over X amount of a certain drug, unfortunately that automatically triggers these harsh penalties.  

What does a drug trafficking charge mean in Florida?

Florida takes drug crimes very seriously. If you're caught with a controlled substance and charged with drug possession, you're facing hefty fines and penalties. But if it can be proven that you were trafficking the drugs in your possession, the consequences you face are much more severe.

A drug trafficking conviction means a court can prove that you knowingly possessed a large amount of an illegal substance with the intent to distribute and sell the drug or that you knowingly brought the drug into the state. It must also be proven that the substances you were found with were in fact, banned substances, which may involve testing them in a lab.

Charged with a crime while on vacation in Florida?

Over 60 million tourists visited the beaches of Florida in just the first half of 2017. As this number has continued to grow more and more each year, it's no surprise that some vacationers run into issues with the law during their care-free visit.

If your Florida fun led to unexpected charges, you may be unsure how to handle proceedings. Here are a few key things to help you deal with an out-of-state charge.

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