Why You Should Choose Our Firm to Defend Your Drug Charge
Brett Metcalf is a passionate and successful Tampa criminal defense attorney. He began his career as a prosecutor in the State Attorney’s Office where he learned firsthand how the prosecution prepares for drug crime cases and wins convictions. He took this knowledge and used it to his advantage when opening his criminal defense and personal injury firm in July 2012. For the past seven years, Brett has vigorously defended Tampa residents against allegations of drug crimes and other offenses.
Choosing Brett is choosing a drug offense lawyer who truly cares about his clients’ futures and shows it. His client advocacy and success in court has led to him receiving more than 70 five-star reviews and a perfect 10 rating on Avvo.com.
His work also has led to recognition from several respected legal organizations, including The National Trial Lawyers. He was named one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and part of the Top 40 Under 40. In 2018, Super Lawyers named him a Rising Star.
Brett is someone who leaves no stone unturned in investigating the allegations against you. He gathers all of the evidence available, analyzes your case from every angle, and determines the most effective defense strategy to pursue a reduction in the charges, a dismissal, or an acquittal. He is not afraid to take your case to trial, and he will never pressure you to accept a deal that is not right for you.
Steps We Take in the Drug Crime Defense Process:
- Investigate the facts surrounding the police stop.
- Review the validity of a search and seizure warrant or arrest warrant.
- Review whether you were properly Mirandized.
- Gather witness statements.
- Research the backgrounds of the officers involved in your arrest.
- Submit legal documents on your behalf.
- Help you arrange bail and obtain your release from jail.
- Represent you in court.
- Challenge any violation of your constitutional rights in court.
- Pursue an aggressive pretrial motion practice.
- Pursue a reduction in the charges or dismissal of the case.
- Pursue an acquittal at trial.
- Explain the advantages and disadvantages of a plea bargain.
- Strategize to mitigate the consequences of a drug crime conviction.
Drug Cases We Handle
Our attorneys for drug charges handle a wide range of Florida and federal drug offenses.
In Florida, prosecutors file drug possession charges when they determine you have a small amount of a controlled substance in your possession for personal use. These charges can arise based on actual or constructive possession. The level of the charge you face depends on the type of drug in your possession and amount. Marijuana and Schedule V drugs can lead to first-degree misdemeanor charges while other controlled substances lead to felony charges. If it is a first-time non-violent drug offense, you may be offered a diversion program or probation. You should always speak with our drug crime lawyers about these options before deciding.
Possession of Marijuana
Marijuana remains a controlled substance in Florida and possessing cannabis without a prescription is a crime. If you possess fewer than 20 grams of marijuana, you face a first-degree misdemeanor charge. If you possess more than 20 grams, you will be charged with a third-degree felony.
Possession With the Intent to Distribute
The drug offense a prosecutor will charge you with depends on the amount of the drug. If the amount you have is more than a certain threshold, the prosecutor will consider the amount more than for personal use. You will be charged with a felony for possession with intent to distribute if you have more than a personal amount. The threshold amounts differ depending on the controlled substance. This often is used to charge suspected drug dealers who are not caught conducting an actual sale.
A prosecutor in Florida can charge you with trafficking if you are allegedly involved in selling, manufacturing, delivering, buying, or possessing one or more controlled substances. However, this charge is often based on the amount in your possession, not your actual conduct. If you have above a certain threshold amount, you will be charged with trafficking. The threshold amounts differ based on the drug. Trafficking is a felony, and the amount if your possession determines the level of the offense and the minimum term of imprisonment you face.
Drug Cultivation and Manufacturing
If the prosecution believes it has evidence that you cultivated marijuana or another drug or manufactured a drug in a laboratory-like setting, you will face a felony offense. The level of the offense and minimum term of imprisonment you face depends on the type and amount of the drug involved.
Like other Florida drug crimes, the charge you face for selling or delivering a controlled substance to another party depends on the type and amount of the drug involved. For this offense, prosecutors do not have to prove you provided drugs in exchange for money. Any exchange for something of value, whether an object or service, is enough to establish a sale. Additionally, you can face equally harsh charges for the mere intent to sell.
Conspiracy to Commit a Drug Crime
You can be charged with conspiracy if you and one or more persons make an agreement to commit a drug offense. The prosecutor will seek to prove an implied or explicit agreement existed and there was intent to commit the drug crime. Conspiracy is unlawful under Florida and federal law. In Florida, the prosecutor does not need to prove you or either conspirator performed an act in furtherance of the crime.
Federal Drug Charges
Many unlawful drug offenses can be charged under Florida or federal law. Typically, a drug crime is charged under federal law if it occurred on federal land, crossed state or national borders, was investigated by federal law enforcement agents, or was discovered through an informant.
Defending Against Drug Charges
When you are arrested and charged with a Florida or federal drug crime, it is essential you talk with a drug charges lawyer about whether there is a likelihood of getting your case dismissed. There may be strong evidence Brett can use to convince the prosecutor to drop your case or win a motion to dismiss. If a dismissal is unlikely, you need to speak with an attorney about the possible defenses against a drug crime.
What Defenses Can Be Used to Fight a Drug Charge?
There are many possible defenses to drug crimes. Our experienced drug crime lawyers will scrutinize the facts of your case to determine the most effective defense.
Lack of Possession
We may argue that you did not have actual or constructive possession of the drug. We may be able to show that you were unaware the substance was there or that it was owned by another person.
We may argue during a motion to dismiss or at trial that there is insufficient evidence to establish each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Mistake of Identity
You may be entirely innocent of the offense. When another person is guilty of the drug crime, we may seek to establish your alibi for the time of the offense.
Unconstitutional Search or Seizure
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects you from warrantless and unreasonable searches and seizures. If the police or federal agents performed an unlawful search or seizure, we will fight to have any evidence obtained from that incident ruled as inadmissible.
To use entrapment as a defense, we must be able to show that the impetus to commit the offense arose from the officer. We will seek to prove you would not have committed the offense if it were not for the officer’s unreasonable influence.
Unreliable Test Results
We have handled cases in which the alleged drugs did not exist and another substance falsely tested positive for a controlled substance. Under these circumstances, we will challenge the reliability and accuracy of the test.
How to Beat a Drug Charge
Beating a drug charge can be difficult. It requires working with seasoned drug defense lawyers. You need to partner with someone who knows how to investigate the allegations, look for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and develop a strong defense strategy to obtain a dismissal or acquittal.