Category Archives: Drug Crimes

What the Heck is Probation?

What the heck is probation?

Probation often stirs up confusion. Many often think that this is the same as being free, but this is not the case. To clear things up, we try to explain probation in a nutshell in this article.

Probation is basically an alternative to being put behind bars. If someone has committed a relatively light crime, it would be unfair to lock them up. In these cases, someone is put under probation.

Probation is an order made by the court for you to do or not to do certain things for a certain period of time. With this, you are under the supervision of a probation officer, who checks on you, and if you are complying with the conditions of probation.

What are the Common Conditions of Probation?

Almost everyone considers probation as a hassle because it sometimes is. Since you have committed a crime punishable by a probation order, you have to deal with it.

  • Obey all the laws of the land.

Probation is no joke, so you better take it seriously. Do not worsen your case and push the court to actually send you inside a jail cell. Be a law-abiding citizen.

  • Show up in court when ordered.

First of all, you are under probation because of the crime you committed. Make it up to society, and yourself, by attending court hearings.

  • Attend to your rehabilitative therapies.

Being under probation is not actually a punishment. It is a way of the law to help you get back on the right track. Be it individual or group therapies, make sure you attend these for your own rehabilitation.

  • Submit to random drug testing.

This is a standard condition of probation. While you are already expected to not have or use drugs not prescribed by doctors, you must submit yourself to random substance abuse evaluation.

  • Report to your probation officer.

Since the probation officer is your supervisor, they should also be allowed to visit your residence and check it for any illegal items. Keep in mind that you do not have to do this every day.

  • Pay the fees.

Aside from paying the community a service, you must also pay court costs and any restitution. Violating rules entails lots of paying, too.

What is the Best Thing to Do if Put Under Probation?

Because of the crime you committed, you are sent back to your home. You are not free like the other citizens in your neighborhood. After staying true to the conditions of probation and after proving to the court that you will stay out of trouble, your probation might already be terminated. Usually though, probation lasts for six months to 10 years, depending on the severity of your crime.

Generally, it is a good idea to contact a criminal defense lawyer if you are on probation. Do yourself a favor and let an experienced attorney help you out. Disobedience to rules is the wrong move, but it is not too late to do it right this time. Seek the best legal assistance you can find, and your future self will thank you. If you need a Broward Criminal Lawyer, contact Michael Gottlieb today. 




5 Misconceptions about Drug Crimes

5 Misconceptions about Drug Crimes.

The use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs is a drug crime. The United States has policies in place to reduce and especially prevent drug abuse and drug crimes. Unfortunately, very few people understand what they are and how they can affect people’s everyday lives. Thus, as a law-abiding citizen who may get involved in drug crimes not even known to you, the best tool you have is knowledge about what drug crimes truly are and what they are not.

Here are 5 misconceptions about drug crimes:

  • If your housemate hid illegal drugs in your apartment or vehicle without you knowing, you can get away from this since you do not own them.

Even if your name is not written on the packaging of the drugs, you cannot just run away. It is funny and obvious, yet true. Federal and state drug possession laws define constructive possession as the accused having access to illegal drugs. Despite the fact that the drugs were not found inside your own room, you can still be charged with drug crime. This is because you have the keys to your apartment where illegal drugs were found.

  • Whenever policemen come by my doorstep, I must let them in immediately to check my apartment or vehicle for any hidden illegal drugs.

Some members of the police may be intimidating because of their uniform and presence. Know, however, that you have the right to ask for a search warrant. Politely ask them to slide the warrant underneath the door. If they fail to show you a court-issued warrant, refuse to open the door.

If the police find any illegal drug or equipment without a search warrant, this evidence will be no good. Your drug charges will have to be dismissed.

  • A first offense drug crime is nothing to worry about.

This is completely false. People may be sentenced to a certain time in prison although it is their first conviction. Any drug crime, whether first or second offense and no matter how small or big, is still a drug crime. By being involved in crime, you get your clean record stained. This makes it difficult for you to get yourself hired and that is something to worry about.

  • Marijuana use is legal as long as you are in the United States.

According to Business Insider, marijuana is only legal in 9 out of 50 American states. These are Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and DC. It is also important to take note of the amount each state allows.

  • Seeking legal advice from criminal defense attorneys for a minor drug crime is a waste of time and resources.

Wrong. Being proactive in your own case gives the court a different view of who you are as a person. Instead of being a know-it-all, be down-to-earth and contact a lawyer to discuss your case. Your drug crime may be minor, but a professional defender is always of great help.

Asking for help is never wrong. As has been proven over the years, allowing an experienced criminal defense attorney to take over will increase your chances of winning your case. With this, you are guaranteed to get your life back free of criminal charges.

