What Is The Actual Process Of A Drug Case In Florida?
In Florida, when an individual is arrested for any crime like a drug crime, they have bond or bail set unless it’s a crime that requires a first appearance. First appearances occur within 24 hours of arrest or the next day. A criminal defense attorney will appear at the first appearance, will get the probable cause affidavit which contains the facts that allege the violation of the law. We’ll go through it and scrutinize the arrest affidavit or probable cause affidavit to assure that certain factors have been met;
- The identity of the individual is the person who has been literally arrested.
- That the drugs that were allegedly found to be possessed by the criminal defendant are in fact illegal.
- To determine whether or not the defendant, the accused has a prescription for the drugs if it’s a prescribed drug which many times the family members can provide.
- To make sure that that information is provided to the assistant state attorney who is at the first appearance on behalf of the state to ask for a bond conditions, pretrial release conditions which many times are monetary, which can be random drug testing, random alcohol testing or which, in some instances, the assistant state attorney could ask for a no bond hold.
The judge needs to be made aware of the weaknesses of the state’s case, needs to be made aware of the information about the individual. Have they ever been arrested before? How long have they been a resident of the county? Do they have a home address? Do they have stable employment? Are family members present in the courtroom who will be asked to walk up to the microphone to identify themselves and sometimes the judge will ask questions regarding the accused? That information is instrumental and very important to the judge in setting pretrial conditions.
Many times the bond monetary number fee for the bond will be greatly reduced and many times the conditions that are being requested, like drug and alcohol treatment or no contact, will be reduced or eliminated through the testimony of family members, getting to know the accused by the proffer, or the information provided by the criminal defense attorney to the judge at the first appearance. It’s very important to have a lawyer contacted immediately after arrest by a family member or by a loved one so that I can be present at the first appearance for the individual who is facing pretrial release.
Are Professionals like Doctors, Nurses, or Teachers Ever Charged in a Drug Case?
Drugs do not know individuals! It doesn’t matter what race, it doesn’t matter the ethnicity of the individual, the sex of the individual, or their occupation. Individuals I represent vary from first time offenders to individuals who have been arrested on multiple occasions.
What’s important is that the individual seeks out immediate representation on drug cases, so that they can get the best possible outcome because the assistant state attorney who is prosecuting the case needs to gain the information about the individual through an effective criminal defense attorney like myself about the individual who has been arrested. Those factors are very important on how the case will be resolved.
Individuals who have professional licenses like doctors, lawyers, nurses, chiropractors, and any other individuals who have a professional license, their employment can be greatly affected by a drug conviction. That information has to be provided immediately so that the assistant state attorney understands what social and economic impact these types of cases, meaning drug cases will have not only on the individual who is accused but on their family, on society as a whole.
Most assistant state attorneys understand that and take that into consideration when they’re made aware of it and that’s usually a very important factor that they take into consideration. It can be provided through a private lawyer who’s effectively representing their clients charged with drug crimes.
How Public will the Knowledge of a Drug Arrest Be?
Everyone who is arrested for a felony in the state of Florida is booked and their booking photo immediately shows up on the web. If an employer Googles that person’s name or puts their name through Bing or Yahoo, it’s going to show up that this individual was arrested for a certain drug crime and a certain county throughout Florida.
When that happens, the individual cannot do anything about that until the closure of the case and they get the case sealed or expunged after the case has been either dismissed, Nolle prossed or probation has been successfully completed and there’s been a withhold of adjudication.
Employers also find out about drug crimes if the individual pleads guilty and is placed on probation. One of the conditions is that the employer be notified by the Department of Corrections, meaning the probation officer will contact the employer either via telephone or actually go to the location of where the individual works and let the employer know.
It’s good to be upfront with the client and let them know these things and for the client to let the criminal defense attorney know where the individual works, where they’re employed so that they can provide information to the employer regarding the individual who has been arrested which many times, the criminal defense attorney like myself can make a phone call or even go out and see the individual employer and explain the circumstances to help preserve the employment of the accused.
For more information on Process of A Drug Case in Florida, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling 561.880.4300 today.