What Are The Most Common Types Of Drug Cases Seen In Florida?
There are two types of drug cases seen that are very common at the moment in Florida. This changes from time to time, but number one would be a rise in the number of prescription drug charges by people who are approaching their senior years, people forty-five years and up. A lot of it has to do with having pain that is not properly treated as well as lack of access to healthcare in many cases. So, a rise in prescription drug charges is being seen in the older population.
The second are marijuana related charges. There are over twenty-five states now that have either decriminalized, legalized medical marijuana or recreational marijuana. As a result, people coming from Colorado on vacation to Florida are often stopped and harassed and if they have no drugs in their vehicle, they are sent upon their merry way. However, if they do have them, then they are arrested, often on a high bond. It is believed that people are being targeted by virtue of their license plates.
For example, if someone is from a state like Massachusetts, where it is a small fine for possession of minor amounts of marijuana or Washington State or Colorado, states that have outright legalized recreational use of marijuana, it is found that those vehicles are being followed on the interstate by the police and they are being harassed with minor traffic violations such as speeding two miles an hour over the speed limit.
There is also an upsurge in interstate drug cases, which are people coming from states where marijuana is decriminalized or legal and coming to Florida for a vacation or work and being arrested. For people who are not residents of the State of Florida, marijuana by far is the number one drug crime.
What Determines Whether A Drug Charge Is Going To Be Considered A Misdemeanor Or A Felony In The State Of Florida?
Most people – tourists especially – are shocked to learn that most drug charges in this state are felonies. The reality is that a drug charge is a misdemeanor or a felony in Florida comes down to only one thing, politics. If the legislature says that something is a drug, it is a drug and if they say possession of it is legal or illegal, then that is how it is. Everything is subject to constitutional checks and balances of course, but the current status does not look good to say the least.
Specifically as to marijuana, in Florida statute sections 893.13 and 893.03, you find that marijuana is classified as a drug being so dangerous that it cannot even be medically used safely. The Florida legislature is allowed to make drugs illegal, even if they make findings of the fact that contrary to everyday experience, common sense and reality. As a result, drugs like Xanax, which is a much stronger drug in many ways with tremendous addictive potential, is under schedule IV. According to state politicians, it can be used safely but the demon weed is so dangerous it cannot even be used safely.
This is a conflicted state, and much of our law is based on politics. The legislature and politicians decide whether or not something is legal or not to possess, consume, distribute or anything else. I think that when it comes to marijuana, more and more judges share rethinking the drug laws and I am always looking for a way to invalidate the statute on constitutional grounds. Due to one piece of case law most people have never heard about, people with marijuana prescriptions are getting their cases dismissed in the area covered by the First District Court of Appeals. But don’t expect the prosecutor to agree: a lot of self-representing people without skilled defense lawyers are going to court in those judicial circuits, pleading guilty and getting intense drug offender probation even though they have a clear defense. Well, clear to a criminal specialist.
If you need Answers to Commonly Asked Questions about Drug Cases in Florida, call Attorney Stephen G. Cobb of the Cobb Criminal Defense Law Firm in Florida for a FREE Initial Consultation at (850) 669-5882 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.