Most Floridians have probably heard about the opioid epidemic that many claim is spreading throughout the country. While many are concerned about the health effects of this ever-growing problem, others see it as a looming legal problem. After all, in an attempt to curb the problem, law enforcement officials are aggressively pursuing those they believe to be furthering the spread of drugs in the community. This work is admirable, but it can also lead to the trampling of accused individuals’ legal rights. Criminal defendants may need to rely on these violations in order to put forth a strong defense and, hopefully, suppress otherwise compromising evidence.
This may be the situation for three Floridians who were recently taken into custody on various drug charges. According to reports, the three were arrested after a resident at a hotel called police with a tip about potential drug activity in another room. Police then obtained a search warrant and searched the room in question. There, according to police, several drugs were found, including five grams of heroin, methamphetamine, Xanax, marijuana and cocaine. Police also indicated that they found other materials that made it appear as if these drugs were meant for sale.
As a result, the individuals were arrested and charged with various drug crimes, including drug trafficking and possession of marijuana and cocaine. If convicted of these crimes, these individuals could face years, perhaps even decades, behind bars. As disheartening as that may sound, they may be able to put forth a strong criminal defense.
One way to do this is to challenge the legality of the warrant that was used to search the premises. If the warrant was defective, then any evidence gathered as a result could be suppressed, meaning that it can’t be used against the defendants. Also, the defendants may be able to challenge specific elements of each crime they were charged with, which may significantly lessen the potential penalties they may face. In the end, the criminal defense options available to an individual are wholly dependent upon the facts, which is why it is always important to discuss these matters with a skilled legal professional.