Florida takes drug cases very seriously. According to Florida’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, there were 124,788 cases of drug-related deaths in Florida in just the first six months of 2022. 

Police and courts are cracking down on drug cases, but that doesn’t mean hope is lost if you are facing drug charges. You can still fight for a plea deal with the help of a criminal attorney in Florida.

What Is a Plea Bargain?

Understanding plea bargains as outlined in rule 3.171 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure is fundamental to pursuing one. In Florida, a plea bargain is when the prosecution offers a lesser charge in exchange for you pleading guilty. Plea deals can be beneficial, especially if you’re facing federal criminal charges. When you agree to a plea bargain, you agree to:

  • Waive your right to a trial
  • Plead guilty to a lesser charge
  • Waive your right to appeal the court’s decision
  • Face sentencing for the agreed-upon charge

While the prosecution makes the offer, both lawyers must agree with the specifics of the bargain before moving forward.

Why Should You Seek a Plea Bargain?

While not every plea bargain is a good deal, it can sometimes be the difference between facing felony charges and a misdemeanor. In Florida, the difference between these classifications drastically impacts the penalties you face. Misdemeanor drug charges carry lighter jail sentences, usually in a county or city jail.

On the other hand, a felony drug conviction will likely come with more jail time and have you serve in federal prison. In Florida, drug offenses the court categorizes as a felony can lead to fines of up to $500,000.

How to Pursue a Plea Deal for a Drug Charge

While a plea bargain is never certain, following these steps will help you work toward a plea deal.

1. Act Quickly

You must work fast to achieve a plea deal. Plea bargain negotiations between your attorney and the prosecutor should begin as soon as possible. Depending on the specifics of your case, these negotiations can be extensive.

2. Contact a Criminal Defence Attorney

To seek a plea deal, you need a criminal attorney in Florida. They have the expertise to use negotiation tactics while pursuing a plea deal. They’ll also explain the implications of a guilty plea and explain alternatives. Finally, they can help you with trial negotiations.

3. Search for Inconsistencies or Police Mistakes

Drug cases are complex. If you can find a point where a police officer or prosecutor made a mistake regarding the details of your case, you have a greater chance of achieving a plea bargain. With the help of a lawyer, you can review sentencing guidelines, relevant protocol, and your case details to look for mistakes.

4. Consider the Deal

Assess the plea bargain. You and your lawyer should consider the severity of the charge vs. the lesser charge, your chance of winning at trial, and your possible sentence for the original charge vs the lesser charge. Weigh the risks of going to trial and accepting the deal as-is.

Seek a Plea Deal for a Drug Charge With a Florida Criminal Attorney

Don’t face these charges alone. Seeking a plea deal requires experience, knowledge of negotiation tactics, and an understanding of quality plea deals. If you need a criminal attorney in Florida to pursue a plea deal for a drug charge, contact Michael White, P.A.

Michael White, P.A. has experience as a criminal defense attorney in various practice areas and has also worked as a prosecutor. He’s familiar with drug case proceedings and can help you through this difficult time.

Call 954-270-0769 to schedule a consultation.

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MICHAEL WHITE

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After several years as a prosecutor and General Counsel for the Broward County Police Benevolence Association (PBA), Michael White started his own practice focused on protecting individuals accused of crimes.

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