According to the FDLE, roughly 110,152 arrests were made in Florida for drug-related crimes in 2019. Whether you're arrested for marijuana, heroin, LSD, cocaine, or even methamphetamine, you can be looking at serious consequences. Without the help of an experienced Palm Beach drug possession attorney, you can be faced with hefty prison time, an upwards of $10,000 in fines, and the loss of certain rights especially if convicted of a high-level drug felony in Florida.
What to Do if You are Arrested for Drug Possession in Florida
Police may only stop and detain you if they have a reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime or fit the description of someone who has committed a crime. You should never let your emotions get the better of you. It is important to remain calm even in the tensest of situations with law enforcement as allowing your emotions to get the better of you can only make a bad situation worse. Showing any form of resistance during an encounter with law enforcement can lead to additional charges such as obstruction of justice or resisting arrest. If placed under arrest for drug possession in Florida, the only thing you should tell the officer is: "I want to remain silent and speak to a lawyer."
Remember the famous saying: "To get respect, give respect." While it is your choice to remain silent during an arrest, it is crucial to treat the officer(s) with respect. Even if an officer is being a jerk, your being polite, respectful, and professional with law enforcement can only benefit your case. If you become belligerent with the police, they have the power to delay your case. They can wait to fingerprint you or even delay transporting you from the precinct to the courthouse. At the end of the day, it is the duty of a police officer to protect life and property through the enforcement of laws and regulations. Just as you may have a job, the police are doing their job as well.
Hire a West Palm Beach, FL drug possession attorney.
Thinking you can outsmart the police or defend yourself alone in court from a serious charge like drug possession can be a grave mistake. One of the best reasons to hire an experienced Palm Beach drug possession lawyer is that they will provide you with an understanding of how the criminal justice system works, and help you navigate the system and maneuver through the complex legal process tailored specifically for your case.
What NOT To Do if You are Arrested for Drug Possession in Florida
Don't say anything to the police that you do not have to say.
Despite sounding contradictory to the above point regarding respect, you should not say anything to the police that you do not have to say. The police are allowed to lie to you, trick you, and even record anything you say despite if it is out of context. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law when under arrest. You should never admit anything to the police without a lawyer present even if you are guilty. Simply tell the officer that it's nothing personal and that you would like your attorney present before answering questions.
Don't claim you're sick or need medical attention unless you really need it.
It is common for arrestees, especially for drug-related offenses, to play sick when under arrest. As it is the duty of law enforcement to protect you, they must provide proper medical attention if you claim to be unwell. This legal obligation to take you to the hospital however can lead to extra days in jail delaying your case. If you are having a panic attack, or need medication, try to not request medical care especially if you have a friend or family member who can bring you the required medication. Requesting medical attention when you are not unwell is a waste of medical resources and will not get you out of going to jail.
What to do if a Minor is Arrested for Drug Possession in FL
In Florida, if a crime is severe enough, a child can be tried as an adult. The state of Florida allows prosecutors to charge 14 and 15-year-olds in adult court for many felonies including drug possession. A 16 or 17-year-old, however, can be sent to adult court for any felony at all in Florida.
Oftentimes, a child who has committed a delinquent act or that is charged with a crime may be given a civil citation if it is a first-time misdemeanor offense. They may also be released to a probation office, diversion program, or a Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) where they are risk assessed by a Juvenile Probation Officer. It is at a Juvenile Probation Officer’s discretion to make recommendations with the State Attorney on the proper course of action.
If your child was arrested for a serious crime such as drug possession, a Palm Beach juvenile defense attorney can provide both you and your child with a clear explanation of the law and expert representation.
Lawyer for Drug Possession Charge in Palm Beach County, FL
A seasoned Palm Beach drug possession attorney will know how to get your charges dialed down, penalties decreased, or even have the charges completely dismissed. If you or a loved one were arrested and charged for drug possession, The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky has over 18 years of experience defending individuals who face drug-related charges in South Florida. Contact us or call us today at (561) 671-5995 to speak with an attorney to ensure your rights are protected. We've also put together a free guide 'My Loved One Has Been Arrested: What’s Next?' which can provide you with a general overview of the criminal justice system in Florida.
The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky handles drug-related cases in all of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Boca Raton, Jupiter, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Loxahatchee, Royal Plam Beach, Riviera Beach, Lake Worth, Greenacres and all of Broward County.