6 Important Defenses to Consider in a Florida Federal Drug Case
Fighting drug crimes is a top priority for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). With a multi-billion-dollar budget, they have thousands of agents and very high-tech equipment to help aid in their investigation of various drug crimes. This is in conjunction with the multi-billion-dollar budget of the U.S. Attorney’s Office who prosecutes federal drug crimes.
If this sounds daunting, it should. Do not take any federal drug charges filed against you lightly. You need a skilled Fort Lauderdale federal crime attorney on your side. The U.S. Attorney’s Office still has the burden to prove every element of the drug charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt.
Your best chance at beating federal drug charges is to have an experienced federal drug crimes attorney representing you. Don’t leave your case to chance and rely on a public defender or an attorney who doesn’t specifically specialize in federal drug charges. Depending on your situation, there may be multiple defenses applicable in your case. Six of the most common federal drug charge defenses are:
Drugs Weren’t Yours
It surprises a lot of people to learn that you can be arrested and charged with a drug-related offense even if you were not in possession of any drugs. However, if you were present where they were found, you could be facing charges. You have a defense if your attorney can show the drugs did not belong to you.
It Was an Illegal Search and Seizure
Law enforcement at both the state and federal level still have to abide by the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits illegal search and seizure. In most situations, law enforcement would need to have probable cause or a warrant before conducting any search. Even if there was a warrant, it doesn’t mean it was handled correctly. The warrant could have a defect, or the officers went beyond the permissible scope of the warrant.
Any evidence obtained in an illegal search should be excluded or suppressed. In the event the evidence is wrongfully allowed in, and you are convicted, it could be an appealable issue.
You Are Innocent
Many drug-related arrests involve actions that were not witnessed by law enforcement. Police typically rely on testimony from informants or witnesses in the area. Mistaken identity happens a lot in drug cases. Your attorney may be able to show you are innocent, and this is a case of mistaken identity.
Part of the federal investigative process is to set up stings and entice people to buy or sell drugs. They use undercover federal agents who sometimes coerce you or push you to engage in conduct you never would’ve otherwise. You could have an entrapment defense in these situations.
No Intent to Commit a Crime
As with most crimes, you must have the intent to commit the crime in question. If the prosecutor cannot show you had intent to commit a drug offense, they may not be able to secure your conviction.
No Miranda Warnings
Officers push to get people to confess or say something incriminating. In some cases, they don’t read your Miranda Rights, which means there could be a defense that anything said while in custody would be inadmissible in court.
Contact a Florida Federal Drug Crimes Attorney
If you need assistance with a federal drug charge in Florida, let us assist you. Contact Bruce L. Udolf, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.