Is It Possible To Get a Drug Charge Dropped or Dismissed?
When an officer arrests you for drug possession, stay calm. Penalties for drug possession vary widely depending on the substance, your history, and your circumstances. When an officer finds illegal drugs on your person or property, it doesn’t have to be the end.
Don’t take on this battle alone, and contact a criminal attorney. Florida has numerous laws relating to drug possession, and having someone familiar with the procedures can significantly help your case. An attorney can review your case and determine the probability of getting the charges dropped.
Can Drug Charges Be Dismissed in Florida?
Yes, drug charges can be dismissed in certain circumstances. The first thing to consider is the definition of “possession” in reference to drug possession.
To be guilty of drug possession, you must have had actual or constructive possession of the drugs. Actual possession means you had the drugs directly on your person, while constructive possession means you had control over the drug and knew of its presence.
If you can prove this is untrue or that the officer who found the drugs violated your constitutional rights, your charges may be dismissed.
Methods of Getting Drug Charges Dismissed
You can fight for your drug charges to be dismissed with the help of a criminal attorney. Florida has multiple avenues for getting drug charges dismissed.
1. Illegal Search
If the officer who searched you for drugs did so illegally, they violated your constitutional rights. If you can prove this, your drug charges may be dropped since the evidence would be inadmissible.
To legally search you, an officer needs to have reasonable suspicion. This can include a sniffer dog indicating you have drugs on you or witnessing you exchange money for drugs. On the other hand, they cannot randomly search you without cause. Neither can they legally search you based on their perception of you being agitated or nervous.
If you were subject to an illegal search, contact a criminal defense attorney. Florida may drop your charges if you can prove this fact.
2. Lack of Knowledge
If you were unaware you had a controlled substance in your possession, you may be able to have the charges dismissed. If someone left drugs on your property, for example, you might’ve not known they were illegal or that they were even there.
3. Lack of Exclusive Possession
If the officer didn’t find the drugs on your person, you might be able to argue there isn’t enough evidence of exclusive possession. Exclusive possession means you are the only person who could have custody and control over the substance.
If anyone else had access to the property where law enforcement found the drugs, you could argue you didn’t have exclusive possession. However, the court may then argue you still had joint possession. Police are likely to test for fingerprints.
4. Joining a Drug Diversion Program
If you are a first-time offender and your drug charges are for a misdemeanor offense, you may be able to participate in a drug diversion program to have the charges dropped. This involves taking drug treatment classes. First, you must plead guilty to the charges. After treatment, your charges may be dropped.
Facing Drug Charges? Contact Florida Criminal Defense Attorney at the Law Office of Michael White
If you’re facing drug charges in Florida, whether a misdemeanor or a felony offense, consult a criminal attorney. Florida’s drug possession laws can be hard to navigate, but the Law Office of Michael White can help.
We’re dedicated to protecting those accused of crimes in Florida. Contact us at 954-787-3092 for more information, or schedule a free consultation online.