120 S. Olive Ave., Suite 402
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Should Someone Ever Plead Guilty To A Drug Charge In Florida?

The answer to that is no! With a competent and effective criminal defense attorney, the best possible outcome can be achieved. After being arrested, while the individual may feel that they’re guilty, they still want to receive the best possible sentence. The best possible sentences include treatment, probation and many elements other than incarceration.

In Florida, when you are arrested for a crime, the judge could sentence you anywhere from the bottom, which is a withhold and probation, to the maximum, under the law, which for like a third degree felony is 5 years’ incarceration. A first degree misdemeanor’s up to 1 year in the county jail, so you do not want to plead guilty without first meeting with an effective criminal defense lawyer because there are other ancillary problems that could arise.

By pleading guilty to a drug crime, you could lose your driver’s license if you are adjudicated guilty. Getting a withhold preserves your right to drive an automobile.

By pleading guilty to a felony and being adjudicated guilty, you lose your civil rights like your right to vote, your right to own a firearm, your right to contract with the government and other rights that are valuable to you. It’s imperative that you meet with a criminal defense lawyer like myself who will go over your case in detail and get you the best possible outcome even if you do want to take, even if the individual who’s been charged with the crime wants to take responsibility for his or her actions.

It’s very unwise to just plead guilty without competent, effective representation by a criminal defense attorney because not only the sentence that’s meted out or handed down can be something that you are not bargaining for, but there are other circumstances with sentences, loss of driver’s license, loss of valuable rights, civil rights that can adversely affect the individual for the rest of their life.

Is it Ever Beneficial for Someone to Represent Themselves on a Drug Case?

That’s completely out of the question, because the individual who’s been charged with the crime does not know the maximum penalties or the minimum penalties. Other services besides incarceration like probation may also be offered to them. So it’s not wise to represent oneself.

What are the Advantages of Hiring a Private Attorney Over Getting a Public Defender?

Public defenders do a wonderful job. The problem with public defenders in Florida is they’re overwhelmed with the amount of work that they have. They have many files that are open, sometimes 300 or 400 clients. Clients tend to get lost in the mass of individuals that the public defenders represent. When you have a private attorney, you have complete access to myself by calling, coming in and making office appointments.

I have the ability to speak to the state attorney through telephone conversations, through office conferences to discuss individual treatments, individual sentences, individual concerns like employment, health, childcare of the individuals because as a private attorney, I get to fully know my clients, I get to fully understand the facts and the crime alleged to be violated, and I understand that the individuals are just not a cog in the wheel, a piece of property on a conveyor belt that is just going down the system of justice.

I fight for the individual so they get the best possible outcome and that outcome could only be achieved by getting to fully understand and know the individual and that happens in the private setting. Instead of having 300 to 400 open files, I have between 35 and 45 open files so my workload is much less. I have the ability to meet with my clients and to make phone calls to their spouses or to their parents or their employers.

If they have any civic responsibilities, or if they have any religious affiliations, I will get to know the individual so that I can put that forward to the assistant state attorney who’s prosecuting the case to show that the individual who’s charged with a criminal offense is much more valuable than just a file and much more valuable to society as a whole. The assistant state attorneys will take that into consideration when deciding how to close their file with a sentence and the best possible outcome is achieved through a private attorney.

Is there Any Leniency for First Time Offenders with Drug Charges?

Yes, there is. The leniency is in the sentencing of those individuals. There are many different areas of sentencing that could be utilized by the assistant state attorney to negotiate the pleas and by the court for first time drug offenders to receive less or fair sentences that don’t include incarceration but include treatment and rehabilitation, which is very beneficial to not only the individual seeking the treatment but also for society as a whole because the individual is less likely to commit a crime in the future.

For more information on Pleading Guilty to A Drug Charge, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling 561.880.4300 today.