Drug Crime Defense offers unique challenges for a criminal defense lawyer.
Drug crimes are often victimless crimes. The criminal law charges simple charges to the vast majority of drug carriers, whether it's an individual possessing drugs or one who's using them for his or her own consumption.
And the common consensus among people is that we should not punish individuals who use drugs, but rather we should try to rehabilitate and help them. Some drugs, such as marijuana, are considered by the public to be relatively harmless. In fact, the vast majority of Pinellas County and Saint Petersburg, Tampa Bay residents are in favor of legalizing marijuana.
Yet despite public opinion to the contrary Pinellas County still, has extremely harsh penalties for anyone convicted of drug-related charges.
At the lowest level, marijuana possession's criminal charge is still a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. And simple possession of cocaine, heroin, meth, or prescription drugs is a felony that can result in up to five years in prison.
Possession Charges: The criminal charge in Pinellas County law enforcement for drug possession can be misdemeanors or Felonies depending on the serious of the drug.
Sale of drug charges: Unlike possession charges, selling drugs is considered a more serious crime. As such the penalties associated with selling drugs is much more severe than if an individual simply had the drug for his or her own use. Sale of marijuana is a third-degree felony in the Tampa Bay. Sale of other drugs is a second-degree felony.
Drug Trafficking: The criminal law in Florida states that individuals trafficking drugs must be given insane penalties, including minimum mandatory jail sentences and outrageous fines.
Prescription drug crimes: Prescription drug criminal charges result when either an individual did not have a valid prescription for the drugs or obtained the prescription in an illegal manner.
The police department in Tampa Bay area is known for its aggressive arrest policy for drug-related offenses. And as a general rule, the State Attorneys law office are aggressive in prosecuting drug criminal cases. However, there are a few resources and programs that favor rehabilitation instead of punishment.
Operation PAR provides substance abuse and addition treatment for individuals facing criminal drug charges in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County. Run by the Pinellas Sherriff's office, it is located on Ulmerton Road in Largo, Florida.
PINELLAS COUNTY DRUG COURT
The Pinellas County Adult Drug Court in Tampa Bay area focus on rehabilitation first, and punishment second. The Pinellas County State Attorney screens each person for eligibility. Each eligible person who participates in drug court first takes a substance abuse assessment. The treatment provider then proposes a treatment plan. These plans are intensive and always have frequent urine drug screens and "case review" hearings with the Drug Court Judge. Successful completion, however, may result in dismissal of the drug charges.
Pretrial Intervention is run in combination with the Drug Court where the client goes on a pseudo-probation run by the Pinellas County State Attorneys Office. Our client will complete random urine screenings and substance abuse evaluation and treatment. Upon successful completion, however, all felony or misdemeanor drug charges are dropped. Note that a participating client must have a minimal previous criminal history and the charges must be for drug possession, not sale or trafficking.
The first step is to reach out to us either by phone (800-790-5641) or by filing out the contact form to the right. If you call us a member of our team will ask you whether you need personal injury, family law, criminal defense, or trusts and estates help. You will directed to an assistant who will chat with you to determine how we can help. If your calling during normal business hours we can have you meeting in person, electronically, or on the phone with an attorney who specializes in your practice area the same day.