In Ft. Lauderdale, there are two classifications of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. The overwhelming majority of drug-related offenses are felonies. The only ones that are misdemeanors are possessions of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia.
To best understand what to expect from a Ft. Lauderdale drug case and what you are being charged with, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced drug attorney can build a robust defense and guide you through the entirety of the legal process.
Determining the Level of Drug Offense
With the exception of certain misdemeanors, unfortunately, when somebody is accused by law enforcement of any drug related offense, then it is most often a felony. The severity of someone’s drug charges depends on the type of drug, the amount of drug, and whether it is possession. Possession with intent to deliver or distribute, distribution, sale, deliberate, trafficking, or conspiracy will dictate what level of felony it is.
There are three levels of felonies: third degree, second degree, or first degree. It is not necessarily an expectation, in general, it is dictated based on the facts and circumstances of each particular case. The type of drug, the amount of drug involved, and what was happening with respect to that drug is mostly used to determine the drug charges an individual is facing.
Drug Case Process
After being accused of a drug-related offense in Ft. Lauderdale, a defendant should expect an arrest in most cases and the ability to bond out or post bail and get out of jail. The majority of cases are filed by the state attorney’s office and prosecuted in court in Fort Lauderdale.
Further, an individual should expect a vigorous and strong prosecution by the state attorney’s office, which is the reason that the individual should also have a strong defense against those charges.
Typically, after charges are filed, the person would face an arraignment in front of the judge where the charges are read or explained to them. An attorney can waive that, which is called a waiving of formal reading. This occurs on a regular basis. In this scenario, the attorney can tell the court that they have educated or informed the client as to what the charges are. The client does not need to be seen standing up in front of a judge to have the charges read to them. It is sometimes a stressful and embarrassing situation. The local rules in Fort Lauderdale give an attorney the ability to waive that and file a document saying that they have explained the charges to our clients.
Arraignment Process Following Drug Charges
At the arraignment for their Ft. Lauderdale drug case, an individual should expect to hear their official charges and be give the case to enter their plea. Most defense attorneys would advise their client to enter a plea of not guilty. From here, the first thing that an attorney would do is see what they could do to avoid charges in the first place. They may reach out to the prosecutor to try to convince them not to file charges. If that does not work, a defense attorney may try to convince them to lower the offense to the least serious possible charge available.
There are many diversion programs for certain drug-related offenses that might be available to a first-time offender. Even if there are prior offenses on an individual’s record, they still might be eligible for certain diversion programs for a drug charge on a misdemeanor level.
Our Ft Lauderdale Attorney Could Explain What a Drug Defendant Should Expect
Our dedicated attorneys could explain what you should expect from a Ft. Lauderdale drug case. We could review your charges and prepare you from the upcoming legal process. You should not have to go through this alone. Our team is here is defend your rights and freedom. Contact us today to get started.