Eric J. Dirga, P.A.

A Florida Trial Attorney

Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Cases

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Florida Drug Crime FAQs

Questions and Answers; Drug Charges

Criminal Defense Representation - Orlando, Florida

Last Updated: May 27, 2016

Florida is all in when it comes to the Drug War. It mimics the federal laws in many ways including such things as minimum mandatory sentences, incredibly high fines, and drug schedules. However, for some, myth and fanciful ideas still persist that can get a person in real trouble. Below are a few of the more common and not-so-common misconceptions.

Legalization Of Marijuana In Florida

Recently, there was mass disappointment when, despite achieving over 50% of the vote an amendment to Florida's Constitution did not pass which would have legalized medical marijuana. Well, it would have done something along the lines of legalization. Many had no clue that an amendment to the Constitution required a 60% vote.

Despite this disappointment continued scientific research has cannabis derived drugs at our doorstep, See the Ten Cannabis Derived Drugs right around the corner! That medical marijuana is probably not the medical (wink) marijuana many of you voters had in mind when you voted.

Unfortunately, cannabis, a/k/a marijuana, is still illegal in Florida and therefore you can be arrested. Worse, the consequences of being arrested for pot are still pretty bad.

Sneaky Mystical Ways To Avoid A Conviction For Possession of Drugs

There are many rumors out there about how to beat the rap for possessing drugs. One such thought is that if the drugs are under the car seat, in the trunk, or in the glove box then you cannot be convicted of possessing it. Run with that because criminal attorneys definitely need the business. Seriously, before you take that to the bank - think about it for just a second. A law enforcement officer pulls you over, smells pot, searches your car, finds drugs in car (anywhere), and then lets you go. Does this really make sense to you?

You are found with drugs equals you are arrested for drugs. Yes, you may win your case - be found not guilty or have the case dismissed but that is after many things happen to you. You will go to jail, be booked, have your booking photo popping up all over the internet (never good), have to bond out (or be on supervised release - joy!), hire a lawyer (or go with the public defender), be told your options, and possibly exercise your right to a trial so 6 people, who you don't know, can decide your fate. Oh, and if you lose you can experience the absolute pleasure of an appeal.

The best defense is not to possess drugs but then you wouldn't be reading this now would you. So we can assume you already know that now. ...On to the point - the best defense starts with remaining silent and then getting a lawyer. Preferably one that has been in the courtroom more than just for jury duty.

The I Had A Prescription Defense

Busted for possessing a Controlled Substance that was prescribed? You're in luck because your prescription is an absolute defense to that charge.Now hold on a second. There are some caveats to this. First, writing a forged prescription is not the defense we're talking about. Actually, that is a separate crime. Your friend's prescription doesn't work either nor does the I had a prescription but can't find it defense.

The problem with the mysterious prescription defense is that no one buys it. Prosecutors definitely don't fall for it. Judges here that lame excuse every day. More importantly jurors won't decide your not guilty because you forgot what doctor prescribed you the drugs. There is too much of this thing called information out there that the law requires doctors and pharmacists to keep. Make a note to yourself - we actually live in a time called the Information Age. You may have heard of it and what it means is if there really was a prescription you will be able to obtain proof and have the charges dropped.

As a cautionary note; if you have a lawyer that is running with the forged prescription defense it is time to cut your losses and start looking for another attorney.

The Police Went Into My Garbage And Violated My Right To Privacy

Who ever said law enforcement was glamorous. Sure there are a lot of TV shows glamorizing the police but they never show the dirty stuff. It's always the investigative skills, how they get people to confess, and the hot cop babes! The garbage picking part of the job seems to get glossed over.

Just to get you up to speed, going through your garbage is not a violation of your right to privacy. And lets just stop with the I know my rights thing. That was eliminated from the curriculum way way back in the day. Something about too many subjects and teachers being tired or maybe you just didn't think it was cool. The legal fact is you put the stems, residue, drugs in the trash for the garbage man to get and you effectively made it a public record.

