Seminole County Illegal Drugs Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with any type of illegal drugs charge in Seminole County please contact Chris S. Boatright, P.A. at 407-740-8300 to discuss what options may be available to get your illegal drugs charge dismissed or reduced.  One way to get your illegal drugs charge dismissed is by completing a Pre-Trial Diversion program.  Not every illegal drugs case is eligible for a Pre-Trial Diversion program.  

Mandatory 1 Year Driver License Revocation

A conviction for any type of illegal drugs charge causes a mandatory 1 year driver license revocation.  It does not matter if a car was involved in the incident that lead to the illegal drugs charge, the one year driver license revocation will still be imposed as a result of the conviction.  If you would like to know what can be done to avoid the 1 year driver license revocation call Chris at 407-740-8300 to discuss your Seminole County illegal drugs case. 

Former Illegal Drugs Prosecutor

As a former illegal drugs prosecutor Chris has an understanding of what can be important to the prosecutor in your Seminole County illegal drugs case.  It is important to understand how the other side works.  Chris uses this understanding to determine what needs to be done to get the best possible outcome in your illegal drugs case.  

Seminole County Illegal Drugs Defense Lawyer Since 1999

Chris has been defending individuals in Seminole County charged with all types of illegal drugs charges since 1999.  Being an Seminole County illegal drugs defense lawyer for so long has given Chris the opportunity to spend a lot of time working with the judges and prosecutors in Seminole County that handle illegal drugs cases like yours.  Experience dealing with those judges and prosecutors is important in achieving the best results in your illegal drugs case.  

Different Seminole County Illegal Drugs Defense Lawyers Get Different Results

When you have been charged with any type of illegal drug charge in Seminole County you need an aggressive, experienced, and knowledgeable lawyer like Chris to defend you.  A illegal drug conviction will stay on your record forever, therefore, it is important to be represented by the right lawyer.  The better prepared you are for your court appearance the more likely it is you will get a favorable outcome.  The best results possible are rarely obtained by just hoping for them.  Get the help you need at Chris S. Boatright, P.A. to get the best results possible.  

Information About Seminole County Illegal Drugs Charges

Definition of Possession

Possession may be actual or constructive.  Actual possession means the drug is in the hand of or on the person, or the drug is in a container in the hand of or on the person, or the drug is so close as to be within ready reach and is under the control of the person.  Mere proximity to a drug is not sufficient to establish control over that drug when the drug is not in a place over which the person has control.  Constructive possession means the drug is in a place over which the person has control, or in which the person has concealed it.  If a drug is in a place over which the person does not have control, in order to establish constructive possession the State must prove the person’s control over the drug, knowledge that the drug was within the person’s presence and knowledge of the illicit nature of the drug.

Possession of Illegal Drugs

Possession of illegal drugs is considered a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years probation and/or a $5,000 fine.

Possession of Illegal Drugs With Intent to Sell or Deliver

Unless legally authorized, it is unlawful for any person to possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance.  Sell 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.  Deliver or delivery means the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer from one person to another of a controlled substance, whether or not there is an agency relationship.  Controlled substance means any substance named or described in Schedules I-V of Florida Statute section 893.03. Possession of illegal drugs with intent to sell or deliver is considered a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison and/or 15 years probation and/or a $10,000 fine.

Purchase of Illegal Drugs

Unless legally authorized, it is unlawful for any person to purchase or possess with intent to purchase a controlled substance.  Controlled substance means any substance named or described in Schedules I-V of Florida Statute section 893.03. Purchase of illegal drugs is considered a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison and/or 15 years probation and/or a $10,000 fine.

Sale or Delivery of Illegal Drugs

Unless legally authorized, it is unlawful for any person to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance.  Sell 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.  Deliver or delivery means the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer from one person to another of a controlled substance, whether or not there is an agency relationship.  Controlled substance means any substance named or described in Schedules I-V of Florida Statute section 893.03.  Sale or Delivery of illegal drugs is considered a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison and/or 15 years probation and/or a $10,000 fine.

