How Defensible Are Florida Drug Possession Cases?

Interviewer: How defensible are these cases?

Ladan Law: The advantage is that the prosecutors at a local level will make a logical distinction between whether somebody is an addict or whether they think they’re making a business.

For somebody’s who’s in possession of illegal, prescription narcotics, another common scenario is as follows. We have a laborer who was on a roof and hurt their back. Maybe they don’t have enough insurance to get their own medication, or their doctor gives them a prescription and they can’t afford to make a follow-up appointment and the prescription runs out. They’re still in pain but they still need to get up and go to work. They’ll start borrowing pills from their friends.

That type of defendant is seen in a different light than a person who’s made a business of selling these pills for $20 or $30 each.

On a simple possession case, there are things that we can do regarding negotiations with the prosecutor. It’s important to craft a plan that the judge and prosecutor can live with. This would include some kind of treatment amongst other things.

I would say very often we are able to take an addicted defendant, get them the help they need, and not have these really severe prison sentences imposed on them. They would get a little bit of rehabilitation, and most likely see some probation time.

There are avenues to help people, and it’s not self explanatory. It’s something where you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to give you the options, so you can make a decision.

Interviewer: Besides trying to establish whether or not someone has substance abuse problems, are these cases all defendable?

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.

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