Being charged with a drug offense of any kind in Florida is serious. Although the penalties vary depending on the type of controlled substance as well as the amount of the drug involved in the charged offense, if you are charged with drug trafficking then you will be facing a minimum mandatory prison sentence, even if this is your first offense. If a firearm was used in the commission of the drug charge, then the penalties can be enhanced.
In addition to hefty fines and time in prison, you may also face the seizure and forfeiture of any property the government alleges you gained from drug trafficking. Under Florida’s Contraband Forfeiture Act (Sections 932.701-932.706, Florida Statutes) the government can seize and take ownership of property related to criminal violations of the law. The police can take your car, cash, jewelry and even your home if the property owner is arrested for an offense that makes the property an article of contraband as defined in the act. However, the government must closely follow the procedural guidelines of the act, especially the notification procedures.
Drug forfeiture attorney Anthony G. Ryan has experience in defending and stopping the government from taking your property. Mr. Ryan has successfully stopped a local government agency from taking two homes from a client. If you have been arrested and provided a Notice of Forfeiture, then you need an experienced contraband forfeiture attorney, like Sarasota Criminal Defense Attorney Anthony G. Ryan.Don’t Just Plead Out at Arraignment
Don’t just take a plea at arraignment without speaking with an experienced Sarasota drug lawyer like Anthony G. Ryan. Even if the state is only asking that you pay court costs, there are serious collateral consequences for getting convicted of drug possession. For example, an adjudication of guilt for possession can result in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, prevent you from holding certain professional licenses, show up on background checks for employment or property rental, prevent you from getting government educational loans, or prevent you from being accepted to college.
Whether you are charged with simple possession of a small amount of marijuana or for trafficking in large amounts of crack cocaine, you need the services of an experienced and knowledgeable Sarasota criminal defense attorney who will investigate the facts of your case and explore all possible defenses. Even if you were caught with the drugs in your pocket and you admitted they were yours, there still may be possible defenses like filing a motion to suppress evidence because a law enforcement officer made an illegal search or seizure. There also might be a way to resolve the case through a diversionary program like a pretrial intervention (PTI program) or drug court. Mr. Ryan has experience in getting his client’s enrolled in diversionary or therapeutic rehabilitation courts like drug court, mental health court or VA court. You may qualify for a diversionary program and upon successful completion the drug charge may be dismissed and ultimately expunged from your record.
At the Law Office of Anthony G. Ryan, a Sarasota Florida drug possession lawyer, we can help. We thoroughly investigate the facts of each individual case and do everything possible to protect all your constitutional rights and to minimize the consequences. Some approaches we may take include, but are not limited to:
- Motion to Suppress: If our investigation indicates that the state violated your rights under the Fourth Amendment and illegally seized the drugs you are being charged with, we will file a motion to suppress the evidence. If the motion is successful, in many cases, the charges may be dropped.
- Diversion programs: If you qualify for a diversion program, we help get you into one. Even if you don’t qualify, attorney Ryan may be able to get the state to make an exception. In many instances, if the diversion program is successfully completed, the charges against you may be dismissed and your record cleared.
- Referral to treatment centers: Participation in a treatment program, going to AA or NA meetings may impress the state and the judge and mitigate or reduce the punishment.
- Take it to trial: You only get one chance to fight it. Remember at trial, the only thing that matters is what the state can and cannot prove at trial.
Criminal Defense lawyer Anthony G. Ryan is ready, willing, and able to go to trial if necessary and in your best interest. However, Mr. Ryan has well developed professional relationships with the state, so he can also meet with the prosecutor and try to negotiate a favorable sentence if that is in your best interest. Call now for free consultation to discuss how Mr. Ryan’s knowledge and experience can be used to your benefit.