Evidence

In order for the State of Florida to prove you committed a crime the State need’s evidence.  Normally, the law enforcement officer’s report contains a statement of the evidence against you.  However, there may be other evidence in your case which the law enforcement officer failed to document in the report.  It is essential for you and your attorney to review all of the evidence in your case before preparing your defense.  Some important questions are:

  • Where were the drugs located?
  • How many people had access to where the drugs were located?
  • Did you purchase the illegal drugs from an undercover law enforcement officer?
  • Did you sell or deliver the illegal drugs to an undercover law enforcement officer?
  • Was the transaction recorded on audiotape and/or videotape?
  • Did the officer field test the substance and determine it to be an illegal drug?

Constitutional Rights

The United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution both guarantee that people be free from unreasonable seizures and searches.  An unlawful stop and/or seizure may cause evidence in your case to be inadmissible.  An unlawful search in your case may cause evidence to be inadmissible.  The United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution both also guarantee that people be free from self-incrimination.  If your privilege against self-incrimination was violated evidence in your case may be inadmissible.  Some important questions to consider are:

  • Were you stopped and/or seized for a lawful reason?
  • Did the police officer have the right to search your person, property or vehicle?
  • Did you consent to a search of your person, property or vehicle?
  • Were you read your Miranda rights?

Seminole County Illegal Drug Charge Penalties

A conviction for illegal drugs can result in many different penalties in addition to being a convicted felon.  It is important for you to know what penalties you may be facing.  Some of the penalties for an illegal drugs conviction may include:

  • Time in Jail or Prison
  • Probation
  • Mandatory 1 year loss of your driving privileges
  • Drug Counseling
  • Random Drug Testing
  • Community Service
  • Fines
  • Cost of Investigation
  • Cost of Prosecution
  • Court Costs

In Seminole County, Florida there are two pretrial diversion programs for felony illegal drug charges.

Pretrial diversion with drug conditions and drug court.  Each program has its own specific eligibility requirements.

Seminole County Pretrial Diversion Program With Drug Conditions

If you successfully complete the Seminole County Pretrial Diversion Program the charge(s) you were placed in the program for will be dismissed.

This a 12 month long program with the following requirements:

1.) You must refrain from violation of any federal, state or local law.  If you are arrested or charged with a crime while in the pretrial diversion program, you are subject to automatic revocation whether the crime occurred before or after the signing of the pretrial diversion contract.

2.) You must associate only with law abiding persons.             

3.) You must work regularly at a lawful occupation; or pursue a course of studies as a full-time student, or both.  Employment must be verified by documentation only within the first 30 days of supervision.  Thereafter, employment verification shall be made every other month.

4.) You must take an active part in counseling and attend all scheduled appointments.  You must participate in and be responsible for program costs of any referrals your pretrial diversion officer recommends.  Referrals may include, but are not limited to participation in drug/alcohol counseling, a mental health evaluation, urine screenings, General Equivalency Diploma (GED)  and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

5.) You must immediately inform the Pretrial Diversion Program of any anticipated or unanticipated change in your residence or your employment.  It is your obligation to notify the Pretrial Diversion Program of any change in your address and to comply with residence verification instructions.  Should it be determined that you have moved from your reported residence or changed employment, without notice to the Pretrial Diversion Program, and are no longer able to be contacted through your reported mailing address, you are subject to automatic revocation.  If you have been arrested in this case, you must also notify the Clerk of the Court for Seminole County, Florida, preferably in writing, of your address change.  No Out-of-Country Travel will be approved while participating in the Pretrial Diversion Program.  All Notices, summonses, or other mail will be sent to your current address.  If you fail to appear in court due to paperwork being sent to an old address, a warrant may be issued for your arrest, and you may be revoked from the Pretrial Diversion Program.

6.) You will promptly and truthfully answer all questions directed to you by your Pretrial Diversion Program Officer.

7.) You must pay a Cost of Supervision fee of $20.00 a month to the State of Florida as required by Florida Statute Section 948.08 unless otherwise exempted in compliance with the Florida Statutes.  All monies collected by the Florida Department of Corrections will be subject to a 4% surcharge.  There will be a one-time drug testing fee of $30.00.

8.) You will complete 100 hours of Alternative Community Service (ACS).  ACS and all sanctions must be completed sixty days prior to the expiration of this contract or sixty days prior to any subsequent expiration date resulting from an extension or as determined by a Review Board Panel.

9.) Once the Defendant has satisfied all sanctions, early termination is acceptable.

