Disclaimer: Let me get one thing out of the way. We will not represent you if you are planning to work for the police as a snitch. If that is your plan, please call someone else. Flaherty & Merrifield will not help you get other people in trouble.
Drug offenses are almost always victimless crimes and yet the prisons in Florida have more drug offenders in them than any other type of offender. Hard to believe, but it’s true.
The State of Florida prosecutes Drug charges in Destin, and they take it very seriously. They will be looking to convict you and possibly send you to prison. Even without a prison sentence, a drug conviction on your record can have the following impacts:
- Keep you from getting a good job;
- Prevent you from getting financial aid for college;
- Keep you from being eligible to join the military; and
- Your driver’s license will be suspended for 6 months
The good news is that skilled Destin drug charge defense lawyers can help you avoid these harsh penalties and help you get your life back on track. Drug charges are serious, but they are not hopeless.
Defending Out of Town Visitors Accused of a Drug Offense in Destin
If you came to Destin to have a good time with your friends on spring break or during summer vacation with your family, the last thing you need is to have this one mistake follow you for the rest of your life. We defend a lot of visitors from out of town so we know what to do to make this whole ordeal a little less stressful for you.
We will make sure that you will not have to come back for your first court date. If we are retained as your defense attorneys, we will appear at the first and second court date on your behalf. If your charge is a misdemeanor, you will probably never have to appear in Florida for court. If your charge is a felony, you may have to make one court appearance at the very end. If that happens, we will give you plenty of notice so you can make plans.
One thing out of town visitors worry about is hiring an attorney, going back home, and then never hearing from their attorney. That will not happen if Flaherty & Merrifield is representing you. We will keep you up to speed on what happening with your case. We will always be available to answer your questions.
The Most Common Drug Charges in Destin
We have defended a wide variety of drug crimes in Destin but the most common are:
- Possession of Marijuana
- Possession of Controlled Substance
- Possession of Controlled Substance Without a Prescription
- Drug Trafficking
Defense Strategies for Defending Drug Charges in Destin
Here are just a few of the different issues we will look at to try and successfully resolve your drug arrest:
Did the police violate your constitutional rights?
There is usually a police search in every drug case. The U.S. and Florida Constitutions protect you from unreasonable search and seizure by the government. This brings up several possible legal issues related to a drug charge:
- If there was a traffic stop, was there a legally valid reason for the stop?
- Did the police have probable cause to search your vehicle?
- If the police obtained your permission to search, did they exceed their authority?
- If you were detained while waiting for a K-9 unit, how long did they hold you?
- Was any of the evidence against you gathered by a confidential informant, or snitch?
- If your case involves the search of your home, did the cops have a valid search warrant?
A Motion to Suppress Evidence will be filed if the police didn’t adhere to your constitutional protections when they conducted their search of your person, your vehicle, or your home. If the Judge agrees with our position, your drug case will be dismissed.
More information about Motions to Suppress in Destin Drug Cases
The law that governs a motion to suppress in Florida is Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.190. The rule states that the following are grounds for filing a motion to suppress:
- The property was unlawfully taken without a search warrant
- The search warrant paperwork fails to describe the area to be searched in enough detail
- Law enforcement lacked probable cause to support the grounds used in applying for the search warrant, and
- The search warrant was unlawfully executed.
Pretrial Diversion for Destin Drug Charges
Let’s face it. Sometimes the police did their job correctly and we don’t have a legal basis to have the evidence suppressed. Does that mean we will just advise you to give up and plead guilty? Absolutely not. There are other options available to get to the right outcome.
One option is Pretrial Intervention (PTI). PTI is a diversion agreement between you and the prosecutor. The terms of the agreement will be negotiated by us on your behalf. If you agree to the terms and conditions of PTI, and you complete all of them, the prosecutor will be required to dismiss your case.
Keep in mind that the prosecutor will not be inclined to let you into this program out of the goodness of their heart. In fact, they are usually pretty resistant to the idea. Securing PTI for a drug charge requires mitigation, negotiation, and the right amount of leverage and pressure.
A Destin Drug Defense Attorney Can Help
If you are accused of a drug charge in Destin, call Flaherty & Merrifield at (850) 460-7470. We can meet with you in person if you’re local, or if you were arrested while you were here on vacation, we’ll be glad to talk with you on the phone. The consultation is free and you can get your questions answered. Then you can make an informed decision about choosing the right attorney to help you.