The criminal defense lawyers at Blake & Dorsten, P.A. represent clients charged with a broad variety of offenses, including those related to the possession, use, manufacturing, and trafficking of methamphetamine. These are serious charges that can have life-changing consequences for both the person charged with the crime and his or her family. That's why our Tampa Bay meth crime lawyers fight these cases head on. We are former prosecutors who understand how juries and judges approach drug cases, and we know how to craft strong defenses for the people we represent.Meth Crime Penalties
Meth is a highly addictive, dangerous drug that can do lasting damage to anyone who uses it. As a result, cops and courts in Florida take meth crimes seriously. Prison time and heavy fines are common for anyone convicted of a meth crime in the Sunshine State, and can often be more severe than what you would face for many of the offenses related to other drugs, such as marijuana. If you are caught with less than 14 grams of the drug, for instance, you're looking at a third degree felony that comes with as much as $5,000 in fines, as long as five years behind bars and the loss of your driver's license for as long as two years. The possession of more than 14 grams of meth is considered trafficking. It comes with a minimum of three years in jail, which increases along with the quantity of the drug involved, and a minimum $50,000 fine.Constructive Possession
What many people don't realize is that you can be convicted of possession meth and other drugs without physically having the drugs on you. Courts call "actual possession" the physical holding of the drugs or carrying of them on your person. But state law also makes "constructive possession" of methamphetamine a crime. Constructive possession happens when you have the power to exercise control over the drugs, including when they're found in your car or home.Defenses in Meth Crime Cases
Florida and federal laws offer a number of potential defenses to anyone charged with a drug crime in the Sunshine State. It is important to understand that the burden of proof is always on the prosecutors who charged you with the crime. They have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the specific offense you have been charged with, whether it is a meth, heroin, or other drug crime. That means showing more than that it's likely that you are guilty.
An experienced meth crimes lawyer in Tampa Bay can help you identify the relevant defenses for your situation. For example, search and seizure limits are often some of the most important defenses in Florida drug crimes cases. There are important restrictions on when police officers can stop you on the street, pull over your car, or enter your home. There are also significant restrictions on when they can search you, your vehicle, or the place you live.
If a police officer wants to stop you on the street or pull you over on a highway, they must have a "reasonable suspicion" that you're committing a crime. Further, reasonable suspicion to suspect that you have a weapon is necessary if the police officer wants to frisk you. "Probable cause"-a higher standard-is required if the police want to search your vehicle or your home without a warrant. When police officers don't play by these rules, any evidence they obtain can potentially be excluded from the case against you.Lawyers Helping Tampa Bay Residents Accused of Drug Crimes
At Blake & Dorsten, P.A, our criminal defense team understands the complex legal issues that often come up in drug cases, whether they involve meth, cocaine, or other substances. We are former prosecutors who know how the government often approaches these cases. Our Tampa Bay meth crime attorneys are dedicated to standing by our clients as they go through the difficult process of facing criminal charges. With offices conveniently located in Clearwater and St. Petersburg, we gladly serve clients throughout the region. That includes Tampa, Brandon, Sarasota, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Bradenton, as well as Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Pasco, Sarasota and Lee Counties. Call us at 727-286-6141 or contact us online to make an appointment to discuss your case with an attorney.