Sale or Delivery of Cocaine

Sale or Delivery of Cocaine

Sale or Delivery of Cocaine

In Florida, it is against the law for a person to sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, cocaine.

What are the maximum penalties?
In Florida, a Sale or Delivery of Cocaine, or Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver, is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of:

  1. 15 years of imprisonment
  2. A $10,000.00 fine
  3. 15 years of probation

Other consequences of a conviction for Sale or Delivery of Cocaine

Driver’s License Suspension
Any person convicted of Sale or Delivery of Cocaine will have their driver’s license revoked for one year by the Florida DHSMV.

Business and Professional License Suspension
A person convicted of Sale of Cocaine will be subject to the emergency suspension of any Professional License issued by the State of Florida that authorizes the practicing of a profession or trade.

Possible Defenses to a charge of Sale or Delivery of Cocaine

  1. No Valid Consent to Search

The general rule is that a police officer must get a warrant before he can search a suspect.  However, there are exceptions to this rule.  For example, police can search a suspect if that suspect voluntarily consents to a search.  However, if the police make threats or promises to get a suspect to consent to a search, any evidence that is found as a result of that search can’t be used against the suspect in court.

  1. Miranda Rights Violations

If the police detain a suspect they must read him his Miranda rights before they ask the suspect any questions.  If police fail to do this, any statements the suspect makes will be inadmissible in court.

For example, imagine a police officer stops a car for speeding.  The only people in the car are the driver and a front seat passenger.   While the officer is speaking to the driver he sees a small bag of Cocaine on the rear floorboard.  If the officer were to detain and question the driver and passenger about the Cocaine without reading them their Miranda rights, any statements the driver and passenger might make about the Cocaine would be inadmissible in court.  Without an admission from the driver or passenger or some other evidence, the state would not be able to prove that either possessed the Cocaine.

  1. Unlawful Canine Searches

Police will sometimes stop a vehicle for a routine traffic infraction and then ask the driver if they can search the vehicle.  If the driver says no, the police will often call for a police dog to smell the outside of the vehicle in search of drugs.  If the dog alerts, the police are allowed to search the car.  However, the police may not prolong the stop for the traffic violation in order to conduct the canine search. If the officer prolongs the stop for the traffic infraction, any evidence found as a result of the search won’t be admissible in court.

  1. Unlawful Detention

Police officers can’t detain citizens just based on a hunch that the citizen is committing a crime – police officers must have a reasonable suspicion that the citizen is committing a crime before they can detain a citizen.

For example, in case of Hill v. State, Key West Police officers received an anonymous tip that a black male wearing a shirt, jeans, and nice sneakers was at a location selling drugs.  Four police officers surrounded the suspect, shined a light on him, took his driver’s license, and ran a warrants check on him.  One of the officers asked the suspect if he would empty his pockets and when the suspect did so the officers saw a bag of cocaine.  The suspect was arrested and convicted of possession of cocaine.

However, the appeals court held that the anonymous tip was not enough to give the officers reasonable suspicion that the suspect possessed cocaine, and that when the officers surrounded the suspect and took his license that the officers had detained him.  Because the detention was unlawful, the cocaine the officers found was inadmissible in court and the case was dismissed.

  1. Constructive Possession

If police discovered cocaine in a place where more than one person had access, in order to convict the State would have to prove that the defendant knew about the presence of the cocaine and that he or she had control over the cocaine.

For example, imagine two people are in a car when it is stopped for speeding.  The vehicle is registered to the driver’s sister.  As the officer approaches the car, he notices several small bags of cocaine on the back seat floor.  As long as neither the driver nor the passenger admits knowledge of the cocaine, neither could be convicted of possession of cocaine because the State would be unable to prove that the defendant knew about the presence of the cocaine.

  1. Personal Use

Sometimes the State will charge a person with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver when the cocaine was never meant for sale but rather was meant for personal use.

Multiple baggies of cocaine, a notebook with a list of names and prices, ora large amount cash found with the cocaine could indicate the cocaine was for sale and not for personal use.

 

Are you looking for the best Sale or Delivery of Cocaine lawyer in Tampa Florida? Contact Attorney David C. Hardy.

Tampa Attorney David C. Hardy is a former prosecutor that now represents persons accused of Sale or Delivery of Cocaine.  He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law. He has extensive experience handling Sale and Delivery of Cocaine cases.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for Sale or Delivery of Cocaine in Hillsborough County Florida, Pinellas County Florida, or Pasco County Florida, Attorney David C. Hardy has the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through this process and obtain the best possible results.