Defending Your Rights Against Drug Charges
Despite the changing sentiment regarding drug convictions and prison terms around the nation, law enforcement still aggressively enforces drug laws in South Florida. Its location has long made it a hub for the international drug trade and both federal agents, and local police take drug offenses very seriously.
If you face state or federal drug charges, you will need a skilled lawyer who knows how to fight to protect your rights and your future at every stage of the process. I am Marcos Beaton Jr., founder of Beaton Law Firm in Miami. With decades of sharply honed trial experience, I not only understand how to provide a strong defense, but I also train other attorneys nationwide in the art of criminal defense. I do not rest on my experience, however. When I take a case, I give my client 100% throughout the process.
Drug Offenses And Their Penalties
Both state and federal laws include a definition of controlled substances and separate them into different levels, known as schedules. Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous, while Schedule V drugs may include over-the-counter medicines. For example, heroin is a Schedule I drug, methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug and cough syrup is a Schedule V drug. The severity of the penalties for the various charges depend on which schedule includes the drug at issue.
- Drug possession – Often the lowest-level drug offense, you could still face felony charges. In addition, although medical marijuana is legal in Florida, you can still be charged with marijuana possession if you do not have a medical card.
- Drug distribution and possession with intent to sell – If law enforcement finds a certain amount of drugs in your possession, they may charge you with intent to sell, whether you did, in fact, intend to sell drugs.
- Drug manufacturing – Law enforcement will often pursue felony charges for growing, cultivating or manufacturing drugs.
- Drug trafficking – Engaging in the sale of drugs often results in felony charges with some of the harshest penalties, including mandatory minimum prison terms.
- Prescription drug charges – Both doctors and patients can face charges for misusing the prescription drug process. It is illegal to provide a false prescription, sell your prescription to someone else or take a prescription drug that is not yours.
You could face either state or federal charges under many scenarios. I have the experience to represent both. Federal agents often target more serious cases and the penalties are usually much more severe for federal offenses. Be aware, however, that the federal government can pursue any violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act and may pursue lower-level cases in certain situations.
Available Defenses For Drug Charges
I approach your case from many angles to find the defense strategy that will work best in your case. Your defenses could include:
- Illegal search and seizure
- Insufficient evidence
- Failure to read Miranda rights
These are just a few examples of possible defenses. Your defense will reflect the facts of your case. I will work with you to develop a defense strategy tailored to you and keep you informed of the progress at each step.