It’s not only illegal to sell drugs, also known as “controlled substances” and “narcotics”, but it is also illegal to manufacture, deliver, or possess drugs with the intent to sell. The drug crisis has become a serious problem in the State of Florida. Social media portrays people passing out with children in the car as a result of overdosing on opioids. The State of Florida takes into consideration that in order for someone to possess drugs, they had to purchase the drugs from someone. If you are charged with “selling” drugs, the State will likely come down hard on you.
The justice system treats drug sales differently than they treat drug possession. Charges for drug sales carry heavier punishments and harsher jail sentences than simply possessing drugs. In some situations, penalties are enhanced even greater if you are caught selling drugs near a church (or place of worship), a school, or a daycare. In most town in Volusia County, especially DeLand, it seems that there is a daycare, church, or school on every corner. In some cases, drug sale charges may result in “minimum mandatory” sentences, which means that no matter how bad the Judge may want to give you a lighter sentence, the Judge is required by law to give you a minimum prison sentence, even if it is your first time being arrested.What is Sale of Narcotics or Drugs?
For the purpose of this statute, drug sale is defined by the Florida Standard Criminal Jury Instructions in section 25.2, as “a means to transfer or deliver something to another person in exchange for money or something of value or a promise of money or something of value.
It is difficult for the police to catch a drug transaction taking place. In order to prevent drugs from being sold, the police set up specialized units to combat drug use in their community. The police often times work with other police agencies to increase police presence in certain neighborhoods. In addition, the police pool their equipment to set up surveillance to monitor drug sales activity going on in certain areas.
Another way that police arrest people who are accused of selling drugs is to use an undercover police officer to purchase drugs from a suspect. You have seen this in movies and TV shows where an officer grows his beard, uses a disguise, or all of the above, to hide their identity and purchase drugs from a suspected drug dealer.
Not only do the police purchase drugs from suspected drug dealers, but they use confidential informants to purchase drugs. A confidential informant is not a law enforcement officer. Often times, the confidential informant is facing charges of their own, and are helping police to help themselves. They are exchanging their knowledge of who may be selling drugs, and their time to purchase drugs from those suspects, in order to obtain a more favorable sentence in their own case.
In each of these situations, the police run a risk of violating a person’s constitutional rights if the arrest is not executed absolutely perfectly. Attorney Matt Thompson has worked with the drug enforcement agencies and has a comprehensive knowledge of the way the agencies operate. In addition, Attorney Matt Thompson has litigated many issues surrounding arrests for drug sales, such as unlawfully obtaining evidence, illegal searches and seizures, unlawfully obtained warrants, and unlawfully obtained wire taps.
To prove the crime of the Sale of Narcotics, the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt (Fla. Stat. 893.13 and Florida Standard Criminal Jury Instruction 25.2):
- The Defendant sold a certain substance;
- The substance was an illegal substance pursuant to Florida Statutes;
- The Defendant has knowledge that the substance being sold was an illegal substance pursuant to Florida Statutes
If you have been charged with selling narcotics, it is best to speak to an attorney immediately. Thompson Law would welcome you to sit down with Attorney Matt Thompson to discuss your individual case. Please contact Thompson Law and schedule a free consultation with Attorney Matt Thompson by calling (386) 463-4LAW (4529) or toll free by calling (877) 934-4LAW (4529).Possession of Drugs With Intent to Sell
As I stated earlier, catching someone in the act of actually selling drugs can be difficult for law enforcement. If you are caught with drugs and law enforcement has reason to believe that you are about to, or that you have drugs for the purpose, or selling them to another party, they will arrest you of possession of drugs with the intent to sell.
To prove the crime of the Possession of Drugs with the Intent to Sell, the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt (Fla. Stat. 893.13 and Florida Standard Criminal Jury Instruction 25.2):
- The Defendant possessed with the intent to sell a certain substance;
- The substance was an illegal substance pursuant to Florida Statutes;
- The Defendant has knowledge that the substance being sold was an illegal substance pursuant to Florida Statutes.
How can the State determine whether you were in possession with the intent to sell? There is no one way of proving this. Proof of a future act is all based on circumstantial evidence. Throughout his career, Attorney Matt Thompson has dealt with cases such as these, and the most common ways that Attorney Matt Thompson has seen this crime charged are when people possess, in addition to the drugs: sequential bills or money; a large amount of cash; the drugs are individually packaged for selling; the person also has or possesses a ledger reflecting individual sales of drugs.
Just as with the sale of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell are also set up by confidential informants, undercover officers, and drug stings. If you have been arrested with Possession of Drugs with the Intent to Sell, please contact Thompson Law and schedule a free consultation with Attorney Matt Thompson by calling (386) 463-4LAW (4529) or toll free by calling (877) 934-4LAW (4529).Pretrial Diversion
In DeLand, the State offers a pretrial diversion program to first time drug offenders as a means of resolving the case without convicting you of a crime. A pretrial diversion is an agreement between the accused person and the State where the accused agrees to take and complete classes, remain drug free, and offer urinalysis testing, in exchange for a full dismissal of the charges.
Most counties offer similar programs to the program found in DeLand. While many states are decriminalizing possession of some narcotics, Florida remains in the majority of states where possession of any drug is still a crime. You may not agree with this philosophically, but you must abide by Florida’s laws when you are in the State of Florida. Unfortunately, if you are charged with the sale of narcotics, or possession with the intent to sell narcotics, those charges will automatically render you ineligible to participate in pretrial diversion programs. The State wants to avoid suspected drug dealers from entering into pretrial diversion programs and become familiar with drug users who may purchase narcotics from them in the future. However, not everyone who is charged with selling drugs or possessing drugs with the intent to sell is a “drug dealer.” Attorney Matt Thompson takes every effort to ensure your criminal record is protected, and if you are being falsely accused of selling narcotics, contact Thompson Law to discuss your case by calling (386) 463-4LAW (4529) or toll free by calling (877) 934-4LAW (4529).The Thompson Law Approach
The drug epidemic in Florida has become a crisis. Throughout his career, Attorney Thompson has dealt with drug cases and arrests and has encountered many situations that can be helpful in defending your case. As a prosecutor, Thompson Law worked with the designated drug units in DeLand and Volusia County to prosecute people for drug sales. This experience has given Attorney Thompson intimate knowledge of the way drug arrests and prosecution work, and he knows the weaknesses that are susceptible in each case.
Attorney Thompson knows that each case and each client is different, and there will never be a situation where you will be coupled with another case. Attorney Thompson takes the time to learn about you as an individual before deciding how to defend your case. Attorney Thompson limits the number of cases he takes to ensure that each client receives the personal attention they deserve. Take the time to let Attorney Thompson get to know the person you are by setting up a free consultation with Thompson Law by calling (386) 463-4LAW (4529) or toll free by calling (877) 934-4LAW (4529).