10.) You must pay a $100.00 non-refundable cost of prosecution fee to the State of Florida within 60 days as required by Florida Statute Section 938.27.

11.) You will submit to a substance abuse evaluation and complete all recommended treatment.  If treatment is not recommended, you will attend and complete a Substance Abuse Education/Awareness Class.

12.) You will also submit to random urine screenings for drugs.  Any drug test with a positive result is a violation of the Pretrial Diversion Program Agreement, and may result in additional consequences or revocation from the Pretrial Diversion Program.

In order to be eligible for the Pretrial Diversion Program you must have no criminal history (arrests, convictions, or cases in which adjudication of guilt has been withheld, whether as a juvenile or adult), or if you have a prior criminal history, you must disclose it to the Pretrial Diversion Program.  If it is found that you not been fully candid on this issue, you are subject to revocation from the Pretrial Diversion Program.

If you fail to comply with any of the above conditions, your case may be subject to the following action, depending upon the violation.

  1. Your officer may extend the period of diversion to a term not to exceed 3 months from the date of the Pretrial Diversion Program Contract, or
  2. The Review Board may add additional special conditions or otherwise modify this contract, or
  3.  Revoke the Pretrial Diversion Program contract and the State Attorney will prosecute you for this offense.

     

    A Review Board comprised of an Assistant State Attorney and a representative of the Florida Department of Corrections, Pretrial Diversion Program, has been established for the purpose of reviewing any proposed revocation or modification of your Pretrial Diversion Program Contract.  Your Pretrial Diversion Officer will attend this hearing.  Modification of your Pretrial Diversion Program Contract may occur if you agree to the modification, by Review Board decision.  At Review Board Hearings, evidence establishing violations of conditions of the Pretrial Diversion Program Contract will be heard.  You will be given notice of this hearing and may attend and present any evidence you have in your defense and/or any evidence you have to establish matters in mitigation.  Failure to appear will result in automatic revocation from the Pretrial Diversion Program.  The Review Board, after hearing and considering all evidence, will render a decision in writing, citing the reasons for that decision.  All members of the Review Board must agree to revocation or modification.  In its written decision, the Review Board will state whether it has decided to revoked the Pretrial Diversion Program Contract or allow the Defendant to continue in the Pretrial Diversion Program.  If the agreement is modified, the modifications made by the Review Board will be stated.  If you are revoked from the Pretrial diversion Program, you will be prosecuted for the original criminal violation.  The Defendant is bound by the decision of the Review Board.  The Pretrial Diversion Contract is an agreement that is a deferral of prosecution.  If the terms of the agreement are met, the initial charge will be dropped and the State of Florida will be barred from prosecution.  If the terms of the agreement are violated, prosecution concerning any charge will proceed.

Seminole County Drug Court Program

If you successfully complete the Seminole County Drug Court Program the charge(s) you were placed in the program for will be dismissed.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR THE REGULAR ADULT DRUG COURT PROGRAM (for defendants will significant substance abuse issues):

  • The defendant must have a serious substance abuse problem requiring treatment. A substance abuse assessment by the program’s authorized evaluator is required.
  • Must be a Seminole County resident, have a drug-free stable place to reside, and reliable transportation.
  • Must be mentally capable of benefiting from the Adult Drug Court and possess the motivation to complete the program.
  • All cases must be approved by the State Attorney’s Office. Individuals charged with first time possession or purchase of a controlled substance are eligible to apply for acceptance into the program.
  • Individuals who are charged with, or who have a prior record of, sale or delivery of a controlled substance or possession with intent to sell or deliver a controlled substance are not eligible for Adult Drug Court.
  • Individuals who are charged with any other 2nd or 3rd degree felony may request the State Attorney review their case for consideration for the program. Factors which will be used to determine acceptance include the facts of the current case, victim consent, and prior record.
  • Violation of Probation or Community Control cases are eligible for acceptance.
  • Participants are required to pay the program fee of $1,000.00, any restitution applicable, any cost of investigation applicable, and $100.00 per case cost of prosecution.

Persons entering the program are required to enter a plea and their sentences are deferred until the completion of the program. Upon entering the program each individual is placed under the supervision of the Department of Corrections/State Probation, for a period of 12 to 18 months in order to monitor them while in the program.

