Those facing drug trafficking or drug manufacturing charges in Florida face serious consequences if convicted, including a long prison sentence. When the stakes are this high, it is critical for the accused to mount an aggressive defense.

Twelve people in Marion County, Florida were recently arrested on felony drug charges after authorities busted what they claim was a mail-order drugs and weapons operation. According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the arrests were the result of a month-long investigation by them, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and other police agencies. Authorities allege that after some suspicious packages were found in the mail, they traced them back to the senders. They claim that 20 packages of drugs were seized, as well as five firearms, some allegedly stolen. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the drugs included marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs and ingredients to manufacture illegal drugs.

It’s important to remember that those who are arrested for drug distribution offenses do have rights. One of the first issues to come up in a defense is always whether the search and seizure in which the evidence was discovered was conducted legally. If not, defense counsel can seek to have the evidence excluded at the trial.

In many drug cases the government relies on testimony from confidential informants, who are often people facing prosecution themselves and who are seeking to get their charges reduced. Often they have entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors to get charges dismissed or reduced in exchange for providing information. Defense counsel can attack the credibility of these witnesses on cross-examination at trial.

Source: MyNews13.com, “12 busted for mailing drugs out of Marion County,” Feb. 19, 2014

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