Latest Posts

Will I be charged with a misdemeanor or felony?

  • On behalf of Mike G Law posted in on Thursday, April 2, 2015

Under Florida law, whether you are charged with misdemeanor or felony marijuana charges depends on how much of the substance was involved, the type of marijuana and whether the alleged offense occurred near a school. Being charged with possession of marijuana paraphernalia is a misdemeanor and is punishable by one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. A conviction for selling or possessing marijuana concentrates and hashish is an automatic felony, no matter how much of the substance was found. For regular marijuana, possession or sale of 20 grams or less is a misdemeanor and carries a one-year sentence and a fine of $1,000 for possession and $10,000 for selling. More than 20 grams means you could be facing felony... Read More »

Prescription drugs: Florida’s doctor shopping laws

When people think of illegal drugs and drugs crimes, substances like cocaine, heroin or even marijuana may come to mind. However, charges can also involve prescription medications. One of the lesser known issues with prescription drugs is what is referred to as doctor shopping. Exact laws vary by state, with some states having general laws prohibiting doctor shopping, while others also include specific laws. Florida is currently the only state in the country that does not have a general law regarding doctor shopping but does have specific laws prohibiting it. Doctor shopping is when someone goes to multiple doctors to get multiple prescriptions for the same medication. In these situations, the health care practitioners are unaware the patient has already... Read More »

Scientists studying how age relates to drug use and cocaine

  • On behalf of Mike G Law posted in on Friday, March 20, 2015

According to the Wall Street Journal, an increasing number of older Americans are abusing illicit drugs, like cocaine, heroin and marijuana. As such, more of America’s aging population is getting arrested on drug charges and dying from overdoses. Perhaps this should not be a surprise, though, considering that the baby boomer generation — which is 76 million strong — was the generation that used the most drugs in their youth. Most social scientists agree that it is difficult to compare one generation’s drug use against another’s due to the historical differences that apply to each generation. For example, the prescription drug epidemic might apply to today’s elderly population, whereas it would not have applied to elderly generations of the past.... Read More »

Cocaine trafficking charges and the possible federal penalties

  • On behalf of Mike G Law posted in on Thursday, March 12, 2015

Cocaine is a Schedule II substance and as such, if you are found in possession with a certain amount of the drug, you could be facing federal trafficking charges and the penalties that go along with them. Federal drug charges are very serious and include mandatory sentences, even for first-time offenders. The mandatory minimum sentence for a federal drug trafficking conviction depends on the type of substance, the amount of substance that was found in the defendant’s possession and whether it was the defendant’s first offense. If you are found with 28 to 279 grams of cocaine base or 500 to 4999 grams of cocaine in your possession and it is a first offense, the mandatory sentencing for a conviction... Read More »

What is the difference between drug possession and trafficking?

  • On behalf of Mike G Law posted in on Friday, March 6, 2015

While drug crimes of any sort are serious charges, the different types of offenses can be a challenge to understand. What the substance was, how much of it was found on the person, items found during the search procedures and any statements made by the defendant can all have an impact on the charges and, therefore, the possible penalties. In Florida, many cases of simple drug possession are misdemeanors that are dealt with at the state level. While these crimes can still carry possible jail time or fines, those possible consequences are not as severe as those associated with charges of drug trafficking or distribution. Being accused of drug trafficking is a felony offense. The prosecutors in these cases are... Read More »

Drug crimes and the Florida drug pretrial intervention program

Any drug violation is serious, but a conviction of a federal drug offense can mean even stiffer penalties and a permanent mark on your criminal record. Police officers, prosecutors and judges are all becoming stricter with how drug crime cases are handled, from the initial search and arrest to the trial and sentencing. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the Florida justice system and understand how your choices now may affect the outcome later. Every drug violation case is different, and it is imperative that you discuss your case openly and honestly with your attorney. Only once your attorney has all of the facts can he ensure he is presenting the pros and cons of your... Read More »

Federal drug sentencing cases with mandatory minimums fall

Mandatory minimum sentences have been seen as a problem for years. They have been used in an effort to reduce drug use in this country. Sadly, they have not achieved their ostensible goal, but they have contributed to the problem of too many inmates in prison. Attorney General Eric Holder has been a proponent of the "Smart on Crime" initiative, which was designed to minimize the use of harsh mandatory minimums for non-violent drug crimes.  This week, he announced evidence that shows the initiative has managed to have an effect on the number of defendants who have been charged with drug trafficking crimes, which fell by 6 percent. It is remarkable to note that drug trafficking charges make up 95... Read More »

Big brother is watching your license plate

The so-called war on drugs has been characterized as a failure. The U.S. illegal drug market is as lucrative and well-supplied as it was 40 years ago when the "war" began. From increasing incarceration to the militarization of the police to the weakening of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, there have been few positive side effects. Enhanced law enforcement is always premised on the idea that we give up some freedom in return for some improvement in security. But in fact, often we are not even presented with the deal. Instead, law enforcement often commences some program, and it is only months or years later that the public is informed of what they are doing. A recent example is... Read More »

NYPD cop stung in cocaine sting in South Florida

  • On behalf of Mike G Law posted in on Friday, February 6, 2015

The criminal justice system can be a hard and unforgiving place, especially for police and prosecutors who are charged with a crime. Those who once held all the cards can find themselves suddenly on the other side of the interrogation room table, and be subjected to all the pressure the system can bring to bear. A NYPD officer was arrested in a drug sting operation in South Florida last month. The man had been "cop of the year" a few years ago, but now was handcuffed and sent to jail with no bond to await his trial. He claims he was just along for the ride with a friend who engineered a $200,000 drug deal involving 22 pounds of cocaine.... Read More »

Are marijuana-sniffing dogs an endangered species?

  • On behalf of Mike G Law posted in on Saturday, January 31, 2015

Police have long used drug-sniffing dogs in the war on drugs. A dog’s much-more-sensitive olfactory powers allow it to detect the presence of drugs inside of vehicles and luggage that law enforcement would otherwise need a warrant to search. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1980s that a dog sniff is not a search, so is not subject to Fourth Amendment requirements. However, a properly trained dog can provide police with the probable cause they need to then conduct a legal search. However problematic the underlying logic, this has been the law. It works because the dog is trained to alert to the scents of drugs like cocaine, marijuana, heroin or methamphetamine, and the possession of any amount of... Read More »