Drug crimes are a priority for law enforcement especially for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. Just like any other big city or large urban area, Fort Lauderdale focuses heavily on drug cases, specifically drug trafficking-related cases.
For individuals who are being investigated for any drug related offense, an experienced drug lawyer can interact with law enforcement on their client’s behalf. It is important that anyone under investigation for drug-related offenses in Fort Lauderdale does not talk to the police prior to consulting with an attorney. Fort Lauderdale drug defenses allow an attorney to mitigate any spotlight or investigation that might be ongoing.
How Drug Cases are Charged
Police officers in Fort Lauderdale make an arrest based on probable cause. The case is then forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office in Fort Lauderdale. They review the cases based on a higher standard of the reasonable likelihood of a conviction based on a higher standard of proof, meaning, proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The State Attorney’s Office is not bound to prosecute or formally file the charges presented to them by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. They have the discretion to reduce the charge. The converse is also true; they can increase the charges as well.
Law Enforcement Constitutional Issues
Constitutional law is prevalent in Fort Lauderdale drug defenses. There are many constitutional issues and the earlier an attorney can get involved and examine those issues, the stronger the defense.
Many times these cases result from a traffic stop or some type of encounter with the police. The attorney always examines whether there are any constitutional violations as analyzed by the Fourth Amendment safeguard and protection against unlawful searches and seizures. A drug lawyer investigates the manner in which Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the prosecutor’s evidence was collected to make sure there are no constitutional violations of unlawful seizures or searches as outlined by the protections of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Dismissing Charges and Suppressing Evidence
There may be chain of custody issues in how the drugs were taken into evidence. If it is determined that there are constitutional violations, an attorney can bring motions before the court to dismiss charges and suppress the evidence. If those avenues are not successful, a drug attorney may be able to negotiate a reasonable resolution with the prosecutor in Fort Lauderdale for a lenient sentence or a lesser charge.
If none of those actions bear any fruit; the other option is to appeal to the judge presiding over the case for a lenient and reasonable sentence. When that is not an option, and the attorney believes there is a good chance of a not guilty verdict in front of a jury, the defense can proceed and take the case to trial in front of a jury in Fort Lauderdale.
The attorney can attempt to force the government to prove the drug charges or to cast doubt on the prosecutor’s case as a Fort Lauderdale drug defense. They would need to argue that there is reasonable doubt of the crime being prosecuted and presented in Fort Lauderdale.
Role of an Attorney
The attorney examines whether there was probable cause to make the arrest made by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. The attorney evaluates whether all their actions and procedures were legal. The defense attorney can argue that an individual who was pulled over by a Fort Lauderdale police officer did not present with the requisite reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop.
Defense attorneys look for problems with the way the Fort Lauderdale police investigated the case, conducted searches, and applied for search warrants. They look for issues with respect to Miranda, the Fifth Amendment, and whether statements taken by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department were constitutionally obtained.
The defense attorney verifies whether the individual was read their Miranda warnings. The attorney seeks ways to suppress any exculpatory evidence or drugs in a Fort Lauderdale drug case. The objective is to find opportunities to file motions to dismiss based on improper evidence, a statute of limitations, or issues with drug testing or drug weighing.
Once the analysis is exhausted and if the case has not been dismissed, dropped or otherwise resolved, the attorney attempts to negotiate a potential resolution with the prosecutor and analyzes whether the case could go to trial with a successful outcome.
Hiring A Lawyer
The importance of getting an attorney involved in an early stage is so the attorney can reach out to the prosecutor to advocate for the dismissal of the charge, the non-filing of the charge, or the filing of a lesser charge. The sooner a person involves their attorney, the better. Memories are fresh and potential drug defenses can be investigated as soon as possible. There can be issues with trying to get somebody released from jail by trying to get a reasonable bond and getting the family in touch with a bondsman if necessary.
The best defense is the one that starts the earliest. The more time an attorney has to build Fort Lauderdale drug defenses, the greater the opportunity to best represent you and your future outcome. Just because an individual is arrested for a particular offense, that does not necessarily mean they are going to be prosecuted for that offense.