FORT LAUDERDALE DRUG CRIMES LAWYER
The Law Office of Dave L. Simmons, P.A. is dedicated to defending those individuals accused of a criminal offense. Mr. Simmons is an experienced criminal trial attorney serving as a former Broward County Prosecutor and former Broward County Public Defender. He has represented hundreds of individuals charged with DRUG CRIMES. The Law Office, conveniently located near the courthouse in downtown Ft. Lauderdale, offers a FREE CONSULTATION so that we may discuss you case in person, and affordable payment plans can be arranged.
The Law office of Dave L. Simmons, P.A. offers skilled and experienced representation to individuals charged with Drug Crimes. Florida law essentially divides drugs crimes into 3 subsets: (1) Possession of Controlled Substances; (2) Possession With Intent/Deliver/Purchase of Controlled Substances; and (3) the most serious, Trafficking in Controlled Substances.
The Law Offices of Dave L. Simmons, P.A.
"Defending Your Drug Crimes Charge in Court"
If you have been charged with any of the above-related offenses by way of an arrest or notice to appear in court, you may feel embarrassed and upset at the situation. It is the goal of the Law Office of Dave L. Simmons, P.A. to have your case dismissed or the charges reduced to a lesser offense by utilizing every defense strategy available including:
- Illegal Search and Seizure Without a Warrant: The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects against unreasonable searches and seizures and generally requires a warrant signed by a Judge based on probable cause for a search and seizure to be lawful. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. Often in their attempt to ferret out crime, police officers infringe on citizens' fourth amendment rights against unlawful searches and seizure without a warrant, the most often encountered search and seizure. Police officers cannot stop or detain individuals for any reason. An officer must have "Reasonable Suspicion" to detain an individual and probable cause to effectuate an arrest.
- Reasonable Suspicion is defined by the Courts as information which is sufficient to cause a reasonable law enforcement officer taking into account his or her training to reasonably believe that the person being detained is, was, or was about to be involved in criminal activity. The officer must be able to articulate more than suspicion or a hunch of criminal activity.
- Motion to Suppress: an evidentiary hearing before the Court, could be filed in such a case. If the Court finds that the officer violated your constitutional rights, the Court would than "suppress the evidence" and preclude the State Attorney's Office from utilizing the evidence in their case. This suppression of the evidence, known as the "Exclusionary Rule" is a very compelling ruling by the Court and often leads to the case being dismissed or the charges reduced.
- Lack of Evidence: The law requires the State to prove Possession of a Controlled Substance in one of two ways: (1) Actual Possession; (2) Constructive Possession. Actual possession occurs when the controlled substance is found on his or hers' person. Constructive Possession requires the State to prove that the controlled substance is within the knowledge of a person and that the individual has dominion and control of the controlled substance. Constructive Possession is a more difficult standard for the State to prove in their case.
- No Consent to Search: Another avenue police officers purse to conduct a warrantless search is through consent. When given proper consent, an officer may conduct a search without a warrant. The consent must come from someone authorized to give consent and the search must be within scope of the consent. However, officers often use "a show of authority" to obtain this consent. If the consent is not freely and voluntarily given, it is unlawfully obtained and subject to suppression. A skilled and experience criminal defense attorney will evaluate your case looking for this defense.
- Pre-Trial Diversion Programs: These are programs that allow for the dismissal of your case based upon successful admittance and completion of the program. These programs are operated by the State Attorney's office and are generally, but not exclusively, reserved for first time, nonviolent offenders. In Broward County these programs include:
- MDP: A misdemeanor diversion program.
- Pre-Trial Intervention: A felony diversion program.
- Drug Court: Both misdemeanor and felony diversion programs.
- Substantial Assistance: Although not a direct defense, substantial assistance is often utilized in Trafficking Cases to avoid or reduce the minimum-mandatory sentencing mandated by The State of Florida Sentencing Guidelines. Substantial Assistance is a "Contract" between the sentenced Defendant to provide assistance to law enforcement in the arrest, identification and conviction of other individuals engaged in trafficking in controlled substances. A skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney is paramount when this remedy is used to mitigate these type of sentences; a contract of services to law enforcement is negotiated with the State Attorney and is strictly enforced.
A common example of when an officer is in conflict with this "Reasonable Suspicion" standard is when an officer pulls a motor vehicle driver over for a simple traffic violation. Many times, the officer's stop is not lawful because the Driver did not actually commit the traffic violation. Police officers often make mistakes based on fact or law. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to evaluate the case and the fact pattern and see potential problems with the police investigation.
A practical example of this defense is when multiple individual are present in an area near the location of a controlled substance. A skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer will pressure the State to prove that the substance belongs to his client and not to the 3 other individuals in close proximity to the substance. The classic example is when multiple occupants of a motor vehicle come into contact with law enforcement. The defense would be (1) lack of knowledge or (2) not in constructive possession of the substance. An experienced lawyer would evaluate the case and look for all the weaknesses in the State's case in an effort to have the case dismissed or the charges reduced.
In many cases, especially for first time offenders, it is the prospect of having a conviction on ones permanent record that gives the most trepidation to those individuals that are faced with this type of criminal offense. A conviction or even an allegation of a drug allegation can have a devastating impact on your reputation and livelihood.FREE CONSULTATION
The Law Offices of Dave L. Simmons, P.A. vigorously defends its clients against a drug crimes conviction and the penalties that accompany the conviction. Take the time to know your rights and defenses surrounding this charge by calling office to set up your free consultation so that we may discuss your case in person: (954) 765-3540