Advocating for Those Accused of Cocaine Drug Offenses
Florida’s location at the southern tip of the country has stimulated a massive drug importation trade with a special focus on cocaine. During the 1980s, cities like Miami saw many kilograms of cocaine flood the city and flow throughout Florida. Plenty of movies and television shows have been produced that discuss the kingpins and finances that built the city’s skyline. Although the glory days of Florida’s “Cocaine Cowboys” has passed, cocaine possession, sales, and trafficking remain prevalent in Orlando and other areas of the state. Given the history of cocaine commerce in Florida, law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors are particularly passionate about pursuing convictions involving cocaine.
Possession of Cocaine in Florida
Even possession of cocaine under 28 grams constitutes a felony under Florida law. The penalties associated with possession of cocaine are significant
- Incarceration in state prison
- Fines up to a maximum of $5,000
- Automatic 12-month suspension of your driver’s license through DMV if found guilty
- Potential civil seizure/forfeiture of your vehicle if used in the commission of the offense
- Mandatory participation in a substance abuse evaluation and lengthy treatment program
- Exposure to random drug testing during probation
- Probation or community control
These formal penalties do not reflect the full scope of consequences for conviction of cocaine possession. A felony conviction will impact future employment opportunities, certain promotions, housing options, academic pursuits, constitutional rights (e.g. 2nd amendment rights), immigration privileges, and more.
Why Criminal Defense by the Ladan Law Firm Makes a Difference
When facing these serious penalties along with the complex distinctions and nuances that characterize Florida’s possession of cocaine offense, you need a tenacious attorney who will fight for your rights. Our law firm is prepared to challenge police procedures, the validity of searches, the credibility of “snitches,” lab testing, and other aspects of the government’s case from initial surveillance and investigation by law enforcement through interrogations, lineups, and court proceedings. The Ladan Law Firm, P.A. has been tenaciously defending clients charged with cocaine offenses since we were founded in 2001. Our criminal defense lawyers possess over thirty years of collective experience.
Because our attorneys are former prosecutors, they understand both the strategies that prosecutors will utilize and recognize common mistakes. Our attorneys’ backgrounds as former Assistant State Attorneys provides a significant advantage for our clients because we bring an insider’s knowledge to the defense of serious drug charges including cocaine offenses.
Defending Against Possession of Cocaine Charge
While the defense strategy we employ in your case will depend on the specific facts and circumstances, we closely scrutinize the legal issues and facts involved in your arrest. If your charge is based on allegations of “actual possession,” we might challenge the charges based on the lack of a sufficient basis to justify the search or improper execution of the search (e.g. search beyond the scope of the warrant). When we are successful in establishing the search was illegal, we can move for exclusion of all evidence that was obtained because of the search as “fruit of the poisonous tree. If you made incriminating statements during interrogations before retaining our office, we evaluate whether the damaging statements were voluntary and provided without a violation of Miranda standards.
Many cocaine possession cases involve charges based on “constructive possession,” such as a package of cocaine found in the glove box of your vehicle. The prosecutor must prove that you knew the drugs were present and that you had actual “dominion and control” over the drugs. Our criminal defense attorneys can make it difficult for the prosecutor to establish that people have the requisite dominion and control even when there is no dispute the accused knew where the drugs were located. If you are arrested with drugs in your vehicle, we might argue the drugs belonged to another vehicle occupant or a prior passenger who rode in the vehicle. These are just a couple of strategies that we might utilize to defend you if you are charged with cocaine possession.
Cocaine Sale, Trafficking & Possession of Large Quantities
The situation is even more urgent if you are charged with the sale, trafficking, or possession of cocaine in quantities over 28 grams. The prison time for possession of larger quantities of cocaine can reach into decades and staggering fines. For example, possession of 28-200 grams of cocaine, even when evidence of intent to sell is absent, constitutes trafficking. This offense is a first-degree felony. The punishment includes imprisonment for a minimum of three years and a maximum of thirty in state prison and a maximum fine up to $50,000. Possession of 200-400 grams results in exposure to a sentence of incarceration up to thirty years and a maximum fine of as much as $100,000.
The sale of cocaine constitutes a second-degree felony. Further, the prosecutor might charge intent to sell, depending on the quantity of cocaine, the amount of defendant’s cash, or the packaging of the drugs.
Contact our Firm to Protect Your Rights and Freedoms
We are dedicated to protecting the rights of citizens from overzealous law enforcement officers and prosecutors who engage in a rush to judgement. We carefully analyze the underlying facts and law enforcement tactics so that we can build the strongest factual and procedural defenses to cocaine charges involving possession, intent to sell, sales, and trafficking. We offer a free consultation so call us at 407-487-2522 or email us to schedule a consultation in our Orlando, Longwood, or Kissimmee office. Let us start protecting your reputation and freedom today.