How To Defend A Drug Possession Charge In Central Florida
According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), there are nearly 2 million drug-related arrests by federal, state, and local law enforcement officers nationwide each year. The majority of drug arrests are for unlawful possession of controlled substances. Depending on the amount and the specific drug in questions, a possession charge could carry severe criminal penalties.
Of course, a charge is an allegation. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof rests on the shoulder of the prosecution. This raises an important question: How do you defend a drug possession charge in Florida? Here, our Orlando drug possession defense lawyer explains the key strategies for defending drug charges in Central Florida.
- Challenge the Validity of the Search and/or the Arrest (Lack of Probable Cause)
One of the most effective ways to defend against drug possession charges in Florida is to challenge the validity of the search and/or arrest. If law enforcement officers did not have probable cause to conduct a search or make an arrest, any evidence obtained may be deemed inadmissible in court. Probable cause refers to the reasonable belief that a crime has been, is being, or will be committed. If you can establish that the search or arrest was conducted without probable cause, the prosecution’s case may be significantly weakened, leading to a dismissal or reduction of charges. A lawyer can review your Fourth Amendment rights.
- Deny Possession (No Knowledge and/or Control)
Prosecutors generally need to prove that you have knowledge and control over the banned substance. A defense strategy is to deny possession, asserting that you had no knowledge and/or no actual control over the drugs in question. If you can demonstrate that you were unaware of the presence of drugs or that they were not under your control, you may be able to avoid conviction. It is a defense strategy that may be especially effective in a constructive possession case.
- Consider Your Options for Resolving the Matter through a Plea Deal
If a dismissal or acquittal is unlikely, you may consider resolving the matter through a plea deal. A plea deal, or plea bargain, is an agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor to resolve the case without going to trial. In exchange for a guilty plea, the prosecutor may offer a reduced sentence, lesser charges, or other concessions. In some drug possession cases in Central Florida, there may also be options for pre-trial diversion, potentially including drug treatment programs.
Contact Our Orlando, FL Drug Possession Defense Attorney Today
At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando drug possession defense lawyer is an aggressive advocate for justice. Every defendant has the right to raise a vigorous, zealous defense. If you or your loved one was arrested for a drug possession charge, we are here to help. Contact our Orlando office today to set up your confidential initial consultation. Our criminal defense firm handles drug possession and drug distribution charges in Orange County and across all of Central Florida.