All Adult Drug Court participants must complete substance abuse treatment that will be delivered in the following four drug court program phases. The length of program phases will vary depending on individual progress. The below guidelines are the minimum requirements:

Phase 1: Stabilization Phase lasts a minimum of 1 month:

  • Mandatory drug testing on Mondays and Fridays with random urinalysis on all other days
  • Attend 3 group therapy sessions per week
  • Attend 1 monthly individual session with assigned Substance Abuse Treatment Counselor
  • Attend court sessions bi-weekly
  • Maintain court-approved housing
  • Attend 1 monthly office meeting with Probation Officer
  • Indicate an initial understanding of substance abuse treatment
  • Enroll and attend 4 self-help or NA/AA programs per week (NA=Narcotics Anonymous, AA=Alcoholics Anonymous)
  • 20 consecutive clean urine days needed before consideration for promotion to the next phase

Phase 2: Intensive Treatment usually lasts a minimum of 3 months:

  • Weekly random urinalysis
  • Attend 2 group therapy sessions per week
  • Attend 1 monthly individual session with assigned Substance Abuse Treatment Counselor
  • Attend court sessions bi-weekly
  • Locate/maintain court-approved employment, training and/or education
  • Maintain court-approved housing
  • Begin paying towards program fees
  • Attend 1 monthly office meeting with Probation Officer
  • Indicate an appropriate understanding of recovery principles
  • Enroll and attend 3 self-help or NA/AA programs per week
  • 45 consecutive clean urine days needed before consideration for promotion to the next phase

Phase 3: Relapse Prevention usually lasts a minimum of 6 months:

  • Weekly random urinalysis
  • Attend 1 group therapy sessions per week
  • Attend 1 monthly individual session with assigned Substance Abuse Treatment Counselor
  • Attend 1 court session per month
  • Maintain court-approved employment, training and/or education
  • Maintain court-approved housing
  • Complete payment of program fees in full
  • Attend 1 monthly office meeting with Probation Officer
  • Indicate an appropriate understanding of a recovery lifestyle
  • Attend a 3 self-help or NA/AA programs per week
  • 120 consecutive clean urine days needed before consideration for promotion to the next phase

Phase 4: Community Transition period usually lasts a minimum of 2 months:

  • Weekly random urinalysis
  • Attend 1 group therapy sessions per month
  • Attend 1 monthly individual session with assigned Substance Abuse Treatment Counselor
  • Attend 1 court session per month
  • Maintain court-approved employment, training and/or education
  • Maintain court-approved housing
  • Attend 1 monthly office meeting with Probation Officer
  • Indicate an appropriate understanding of community transition
  • Attend 2 self-help or NA/AA programs per week
  • Continue clean urine days until graduation

Once completion has taken place, the plea is withdrawn and the charges are Nolle Prossed by the State Attorney, which states that they are essentially, dismissed.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR TIER-ONE/FIRST-TIME OFFENDERS PROGRAM includes the following criteria:

  • Must not have significant addiction issues. A substance abuse assessment by the program’s authorized evaluator is required.
  • Must be a Seminole County resident, have a drug-free stable place to reside, and reliable transportation.
  • Must be mentally capable of benefiting from the Tier One program and possess the motivation to complete its requirements.
  • Charged with a third degree felony for possession of a controlled substance or a 2nd felony purchase of a controlled substance under Chapter 893.
  • No previous felony convictions.
  • No previous admission to a felony pretrial program.
  • No more than one prior misdemeanor conviction.
  • No violation of probation cases are accepted
  • No evidence of sale of controlled substance in current case or prior felony criminal conviction.
  • No DUI charges may be diverted through this program.

All Tier-One participants must complete the following components:

  • 6-week Drug Education Class
  • STD Awareness Class
  • Life Skills Assessment and any recommended training
  • Case Management
  • Monthly Probation Supervision
  • Random Urinalysis
  • Mandatory Court Appearance
  • Pay all program fees:
  • $1,000.00 Tier One Program Fee
  • $100.00 Cost of Prosecution
  • Four (4) percent surcharge to the Department of Corrections
  • Twenty-five (25) hours Community Service.
  • Pay cost of investigation, if any
  • Restitution is required, if applicable.

Upon full completion of the 6-12 month Tier One Drug Court program, the felony charge(s) will be dismissed by the State of Florida.

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