Flaherty Defense Firm, Fort Walton Beach Criminal Lawyer
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Possession of Heroin Okaloosa County

There is no doubt that in the last year, heroin usage has skyrocketed in Okaloosa County. According to a recent news article, at least 15 deaths from heroin use have occurred this year in Okaloosa County alone. This follows the national trend of heroin abuse doubling in the last 10 years according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, Okaloosa County does not have a dedicated substance abuse treatment facility for heroin users, so instead of people getting the help they need, they are either overdosing or getting arrested for Possession of Heroin.

Here at Flaherty Defense Firm, we have watched this development unfold and we have decided to offer any help we can for anyone who has been charged with heroin possession. We are ready to put our 16 years of experience to work in helping our clients stay out of prison and get help for their addiction.

If you have been charged with Possession of Heroin in Okaloosa County, give us a call 24 hours a day at (850) 243-6097 and let us help you.

Possession of Heroin Under Florida Law

Florida Statute 893.13(6)(a) states that it is illegal for someone to be in possession of a controlled substance for any reason unless they have a valid prescription for that substance. Since heroin is not a drug that is ever prescribed, there really is no legal reason to possess heroin.

What is the penalty for Possession of Heroin?

This charge is a third degree felony, which means that the maximum penalty is five years in prison, a felony conviction on your record, and up to a $5000.00 fine.

Also, according to Florida Statute 322.055, your driver’s license can be suspended for one year if you are convicted of Possession of Heroin.

How will an attorney defend a Possession of Heroin charge?

As with any case we defend, we will start by examining the evidence that the State has against you. We do this to determine if there is a valid, legal basis to attack the lawfulness of the traffic stop, search of your property or person, or of any statements you may have made to the police.

Some other possible defenses to a Possession of Heroin case include:

Constructive Possession

If you were in an area where drugs were found, but you weren’t in actual possession of the drugs, the State will be required to prove that you exercised dominion and control of the substance before you can be convicted. For example, if you were riding in a car with other people and the police found drugs in the car, the State has to prove that you knew drugs were in the car.

Overdose Defense

This is all too common in heroin cases. 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

If someone has a drug problem, it does them no good to be locked up. It also does society no good either. Rather than settle for a punitive punishment for our clients, we will explore treatment alternatives that can hopefully put someone on the path to recovery rather than on a path to repeated trips back to jail.

Pretrial Diversion

This is a program that is sometimes offered to first time offenders. Diversion allows the defendant to complete a set of conditions and in return for doing so, guarantees a complete dismissal of all charges.

There are, of course, other defense options that may or may not apply to your case. When we meet to talk about your case, I will be happy to review the options that are available to you. The most important thing to remember is that we will explore ANY option that keeps our client out of jail and keeps a felony off their record.

Call a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with Possession of Heroin in Okaloosa County, you don’t have to go through this alone and you don’t have to settle for a state-funded public defender. If you are looking for an advocate who works for you, call Flaherty Defense Firm anytime, day or night, at (850) 243-6097.

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