Criminal Charges For Possession Of Cocaine
With a can of Four Loko alcoholic drink still cold to the touch in his truck and a crack cocaine pipe in his pocket, a Palm Beach County Fire Rescue firefighter allegedly waved down a police officer for help in reporting a robbery.
Now Mark Freseman, 45, of North Palm Beach faces criminal charges including possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of medication without a prescription.
He was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail Tuesday and was released on his own recognizance the same day.
Fire rescue spokesman Capt. Albert Borroto confirmed that Freseman is employed at fire rescue. Borroto said the agency is gathering all details concerning Freseman’s case and then will make a decision as to his employment.
Freseman waved down a Riviera Beach Police officer on patrol Tuesday around 1:50 a.m. on East 27th Street near Broadway. While in his gold GMC Envoy with the red Four Loko can in his center console, the firefighter told police that a woman he was going to hang out with stole his laptop case while had a charger in it, according to a Riviera Beach Police probable cause affidavit (full story, source).
Federal, State, and Local Drug Laws
Though there is a longstanding federal strategy in place to combat the abuse and distribution of controlled substances, each state also has its own set of drug laws (source). One key difference between the two is that while the majority of federal drug convictions are obtained for trafficking, the majority of local and state arrests are made on charges of possession. Out of these state and local arrests, over half are for the possession of marijuana.
Another difference between federal and state drug laws is the severity of consequences after a conviction. Federal drug charges generally carry harsher punishments and longer sentences. State arrests for simple possession (i.e. possession without intent to distribute the drug) tend to be charged as misdemeanors and usually involve probation, a short term in a local jail, or a fine — depending on the criminal history and age of the person being charged.
The most common drug charge — especially in arrests made under local drug laws — involves possession of a controlled substance (source). Generally, for a possession conviction, the government (usually in the form of a district attorney) must prove that the accused person:
- knowingly and intentionally possessed a controlled substance
- without a valid prescription, and
- in a quantity sufficient for personal use or sale.
A possession charge can be based on actual or “constructive” possession of a controlled substance. constructive possession means that even if the defendant doesn’t actually have the drugs on their person (in a pocket, for example), a possession charge is still possible if the defendant had access to and control over the place where the drugs were found (a locker, for example).
West Palm Beach Drug Charges Attorney
Many drug crimes in Florida are subject to mandatory minimum prison sentences of at least three years. Even if you are not facing prison time, the arrest can have a profound effect on both you and your family. At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., in West Palm Beach, we will take a proactive approach in defending you.
Many drug cases can be resolved if your lawyer has you immediately perform community service and complete a short drug class, as it is essential that the state’s charging attorney understands what type of person you really are. Such actions also provide evidence that shows you are much more than what the law enforcement agent makes you out to be. By being proactive, we can often get a withhold of adjudication, which would preserve your driver’s license and keep you from having a criminal record.
If you face serious drug charges, lawyer Andrew Stine is experienced in attacking the government’s case against you. Drug cases often involve a confidential informant, who is usually another person who has been arrested on drug charges. By finding out who the confidential informant is—which we can in many cases—we may be able to do away with the state’s case. We can also seek to get drug evidence excluded, if the search and seizure was illegal.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at 561.880.4300 Se habla español.