Criminal Defense Questions: What’s Next After an Arrest for Possession?

Question: My friend needed me to bring medication to her, and during the drive I was pulled over, searched, and arrested. I’ve never even gotten a ticket before, and I really don’t know what to expect going forward. Help!

Amir’s Answer: Possession of a Controlled Substance Without a Prescription is a felony of the 3rd degree, punishable by up to five (5) years in prison, five (5) years of probation or some combination thereof. It the court adjudicates you guilty, in addition to being a convicted felon, you will lose your driving privilege for up to two (2) years. Presupposing you are a first time offender, you should not be adjudicated in any circumstance and diversion will likely be the State’s best offer. If you don’t want to accept diversion, and I am not suggesting you should or should not, then you will need to be prepared to litigate the case and present the State with your witness’s testimony regarding her pills. She’ll need to establish that she has a valid prescription for the very pills you were in possession of, how they came into your possession and what caused you to take them to her. All of that information should be collected by your criminal defense attorney and maintained in confidence so that should the negotiations break down, you will not have jeopardized your case in any manner.

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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