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Drug Cases

How Do Drug Charges In Florida Work?

Understanding Drug Cases in Orlando and Lake Mary

It Doesn’t Take The DEA To Get You Federal Time!

Most drug offenses in the Florida criminal justice system also represent drug violations in the federal criminal justice system. While ordinarily, the federal drug law enforcement agencies and other federal agencies that have the opportunity to make drug related offenses prefer to deal only with high volume or newsworthy drug busts, they have the right and power to charge an individual for any offense that violates the federal anti-drug statutes. Although the Doctrine of Separate Sovereignty would permit prosecution before both State and Federal COURTS, as matter of policy, an accused is likely to face only one prosecution. As the “senior sovereign,” the Federal authorities have always taken the position that they have “first dibbs,” or first right of refusal on cases. Even where federal law enforcement agents were involved in the arrests, they frequently allow local law enforcement and local prosecutors to handle what they consider the smaller cases. Where the offense implicates multiple state jurisdictions, the federal prosecutors will ordinarily take the case. Where the offense implicates the importation of drugs from another country, the federal courts almost always take the prosecutorial lead.

One of the most salient features of the federal government’s decision to prosecute, involves the applicability of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Although recent holdings of the US Supreme Court have cast doubt on the continued vitality of these Draconian sentencing guidelines, they remain available to the federal judiciary as persuasive of the Congressional intent. Even if not mandatory, we will for years be dealing with District Court judges that slavishly followed them in the past and are still allowed to give deference to them in fashioning the sanctions for federal offenses. It is in the area of drug prosecution that the guidelines have become astonishingly tough, including many provisions for mandatory minimum sentences.

Contact A Seminole County Federal Defense Attorney

If you are facing an investigation and/or charges for federal criminal activity, you need to contact one of our Lake Mary federal criminal defense attorneys. Call 352-742-9090 for a free consultation. The Defense Group are dedicated, knowledgeable attorneys that will fight for your rights. The earlier you seek legal assistance, the better chance you have of obtaining a favorable disposition of your case. We can help!