Penalties for drug distribution are more severe than possession charges. Drug distribution cases are typically sale, delivery, or trafficking-related cases, and those charges carry higher penalties than simple possession. Possession typically means that someone allegedly owns a controlled substance for personal use. Distribution is a situation where an individual is selling or delivering drugs to one or multiple people.
In most cases, the business of the illegal drug trade is what causes those types of cases to be taken more seriously than simple possession cases. It may be beneficial for someone facing these charges to speak with a Ft. Lauderdale drug distribution lawyer. The distinguished drug attorneys at Leifert & Leifert have an understanding of local laws that could help to defend your rights and reputation in court.
Aggravating Factors of Drug Distribution Charges
A drug distribution offense becomes aggravated when somebody charged with this offense already has a criminal record of these crimes. Therefore, if somebody has been accused and/or convicted of drug distribution in the past and they are charged with this offense currently, it is going to be an aggravating factor in their sentencing and penalties. Other aggravating factors of drug distribution include the location where the alleged distribution occurs, the type of controlled substance and the amount.
A case where an individual is accused of selling or delivering small amounts of crack cocaine is a lot different than somebody accused of distributing or selling a kilo or kilos of powder cocaine or large amounts of pills or narcotics. Law enforcement sets up undercover stings and confidential informants to crack down on distribution. Throughout the airport, there are often dogs for drug detection, and the law enforcement activity around the airport is for detection of illegal drugs and narcotics coming into South Florida. Our attorneys in Ft. Lauderdale could explain how some aggravating factors may increase the severity of drug distribution charges.
Role of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments
The Fourth Amendment deals with unlawful searches or seizures and issues involving search warrants. In drug cases, the law enforcement has the right to enter a home, search a home, enter a car, and search a car. Whether an individual was pulled over in their vehicle, stopped on the street, called in for questioning, or arrested, all constitutional issues deal with an individual being seized by the government, which falls under a Fourth Amendment analysis.
The Fifth Amendment deals with individuals’ right to remain silent. If they choose to waive that right to remain silent and give a statement or confession, it deals with whether that waiver was proper as analyzed under the Fifth Amendment, utilizing a series of tests that are laid out by the Miranda case. The constitutional issues involving whether or not law enforcement acted within their right pursuant to the constitutional protections that are given to any of people when the microscope is put upon them by law enforcement. Particularly in drug-related cases, those issues tend to come up a lot more frequently compared to some other types of cases. A Ft. Lauderdale lawyer could determine if someone’s Fourth or Fifth Amendment rights were infringed upon when charged with drug distribution.
Defenses for Drug Distribution Charges
Because the type and amount of drug often determine the penalties and exact charges in drug cases, the subsequent defense typically depends on these factors as well as other specifics of the case. Our team of attorneys in Ft. Lauderdale could determine what defense strategy may be most effective in a particular drug distribution case. Some of the most common defenses in these cases include:
- Challenging the legality of the search and seizure
- Arguing that the defendant did not have any knowledge that they were in possession of the drugs in question
- Lack of sufficient evidence
Speak with a Ft. Lauderdale Drug Distribution Attorney
The benefit and role of a local attorney is having the convenience of meeting with them as soon as you are charged. Our Ft. Lauderdale drug distribution lawyers have the relationships with prosecutors and judges that may be beneficial to a potential client’s defense. Individuals should look for an attorney who is practicing or has an office in the same county where the case is being litigated or prosecuted. Chances are that the attorney goes to the court more often in that jurisdiction or that courthouse versus others.