Here at The Law Place, we can provide exceptional and skilled support and advice. More importantly, we can also offer aggressive and focused representation to anyone charged with a drug crime in the Sarasota area. With over 75 years of combined experience dealing with cases just like yours, we have helped thousands of clients defend themselves, have their charges dropped, or have their punishments reduced.
Drug charges are serious business, and unfortunately, Sarasota falls under the strict penalties that the State of Florida uses to punish offenders. This means it is extremely important for you to seek the best possible help from the best possible defense attorneys. Your criminal defense lawyer in Sarasota could be the deciding factor in whether you face jail time, huge fines, and a criminal record that could haunt you for the rest of your life. When you are facing potential punishments such as these, you really can’t afford to wait. Call us today for a free consultation and get the ball rolling. The sooner you call us, the better. We can offer clear, unbiased advice on what to do next. Don’t hesitate. This could be the most important phone call you ever make.
What is the Role of Sarasota Criminal Defense Attorneys?
The most important role that a Sarasota criminal defense attorney will take is aggressively defending the accused. There are a wide variety of tasks that this will include.
To begin with, the role will be one of counsel. We will give you the best possible legal advice on what to do in your current situation. We will tell you what to say, what to do, and what not to say and do.
Next, we will begin to prepare as strong a defense as physically possible. We will begin investigating on your behalf, speaking to any witnesses, and examining the police involved in order to make sure they were working lawfully. We will also look into the past in any cases that could give us case precedents, and we will examine the statutes with laser focus to see if there is anything we can use to help you.
We know exactly how to examine witnesses, and we will prepare compelling arguments for a jury and a judge if it looks like the case will go to court.
One reason that we can help you where no other can is due to client confidentiality. We are obligated by law to keep all communications between ourselves and our clients private. This means you will be able to speak to us clearly and without the worry of any repercussions.
Finally, we will organize you. We will guide and educate you in ways that you could struggle to do so on your own. We will keep communication lines open, telling you what we plan to do and where you currently stand. We understand how stressful the situation is, and we do not want to add any stress to our clients. We will listen to you with compassion, tell you what you need to be told, and together, we will fight your case.
When Should You Hire a Sarasota County Drug Defense Attorney?
In almost every single scenario and every single case, the answer is simple. The sooner you get in contact with us after being charged with the crime, the better. This even relates to times where you have not yet been charged, but you think you may be being investigated.
Cases, where the criminal defense lawyer is on your side from the very beginning, have a much better chance of success. They will be able to start forming your defense at an early stage and will assist you by preparing you for the investigations and questioning that is coming. This will prevent you from saying the wrong things when questioned by law enforcement agents.
In many cases, individuals think they may do well in court by explaining their side of the story. This rarely works and can, in fact, prove detrimental to your case. This is another reason why it is so important to get an attorney on your side at an early stage.
Common Drug Crimes
Drug-related crimes usually fall into the following categories:
Manufacturing a Controlled Substance
Under Florida Statute 893.13 and Florida Statute 893.149, it is prohibited to cultivate or manufacture any controlled substances. This includes marijuana, cocaine, heroin, crack, and all other controlled drugs.
The charges for manufacturing increase in severity if you are caught doing so within 1000 feet of a childcare center, school, or public park. This usually means an instant increase to a 1st-degree felony.
Penalties for Manufacturing Convictions
Manufacturing charges are often paired with possession charges and intent to sell. This means you could be looking at facing up to 3 separate felony charges for a single arrest. On its own, manufacturing charges can land you with five years of prison time and fines up to five thousand dollars.
These charges can increase depending on the substance you are caught with, how much you have in your possession, and whether any proof is found that you have transported it across state lines- leading to a trafficking charge.
Defenses for Manufacturing
A highly skilled Sarasota criminal defense lawyer could approach the case in a variety of ways. On rare occasions, they may be able to get the case dropped altogether. This is usually only the case when law enforcement has found evidence against you unlawfully or entrapped you.
More common is a reduction in punishment. Your lawyer could do this by attempting to prove that the chemical substances were for your personal use, not for distribution.
