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Articles Posted in Drug Charges

Nowadays, it is rare to meet someone who does not own a smartphone. It is normal to wonder if Florida police can search your phone for evidence. Can police officers scroll through the information contained on your phone without a warrant?

If you are arrested, officers are able to search you, and any “containers” that are in your immediate control. A “container” can be a wallet, bags, boxes or anything a person might use to store other items. Even a pack of candy could classify as a container.

However, the Supreme Court stated that a phone is not a normal container that is able to be searched with reasonable suspicion. This is because cell phones don’t contain physical evidence such as drugs, weapons or other things officers look for during a search. Our cell phones contain digital evidence—something that is treated differently by the law.

The U.S. Constitution protects you against unreasonable search and seizure. However, law enforcement gets around the need for a warrant by showing reasonable cause for a search. Usually, police need to show that they had reason to believe you were breaking the law. This generally happens during traffic stops. Before, officers in Florida could search your vehicle if they smelled marijuana. However, due to a change in Florida law, the odor of cannabis or hemp is no longer legal grounds for a police search.

This imposed a problem on police officers because figuring out the difference between marijuana and hemp is now vital. Due to this, any found substance has to go through testing to determine the THC content. Only substances above .3 THC content are illegal. Anything else is legal under the new law. Police have always relied on the distinct smell of marijuana to detect criminal drug use. However, there are now hemp-based lotions and textile products. The “smell of marijuana” does not mean anything illegal is taking place. An experienced lawyer can help you argue that evidence uncovered in a search under the basis that an officer smelled marijuana in your car can be suppressed.

Everyone is entitled to legal representation when facing charges. At Michael B Cohen Law, our priority is making sure that you receive the best legal representation for your federal crime cases. You can schedule a free consultation with us today and learn about your options and ways in which we can help you and your future.

Finding yourself in the back of a cop car being charged with serious criminal charges might be the scariest thing that can happen to you, but even scarier is not knowing who will represent you in court. Of course, there will be a million things running through your head whether you’re innocent or not, however, involving a criminal defense attorney should be on the top of the to-do list.

Although hiring a criminal defense attorney might not be as inexpensive as one may hope, many fail to realize that this will save you thousands and thousands of dollars in the long run. And ultimately, it beats the price of going to prison. Additionally, having an experienced lawyer by your side to help you navigate through the issue and protect your constitutional liberties is priceless.

When to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

The 2020 elections brought along with it a lot of blue, a lot of red, and a little bit of green. Many cannabis policy reform bills were introduced throughout the country and resulted in four states legalizing marijuana. According to an article by Forbes, an estimated 40,000 people today are incarcerated for marijuana offenses only. This number increases into the millions for those Americans with past marijuana-related criminal records. Due to COVID-19, the unemployment rate in the country is 6.9%. However, for those who have a criminal record, the unemployment rate is 35%. This differs drastically from the seemingly positive approval for cannabis policy reform bills we saw this year. In Florida, possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one-year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000. Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000. Although medical marijuana is legal, it is only permitted for legal use under certain health conditions. So, what should someone do if they are caught in this predicament?

We have listed 3 tips below on what to do:

1. Did the officers illegally coerce the marijuana out of your home, vehicle, or during a body search? This can be used to dismiss the charges.

This post is a continuation of a breaking news story found under Case Results on my Website relating to my Motion on behalf of Alexandra Slovkovic’s Request for Compassionate Release.

At approximately the same time I entered the Motion on behalf of my client Alexandra Slovkovic, Correctional officers at the federal women’s prison in Tallahassee filed a complaint in reference to the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The officers filed what’s known as an “Imminent Danger Report” with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (USOSHA). The USOSHA is the federal agency that oversees and enforces workplace safety. Simply stated the mid-April complaint specified that the actions and non-action taken by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) are increasing the capacity for the spread of the potentially deadly contagion.

At the time the complaint was recorded one Correctional officer had tested positive for the coronavirus and three other employees were quarantined. Additionally, one inmate had been awaiting test results as of the time the complaint was documented.

Michael B. Cohen, Esq is a Criminal Defense Attorney specializing in federal crimes as well as the defense of state charges such as drug cases, fraud, and all associated criminal matters. He maintains two offices in South Florida and a separate office located in the New York Metropolitan area.

