Have you been arrested for a drug crime? Do you need legal representation you can count on to help defend your case? If so, an experienced drug lawyer in Sarasota may be able to help.
There are many different types of drug crimes. The type of drug crime you have been charged with will largely determine how your Sarasota criminal defense lawyer approaches your case. You could be facing serious penalties if you are found guilty, so it is critical to take charge of your case by finding an exceptional defense attorney.
Fortunately, Michael Fayard, Attorney at Law may be able to help. When you are facing drug charges of any kind, you need a Sarasota drug lawyer you can trust to fight for your liberties. If I am able to take on your case, I will work diligently to build a powerful defense so you get back to your life.
Common Types of Drug Crimes in Sarasota
There are many different types of controlled substances and many different ways in which you can be arrested for a drug crime. For example, you could be arrested if you are found in possession of:
- Other narcotics
These are a very small number of drugs you could be facing charges for. And possession isn’t the only type of crime involving these drugs. You could also be facing paraphernalia, cultivation, manufacture, sale, intent to sell, distribution, and trafficking charges, depending on how much of the drug was found on you and other aggravating factors.
Consequences You’ll Face If Convicted of a Sarasota Drug-Related Offense
Penalties vary largely based on the type of drug involved in your case, how much you were in possession of, what your criminal record reflects, and a number of other factors.
For example, if you were found to be in possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, you could be charged with a first degree misdemeanor. This is punishable by a maximum jail term of one year and fines of up to $1,000. However, if you were found to be in possession of cocaine, you could be charged with a third degree felony, spend up to five years in prison, pay fines up to $5,000, and even have your license revoked for up to two years.
Possession charges are also some of the drug crimes that carry less severe penalties. If you have been arrested for manufacturing or trafficking of drugs, you can expect the consequences to be far more severe. For example, if you are found to have 25 pounds or more of marijuana, you could be charged with trafficking. Marijuana trafficking charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years and fines of up to $200,000.
Similarly, if you were found to be in possession of more than 28 grams of cocaine, you could face life in prison without the possibility of parole. Again, the penalties will vary based on the amount of the drug you have in your possession.
Defense Strategies for Drug Allegations
Your Sarasota criminal defense lawyer must closely examine the details of your case to figure out which defensive strategy makes the most sense in your case. There are some types of defenses more commonly used than others when it comes to drug crimes, including entrapment, unwitting possession, and illegal search and seizure.
Entrapment occurs when law enforcement coerces a person to commit a crime they wouldn’t have otherwise committed. This can often happen in cases in which police are using a confidential informant or conducting a sting operation.
Unwitting possession means you were in possession of said drug, but you were not aware of that fact. Perhaps you were stopped and gave the OK for your vehicle to be searched, for example. If police found cocaine under your passenger seat, it would be reasonable for them to assume it was yours. But that may not be the case.
Illegal Search and Seizure
Without a warrant, law enforcement has no legal right to search your vehicle, your purse, your home, or any other property. If they choose to conduct a search anyway, not only will they have violated your rights, but any evidence collected during the search (i.e. the seizure) can no longer be used against you in court.
These are just a few potential defenses that could be used in your case. It is also possible that negotiating a plea agreement with the prosecuting attorney may be a better option for you. The only way to know which path is most likely to yield positive results is to have your Sarasota drug lawyer review the charges against you.
Sarasota Drug Crime FAQ
Being arrested and charged with a drug-related crime can be confusing. With your freedom on the line, you may have many questions you need answered now.
To give you some peace of mind, I have included the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding drug crimes in Sarasota. Any additional questions you might have can be discussed further during your free consultation.
Is marijuana legal in Florida?
No, marijuana is not legal for recreational purposes in Florida. Only qualified individuals are able to consume marijuana products for medicinal purposes. The cultivation, manufacture, sale, distribution, and possession of marijuana, marijuana products, and paraphernalia are all considered criminal offenses in the state of Florida.
How long will a conviction stay on my record?
The only time a conviction will not remain on your record for the rest of your life is if you were to petition the courts to have your records expunged. However, not every type of drug case is eligible for expungement. Your lawyer must look at your case to determine whether expunction is a possibility.
If you have yet to be convicted of a drug crime in Sarasota, your best chance at avoiding your record being smeared by a guilty verdict is to work with a criminal defense lawyer to obtain an acquittal.
What if I was on probation when I was arrested?
That really depends on the terms of your probation. A Violation of Probation (VOP) will likely occur if you are arrested while on probation. Probation violations can result in a warrant being issued for your arrest, depending on the circumstances of your case.
You must contact your Sarasota drug lawyer and your probation officer to determine what your next steps will be if you have violated the terms of your probation.
Contact a Drug Lawyer in Sarasota
If you are interested in learning more about how a qualified Sarasota drug lawyer could help you be found not guilty in a court of law, get in touch with Michael Fayard, Attorney at Law, to discuss the details of your case. You can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by giving our office a call at 941-306-1310 or filling out the quick contact form we have included at the bottom of this page.