There have been all sorts of attempts to make the garbage less appealing to the police - pouring liquids in it, coffee grinds(Hollywood), and adding other disgusting additives to the mix. Unfortunately, the police can afford gloves and, oh yes, they have these big laboratories that can find the smallest amounts of drugs you have tried to hide or thought no one would find.

Forget the hoarding angle too. You do have a right to privacy in your home but hoarding is just disgusting and usually has code enforcement or some other agency investigating it at some point because of a nosy neighbor. Then they tell the police and then a judge signs a warrant and your right to privacy is kaput.

My Friends Did It But I Was Just There

You are out with your friends driving around and everyone is smoking pot but you. You don't want anything to do with it for any number of reasons. Yet your buddy gets pulled over and you are all arrested for possessing the pot. Life sucks at this point. Do you have a defense? Well, everyone has a defense - the question really is whether yours will stick. Yes, you do have a defense but it depends heavily on (A) your friends and (B) law enforcement (to include the prosecutor).

The problem with your legitimate defense is that everyone uses it. Now you have to try and separate yourself from the chaff. Not always an easy thing to do when a judge has to listen to everyone claiming they were just an innocent bystander. The old addage If you run with wolves applies here (or running with sheep, goats, whatever). Don't run as a wolf if you are only a poodle. (P.S. There is nothing wrong with being a poodle.)

The Classic: I Was Wearing My Friends Pants

Amazingly this defense never dies. For some reason, us common folk are suppose to believe that you borrowed your friends pants and did not realize the drugs were in the pocket. The discovery by law enforcement is a complete shock to you. How did that get in there? More amazing is that this defense is typically raised by dudes.

Dudes, can we be real. We don't share clothes. The defense is as bogus as it is funny. You can be a man and own up to it or be a girl and share clothes with another dude. Just don't go there.

I Am Not A Trafficker Defense

In your mind trafficking means you are a high level dealer that Crockett and Tubs are chasing (Miami Vice for you millenials) in cigar boats and fast cars. Unfortunately, those pesky things called laws, written in English and listed on the internet, say otherwise. Trafficking has nothing to do with anything except the amount of drugs you possess. Yes, you need to possess a lot of marijuana to be a trafficker (unless you are growing plants) but some drugs require very little (think LSD). If the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab results weigh the drug over the threshhold amount you will be prosecuted as trafficking. Not good. In fact, this is very very bad. Get a very good attorney. I know several.

The I Am A Substance Abuser Defense, Help Me

You have a problem and you know it. Namely, that you are facing criminal charges for drugs and you don't want to go to jail or prison. You need help. What if you take advantage of the few programs left to try and quit the use of drugs. Sounds like a brilliant idea.

You should definitely take advantage of any program that is available to you that will help you quit using drugs. But if you are just doing it to avoid jail - save it. You will usually get one, maybe two cracks at this lifeline. After that you are done. Prosecutors and particularly judges don't have their entire lives to try and save you. Redemption is a personal affair and trust is fleeting.

The I Can Do Drugs And Can Fool Probation Brilliant Idea

Being on the paper is not fun. Being on probation is having a stranger in your life telling you what you can and cannot do. Worst than marriage because there is no . . . well, for most cases there is no intimacy (whole nuther tangent). For you it is particularly hard because you want to use your drugs. However, your PO never tells you when he or she will test you. What to do?

There is an incredibly stupid idea you can try. Go online and Google Drug Cleansing Products. You will find all sorts of products that, not being at risk of going to jail, will tell you that you can pass a drug test if you use their product. Now just take your stash for drugs and separate out enough to buy the cleansing product of your choice. Cheapest is the best policy because you'll need the rest for your drug purchases. Besides you really don't want to waste a lot of money on something that does not work.

Arrested and charged with a drug offense? Call us now at 407-841-5555 or email us directly at

Corrections/Errors; Questions

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