You can follow his twitter feed to read similar diversified blog posts. His South Florida website can be found at https://www.southflalaw.com and his New York City site can be accessed at: http://www.nyfederalattorney.com

Many experts have stated that the current opioid crisis that has galloped rapidly throughout the United States can be attributed to pharmaceutical companies convincing the medical populace as a whole, that patients would not develop an addiction to the opioid pain relievers they manufactured. This resulted in what many believe is the starting point when healthcare providers began to prescribe them at higher rates.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the opioid epidemic became a campaign issue with overdose deaths hitting a peak of 28,000 nationally the previous year detailed by the latest current available data.

It was just a few weeks ago that the President of the United States declared the opioid crisis a National emergency. More than a year earlier, the Governor of Florida stated that opioid abuse was a public health emergency in the state.

Locally, a Miami man was arrested this past June for heroin trafficking and possession of Fentanyl. He was coordinating transactions of the opiates with what turned out to be a police informant.

A one-time law student was convicted of conspiracy to import and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance in association with the role he played in a drug ring that used the Internet to order synthetic chemicals from China and have them transported to a location in Miami under the control of he and his co-conspirators.

This was the first conviction attained by the government after starting the year 2016 with a 0-3 result for similar illegal importation cases that went to a federal jury.

In this particular case, Mario Melton used his family’s freight forwarding company Transfreight International to ship large amounts of MDMA (Molly) into the country. It was the government’s second attempt at trying Melton; the first resulting in a mistrial when a federal jury couldn’t come to a decision after four days of deliberations.

Melton was convicted of assisting two ex-soldiers; Jorge Hernandez and Matthew Anich along with nine others run one of the largest synthetic drug rings in Miami history. All of the other named conspirators have already accepted plea deals for the charges filed against them.

Not all attorneys in Fort Lauderdale have experience in federal cases. When choosing an attorney for the defense of any federal charge it’s crucial that the chosen advocate is well-versed in all aspects of federal criminal law.

Michael Cohen’s experience in the federal system goes back to when he worked for the US Attorney’s Office as an Assistant United States Attorney. Now working in the private sector for close to twenty years, Mr. Cohen is the proper choice to counter all charges filed by the government.

When the federal government hands down an Indictment most cases are resolved by an agreement between the prosecution and the defense. The accused usually waives their right to a trial by jury and a federal judge ordinarily agrees to the terms of the deal.
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A recent example of enforcement of these new laws is a case involving Saiful Hossain, who worked in his father’s grocery store in Hillsborough County.

In 2012, the business was selling the synthetic drug openly before new laws were enacted banning a list of the chemicals used to manufacture the synthetic drug known as Spice.

According to federal documents, on November 7 of last year, Vero Beach resident Ahmed Maher Elhelw was arrested when federal agents discovered a three kilogram package of XLR-11, a controlled substance chemical used in the manufacture of SSC (smokable synthetic cannabinoids) in his possession. The chemical was one of many that were banned by the new law implemented in 2012. Subsequent investigation uncovered approximately seven more packages, containing equal amounts. The chemical that was imported into the Vero Beach area originating in China had a projected street value of more than $5.4 million.

Elhelw was the first of four South Florida residents who was taken into custody in a conspiracy to import and distribute synthetic chemicals in a plan that was hatched by Hossain after he decided to go out on his own when his father’s grocery store stopped selling the now illegal substance.
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The use of Synthetic Drugs is quickly becoming a massive problem for law enforcement as well as Health and Social Services departments across the country; and in a big way in South Florida. Specifically, synthetic marijuana known as Spice among many other labeling nicknames has contributed to a string of bizarre cases and more so, a spike in drug induced hospitalizations. Based on current statistics, Broward County has been the hardest hit municipality facing the effects of this legal dilemma.

Last month, an Alaska woman suspected of being high on Spice was arrested after she began destroying the interior of a local Subway restaurant. She tore off her clothes until she was completely naked and couldn’t hold a rational conversation with the responding officer, according to the formal complaint. She broke computers and furniture as well as ripping ceiling tiles out before locking herself in the bathroom. Damage to the restaurant was estimated at more than twenty thousand dollars. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment but Police Sgt. Shaun Henry said she would most likely face felony charges once she recovers.

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