What You Should Know About Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes

Search and Seizure Drug Crims

In 2015 alone, there were 22,631 federal drug cases, making drug crimes one of the most common reasons to go to court. One may be charged with such a crime if a person is believed or caught to be using, possessing, manufacturing, or distributing illegal drugs. Before adjudication, search and seizure are done by the authorities. However, just because officials in uniform come by your door and ask you to let them in, you do not have to readily give them the consent and allow them to search your home.

Here are things you should know when faced with this kind of situation.

Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes Should Be Court-Issued

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution aims to protect the people’s right to privacy and freedom from arbitrary governmental intrusions. A search and seizure for drug crimes is only reasonable and legal if a court-issued warrant is presented, with few exceptions. If you give them your consent even without a warrant, the search and seizure is legal.

Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes May Be Warrantless Under Certain Grounds

A warrantless search and seizure for drug crimes that suspends the Fourth Amendment’s requirement is valid during emergencies. Authorities may enter homes without a warrant to protect life and property, prevent destruction of evidence, and pursue a fleeing criminal. If there is no emergency during the time the police pushed for a warrantless entry, it is them who owe you an explanation.

Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes is Lawful if Done in Plain View

The plain view exception in search and seizure for drug crimes is a must-know. If you are dealing illegal drugs outside your home and policemen happen to pass by, they have the right to search your home. With your obvious drug crime carried out in plain view, police will suspect that you also have drug equipment inside. What you did is unlawful, and their warrantless search and seizure is allowed.

Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes Is Different For Private Security

Search and seizure for private security is not protected by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. If illegal drugs are found in your bag during inspection before you enter a shopping mall, the security of that establishment has all the right to seize the illegal drugs and bring you to the authorities. The evidence found inside your bag is valid since the search is rightfully done by private security. Had this been done by government security, which is to say that they stopped you when casually walking on the streets and searched your bag, any evidence found would be invalid.

Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes is Best Faced with a Lawyer

When you are approached by officials and they have presented a court-issued warrant, do not hesitate to call your lawyer for legal assistance. Drug crimes are serious and they can greatly impact you for the rest of your life.

Many people think that requesting legal counsel makes them look guilty, but you need to talk to a lawyer as quickly as humanly possible. It is an imperative to discuss your case early, increase your chances of winning it, and expand your options. Experienced criminal defense attorneys know what to do and how to do it. All you have to do is trust their expertise. If you are facing drug charges, call Broward Criminal Lawyer – Michael Gottlieb, Esquire today.

3 Tips for Fighting Florida Cocaine Charges

3 Tips for fighting Florida Cocaine Charges.

There are three cocaine-related charges that can be enforced against you in Florida.

Possession constitutes a 3rd-degree felony that could be bumped up to a 1st degree when you possess 28g of cocaine or more. The sale is a 2nd-degree felony which is more severe when done near a school campus. Lastly, trafficking cocaine charges vary depending on how many grams you are caught with. Imprisonment can last from 3 to 99 years.

Being charged with cocaine-related crimes is stressful and detrimental to your future. It would be best if you call an attorney that specializes in these kinds of accusations. In the meantime, read on to find some defenses that you can use to fight Florida cocaine charges.

  1. Unknown Possession

The state of Florida statutes implead cocaine charges to “Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 28 grams or more of cocaine, as described in s. 893.03

 Criminal possession usually requires conscious possession. The accuser holds the burden of proof. If this is your defense, you will have to testify that you had no knowledge of your possession of cocaine. You can also testify that you were not aware that the substance you possessed was cocaine.

Another defense can be established by using the law of constructive possession. If the place where the cocaine was found is not accessed solely by one person, the prosecutor would have to prove the following two elements before you can be convicted:

(1) Knowledge of the cocaine’s presence, and

(2) Dominion and control over the cocaine.

  1. Illegal Search and Seizure

 In Florida, it’s important that evidence confiscated by a police officer was acquired legally. Your criminal defense attorney can prove that evidence was acquired through a search warrant signed in bad faith or through accusation without probable cause. If it can be proven that the evidence was seized illegally, then that evidence can be suppressed and removed from the state’s case.

Consequently, a lack of evidence makes the prosecution weak which can be grounds for dismissal.

  1. Bumping down your Charges

 If neither of the defenses above contribute to your case, and you are a lower-level offender, you will soon find yourself in talks with prosecutors who will offer a plea bargain in exchange for your knowledge against high-profile felons.

Moreover, volunteering for treatment and other options can help drug crime defendants avoid jail time.

However, if you are charged with possession of a large amount of cocaine or with intent to sell or distribute, you may be facing serious jail time. When neither dismissal nor reduction is possible, a plea negotiation on the drug dealing charge may be appropriate. Sometimes, settlements and negotiation by a criminal attorney can lead to shorter prison time or turn your charges into a probationary case.

If all else fails, there is a choice to go on trial. If you are facing serious cocaine charges in Florida, exercise your right to remain silent. You have the options above. However, we recommend that you discuss your case with an experienced Broward criminal lawyer such as Michael Gottlieb.