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Articles Posted in Drug Charges

By now, most are aware of the consequences of driving under the influence whether they learn it through school, a TV show, presentations by youth prevention programs or even in tabloids when their favorite Hollywood actor/actress is charged with a DUI. However, are you aware that the same rules apply to marijuana, even if it is medical? Although several states are loosening their laws on marijuana legality, it is important to know what your state’s laws are about the use of marijuana and driving. With the expansion of medical marijuana legality, it is expected that there will be an increase in the number of marijuana-related DUI arrests in the state of Florida.

There are legal limits for blood alcohol content (BAC) however, there are none for cannabis. While you may think, “Oh, so I can have as much of it as I want”, it is actually the opposite. Any amount in your system will be considered too much, even if the cannabis was prescribed to you. Having a marijuana license is not a valid defense against charges for Driving Under the Influence. While all hope may feel lost, it is not.

There are still ways to defend you against these charges. As any lawyer will tell you, do not admit you are under the influence to police officers. It is best to only give the necessary, basic information like your name and then call a lawyer the second you are able to. One of the common consequences of having a DUI on your record is losing the privilege of driving and having your license suspended. A DUI charge may have harsher consequences if you have prior offenses.

Federal and state law enforcement agencies are known to give out some of the harshest penalties when it comes to the sale and possession of controlled substances. One of the more serious charges is drug trafficking across state lines or national borders. Drug trafficking is defined as the intentional sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, possession or transporting a specific amount of a controlled substance. Most movies and shows make people think that you need to be a mastermind traveling across national borders with large, obscene amounts of a controlled substance similar to the movie “Scarface” to be considered a drug trafficker. However, according to Florida Statutes Section 891.13, any person who sells or delivers controlled substances can face drug trafficking charges in the state of Florida.

The most commonly trafficked drugs in Florida are:

Cocaine

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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