Drug trafficking holds stiff consequences in Okaloosa County and throughout the state of Florida, where seemingly ordinary individuals can face years behind bars if charged with this felony crime. The bar for trafficking can be surprisingly low, with ‘knowing possession’ often deemed sufficient to place accused individuals behind bars. Your response in the aftermath of an arrest can determine whether you emerge with a desirable outcome — or whether your life is forever changed by harsh criminal penalties. Below, we offer valuable guidance to help you navigate the difficult ordeal when charged with dealing drugs in Okaloosa County Florida:
Seek Legal Representation Immediately
The sooner you get in touch with a trusted criminal attorney, the better. Your lawyer can help you prevent accidental self-incrimination as you are questioned by law enforcement officials. From there, your lawyer can gather the extensive evidence needed to prove your case and help you avoid harsh penalties. Given the high-stakes nature of drug trafficking cases in Okaloosa County, strong legal representation is absolutely essential.
Avoid Talking About Your Legal Ordeal
Prosecutors will go to great lengths to get accused drug traffickers to incriminate themselves. When in doubt, it’s always best to be cautious — even when such caution seems excessive. Avoid speaking about your case with anybody — even trusted friends and family members — unless your attorney is present. Likewise, avoid mentioning the details of your case to fellow inmates if you are incarcerated. Your desire for commiseration is understandable, but it’s just not worth the risk.
Social media can be especially dangerous territory during this difficult time. When in doubt, it’s best to completely avoid Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms as you await courtroom appearances. Even seemingly innocuous photos, status updates, or comments can be used against you in a court of law.
Understand the Meaning of Drug Trafficking and Intention to Distribute
A thorough understanding of the charges you’ve been dealt could prove invaluable as you proceed through the red tape of Florida’s criminal justice system. The Florida Statutes define a drug trafficker as anybody who “sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state” illicit substances. Trafficking also applies when alleged offenders are deemed knowingly or constructively in possession of excessive amounts of the substance in question.
Amounts required for a felony conviction vary based on the substance; with cocaine, for example, any amount over 28 grams constitutes trafficking. For cases involving cannabis, the extent of the crime may be determined either by the substance’s weight or the number of cannabis plants.
Allegations that often seem minor to the defendant can ultimately prove devastating once the final conviction is delivered. The better you understand the true stakes of your case, the more likely you are to take the proactive approach needed to reach a favorable outcome.
If you have been charged with dealing drugs in Okaloosa County, you cannot afford to take a passive approach to your legal predicament. Attorney John F. Greene can assist you as you navigate the criminal justice system. Reach out today to get started with a case consultation. You’ll be glad to have one of Florida’s most knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys on your side.