Delivering a Controlled Substance
If you are caught distributing any controlled substance by selling, transporting, or importing, you will likely be facing strict charges.
Penalties for Delivering a Controlled Substance
Delivery charges are usually prosecuted alongside a possession with intent to sell. This is classed as a 3rd-degree felony
and could lead to a sentence of up to 5 years in prison on its own and a fine of up to $5,000 dollars.
If the charges are raised to a 2nd-degree felony, then the prison time can rise to 15 years, and the fine can rise to $10,000 dollars. This usually happens when you have previous convictions for a similar crime.
Defenses for Delivering a Controlled Substance
In this scenario, your best defense is to prove that you possessed the substance for personal use and had no intention of distributing it or selling it.
Often, law enforcement will use methods to catch out the accused. If that is the case, you may be able to accuse them of entrapment. They may have also violated your Fourth Amendment right and unlawfully searched you.
In any case, they will have to prove that you engaged in the activities they are accusing you of. They will have to show evidence of the drugs you may have been found with and provide a solid argument on why they think you were distributing.
Possessing a Controlled Substance
While it isn’t going to lead to the same levels of punishment that the other drug charges on this list could lead to, possession can still be a serious crime.
The severity of it will depend on the substance you are found with and the amount.
It is the prosecution’s job to provide evidence that the drug you are accused of being in possession of is a controlled substance. This may mean they have to seek scientific analysis. They will also need to show that you knew about, or you should have known about, the controlled substance in your possession at the time. Finally, they must prove that you had full control over the presence and location of the substance.
Penalties for Possessing a Controlled Substance
The penalties for possessing a controlled substance vary massively depending on what you are found with and how much of it you have.
In terms of marijuana, anything up to 20 grams will count as a 1st-degree misdemeanor, with consequences of one year in jail and court costs.
One gram of LSD or 4 grams of heroin and under will be classed as a 3rd degree felony. Any more than that would be a 1st-degree felony.
Trafficking a Controlled Substance
This is one of the most severely prosecuted crimes in the United States. However, don’t let that scare you. Everybody, no matter what their situation, has the right to defend themselves. With our help, there is still hope of reducing the charge.
Penalties for Trafficking a Controlled Substance
If you are found moving drugs and controlled substances into the country, the charges are severe.
You could be facing long stints in prison and fines that can reach up into the millions.
These charges can become even more serious if you are found to be trafficking for a gang.
Investigating Your Arrest
When you agree to representation from us, the first thing we will do is investigate the details surrounding your arrest. In this initial stage, we will look at the law enforcement’s actions, seeing if they did anything they should not have done. If they obtained evidence illegally or entrapped you, this will be very beneficial to your case.
We will also begin forming our defense for the trial to fight against criminal charges to the full extent of our ability.
Why The Law Place is an Excellent Criminal Defense Law Firm
When the rest of your life is at stake, the people who you place your faith in need to be up to the task. They need to be a team with experience, dedication, and compassion. We will listen to you and help you with your case every step of the way. By choosing us, you will have the best possible chance of:
- Having the charges reduced or dropped.
- Having your punishments reduced.
- Having jailtime lessened.
An indicator of a good quality lawyer is Avvo. This is a third-party, unbiased rating system on how good a law firm is. It uses algorithms based on previous wins, years spent practicing, and reviews. We have scored multiple 10.0 scores on Avvo, and we are more than happy to show you our countless referrals and testimonials.
We also think that it is important for you to know that you are not just hiring a single attorney when you hire us. We are a team of extremely skilled lawyers, all with years of experience defending clients. Therefore, you have a higher level of varied knowledge fighting on your behalf.
Communication and first impressions are extremely important to us. We want to ensure a good attorney-client relationship from your initial consultation. When dealing with a serious case like this, we want you to be able to get in touch whenever you need to. We will be here to help, and we promise to maintain this high level of communication all the way through the trial.
We also believe in being upfront and clear about our fee system. We don’t believe in using hidden charges and initially lowering our price just to charge you later on. What you see is what you get, and we want you to feel safe in that we are not out to cost you more than we initially agreed upon.
What Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do That I Cannot
We regularly face comments and questions about clients representing themselves and saving money by not hiring a criminal defense attorney. Not only is this a big mistake, but there are also things that a regular person simply cannot do.
Criminal defense lawyers may be able to work with the person prosecuting you to work out a plea deal. This may be a way to get a more preferable sentence or even eliminate some of the charges raised against you.
If you have been found guilty, your criminal defense lawyer will already have a plan ready. They may be able to change your punishments or reduce them.
For example, with drug cases, they might be able to prevent you from spending ten months in jail, negotiating for you to attend a drug treatment facility instead.
Your attorney will know how to deal with witnesses. They will be able to effectively extract evidence and statements. This is almost impossible to do when representing yourself.
Many witnesses will refuse to give statements or information to people that have been accused or are allegedly involved in a crime for fear of their own safety. However, witnesses are almost always more willing to talk to an attorney about their testimony.
Specialties and Duties: Handling Investigators and Experts
Part of the case will usually mean finding and obtaining investigators and expert witnesses.
Investigators will examine the alleged crime and the prosecution’s witnesses. These investigators may find evidence that could lead a jury to find a witness’s testimony less believable.
Expert witnesses may also be able to provide their findings on the case that may indicate you are innocent. They may also declare that they, with their expert knowledge, find the evidence against you invalid.
Many people believe they have a great chance of defending themselves due to watching too much television and too many movies.
When it comes to the actual court, and they find that reality is very different, they tend to quickly regret their decision.
Questions Many People Ask Before Hiring Us
We understand that you will most likely be considering several law firms, which we believe is a good thing. Below is our advice on what you should be asking potential attorneys. These are the questions we get asked the most often, and they should give you a good indication of how good the law firm is.
- Have you handled cases similar to mine?
- Have you won cases similar to mine?
- How many trials with a jury have you litigated?
- What is your record for working out plea agreements?
- What are your fees? Can I pay them in monthly installments if they end up being larger than expected?
- Can you provide me with references?
References, in particular, are immensely important. Any lawyer worth his salt will be more than happy to give you references from happy previous clients. If an attorney seems hesitant to do so, we advise you to remove them from your shortlist.
Finally, we highly recommend that you interview the lawyer yourself. They should be able to answer each question clearly, be easy to get along with, and you should come away from the meeting feeling good about that person.
Sarasota drug lawyer, FAQ
What constitutes a drug-related crime in Sarasota, Florida?
A drug-related crime in Sarasota involves offenses related to the illegal possession, manufacture, distribution, or trafficking of controlled substances. These offenses range from minor possession charges to more severe charges like drug trafficking.
What is the difference between drug possession and drug trafficking?
Drug possession typically refers to an individual having a controlled substance for personal use, while drug trafficking relates to the manufacture, distribution, or sale of drugs, usually in large quantities. Drug trafficking offenses are generally more severe than possession offenses.
Can drug possession charges lead to a felony in Sarasota?
Yes. Depending on the type and amount of drug, drug possession charges can be categorized as a third-degree felony or even higher. The specific charges depend on factors like the kind of drug and any previous convictions.
What’s the maximum prison sentence for a drug trafficking charge in Sarasota?
Drug trafficking charges carry severe penalties in Sarasota, often resulting in a lengthy maximum prison sentence. The exact duration varies based on the type and amount of drug involved, but it can range from several years to life imprisonment in the most serious cases.
If I’m charged with a drug-related crime, should I seek legal representation?
Absolutely. Given the complexity of drug laws and the potential severe consequences of a conviction, it’s essential to consult with a Sarasota drug lawyer who can advise on the best course of action and represent your interests in court.
Speak to a Sarasota Criminal Lawyer at The Law Place Today
Choosing the correct criminal defense attorney may be the most important thing you ever do. Our team of skilled attorneys here at The Law Place has helped thousands of clients over a collective 75 years of practicing law. We have helped clients avoid criminal charges and jail, as well as receiving more favorable outcomes for their cases.
We keep our phone lines open every hour of the day, every day of the week. So call today to arrange a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.