Disclaimer: We do not represent snitches. If that is your plan, call someone else. We will not help you get other people in trouble.

Heroin and Opioid abuse has exploded in Crestview over the last few years. This epidemic has gotten so serious, and there have been so many deaths from Opioid abuse, that it has actually affected our life expectancy as a country.

My name is Tim Flaherty. I’ve been a criminal defense lawyer in Crestview and Okaloosa County since 2001. My partner’s name is Brandy Merrifield. The Opioid crises is like nothing we have ever seen, and we want to do our part to help. As long as the police in Crestview and Okaloosa County continue to pursue prosecution and incarceration instead of treatment, we will be offering my defense services for a greatly reduced rate for anyone charged with Heroin or Opioid possession in Crestview.

We want to make sure our clients get help for their addiction instead of seeing them sent to prison.

Call Flaherty & Merrifield at (850) 398-8098 for a free consultation if you have been charged with Possession of Heroin or Possession of Opioids in Crestview.

What is the penalty for Possession of Heroin or Opioids in Crestview?

Heroin and Opioids are prosecuted as Possession of a Controlled Substance. This is a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5000.00 fine. You also face the possibility of a permanent felony conviction on your record.

What does it mean if I am charged with Trafficking in Heroin or Opioids?

When most people hear the word “trafficking” they think of drug dealers and large quantities of drugs. Unfortunately, under Florida law, it doesn’t take much at all to fall into the crosshairs of a drug trafficking charge. Here is the information for Heroin/Morphine and other Opioids:

If you possess 4 grams or more but less than 14 grams, you will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison with a maximum of 30 years, along with a $50,000.00 fine if you are convicted.

If you possess 14 grams or more but less than 28 grams, you will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $100,000.00 fine if you are convicted.

If you possess 28 grams or more but less than 30 kilograms, you will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $500,000.00 fine if you are convicted.

If you possess 30 kilograms or more, you will be sentenced to a mandatory LIFE sentence in prison if you are convicted.

What defenses are there to Possession of Heroin or Opioids?

The most common defense is to attack any search or seizure that led to the discovery of the Heroin or Opioids. If the police violated your constitutional rights, we will file a Motion to Suppress Evidence and argue to the judge that the evidence should be suppressed, or thrown out.

Here are some other defenses we will explore:

Constructive Possession

If you were in a car with other people, and drugs were found, we can argue that the evidence should be suppressed because of a legal theory called constructive possession. The only way the State can prosecute you for constructive possession is if they can prove that you exercised dominion and control over the drugs. Several years ago, we defended a client with this exact scenario. He was riding in the back seat of a car. There were 4 guys in the car. The police pulled them over and searched the car. Drugs were found on the floor right at our client’s feet. We filed a Motion to Dismiss. We argued that the car was dark, it wasn’t his car, and he had no idea the drugs were there. The judge agreed and dismissed the case. This client had several priors, and was facing a prison sentence if he had been convicted.

Overdose Defense

According to Florida Statute 893.21, “A person who experiences a drug-related overdose and is in need of medical assistance may not be charged, prosecuted, or penalized for possession if the evidence for possession was obtained as a result of the overdose and the need for medical assistance.”

Drug Treatment

Locking people up for drug possession doesn’t do anyone any good. It is far better for the addict, and for society in general, to get someone the help they need so that they can be a productive member of the community. We will always look for treatment options to help our clients get on the path to recovery rather than on a path to repeated trips back to jail.

Pretrial Diversion

This is a great option for first offense, non-violent offenders. It guarantees a dismissal of criminal charges if a series of conditions are completed. In a Crestview Heroin or Opioid Possession case, those conditions might include drug treatment, community service, and court costs. As long as the person completes the conditions and doesn’t get re-arrested, they get their charges dropped.

These are just a few of the options we will explore to help you with your case. When you come in to meet with us, we’ll talk about other options that might apply to your case.

Our main goals will always be to keep you out of jail and keep a felony off your record.

If you have been charged with Possession of Heroin or Opioids in Okaloosa County, we want to help you. The first step is up to you. Call Flaherty & Merrifield at (850) 398-8098 for a free, confidential consultation.

Learn more about my Crestview drug crimes defense practice.