Knowledgeable Clearwater Drug Crime Defense Lawyers Fight for Your Rights
Challenging the evidence against you and how it was collected
Florida has some of the strictest drug laws in the country, even after efforts in recent years to decriminalize the use of marijuana. If you’re accused of drug possession, distribution, trafficking or a related crime, you could face serious penalties in the criminal justice system. That’s why it’s important to work with a drug crime defense attorney you can depend on to fight the accusations against you and seek reduced or dropped charges. At Bauer Crider & Parry, we’ve served countless individuals facing drug charges in the St. Petersburg area since our firm was founded in 1989, and we’re ready to deliver the same reliable legal guidance to you and your family.
The different types of drug-related crimes
Drug offenses are any crimes related to the possession, distribution and sale or trafficking of controlled substances. In accordance with Florida Statute 893.13, the state punishes drug offenses harshly. The most common types of drug-related crimes include the following:
- Possession of drug paraphernalia. Items such as pipes or other instruments used to consume illegal drugs are considered drug paraphernalia. This is a misdemeanor criminal charge and can bring up to one year in prison and a fine of $1,000.
- Drug possession. Drug possession punishments vary depending on the type and amount of drugs found. Generally, if only a small amount of a drug is found in your possession, the charge is a misdemeanor. This crime may also be charged as a juvenile offense.
- Drug distribution or sale. Drug distribution is taken much more seriously than simple possession. If there is evidence to indicate that you have been selling or distributing large amounts of drugs, including possessing a larger amount than would be reasonable for personal use, the crime is considered a felony, with a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison.
- Drug trafficking. This involves moving or distributing drugs into or throughout the United States. Possession of very large amounts of drugs may be enough evidence to indicate drug trafficking. If you are found guilty, the crime is considered a felony carrying a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.
In Florida, the most common drugs related to arrests are prescription drugs, marijuana, cocaine, Roxicodone, hydrocodone, oxycodone and methamphetamines.
Were your rights violated?
Sometimes, in an attempt to obtain incriminating information by searching for drugs, law enforcement officers violate a person’s Fourth Amendment rights, the right to protection from unlawful search and seizure. The Fourth Amendment allows search and seizure that is considered reasonable — that is, if law enforcement has probably cause and has been issued a search warrant, or the circumstances justify a search without a warrant. The amendment only applies when the suspect has a legitimate expectation of privacy, such as in the home. In other settings, whether the expectation of privacy is considered legitimate is up to court interpretation. If it is found that a search was unlawfully carried out, any evidence seized during that search cannot be used as evidence against the defendant in a criminal trial. A lawyer with Bauer Crider & Parry can help you learn more.
Explore your legal options with our team in Clearwater & St. Petersburg
There are many different ways to fight drug-related charges, so don’t wait to call Bauer Crider & Parry at [ln::phone], or contact us online for a free initial consultation. Our dedicated lawyers serve people throughout the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater areas, and we have three conveniently located offices in Pinellas County. Get your defense off to a great start by speaking with a member of our team.