Andrew M. Coffey, P.A.
Call for a Free Initial Consultation
Local 954.406.9272
Specialist in Florida Criminal Trial Law

Florida man loses job because of mistaken drug arrest

A 33-year-old Florida man says that a police mistake has cost him both his job and his reputation. The Pensacola resident was charged with drug possession on Oct. 6 after a roadside drug testing kit used by police indicated that a white powder found in his car was cocaine, but subsequent laboratory testing conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement discovered no trace of the drug.

The man's vehicle was originally pulled over by Escambia County Sheriff's Office deputies for a license plate violation, but the situation escalated when one of the deputies claimed that the car smelled of marijuana. While no marijuana was discovered during the subsequent vehicle search, deputies did find a plastic bag containing white powder. The man told deputies that the substance was protein powder, but he was taken into custody and charges with drug possession when a portable drug testing kit signaled that the powder was cocaine.

The charge was dropped on Oct. 25 after more rigorous testing established that the powder was benign, but that was too late to save the man's job. He had worked with troubled teens in a program operated by the Department of Juvenile Justice. However, reports suggest that the DJJ has been advised of the police mistake and may be reevaluating its position. A Escambia County Sheriff's Office representative could not explain how the portable kits used by deputies had twice identified the substance as an illegal drug when more established testing protocols had proved that it was not.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys may scrutinize police reports carefully when those facing serious drug crime charges have not been in trouble with the law before and have no history of substance abuse. Attorneys could also seek to have criminal charges dismissed when police officers have conducted warrantless searches based upon dubious grounds.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
EMAIL US FOR A RESPONSE
Certified | The Florida Bar | Criminal Trial Law

Andrew M. Coffey has been recognized as a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer by the Florida Bar. Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.

Super Lawyers

Recently Named Florida Super Lawyer

Contact Us To Schedule A Free Consultation
Andrew M. Coffey, P.A. | Attorney at Law

Andrew M. Coffey, P.A.
208 SE 6th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Toll Free: 888-332-3451
Phone: 954-467-5700
Fort Lauderdale Law Office Map

E-mail Us
Review Us