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Florida assistant high school principal faces drug charges

Police took a woman, who serves as the Anclote High School Assistant Principal, into custody on drug-related charges stemming from marijuana-laced cookies. The woman's daughter was also taken into custody for the same charges. According to the report, the incident took place after the woman's daughter gave her a gift of food that contained marijuana. Shortly after the woman consumed the cannabis oil-tainted food, she sought medical treatment at St. Joseph Hospital North in Tampa for overdosing on Nov. 13.

After the woman recovered, she returned to her residence on Nov. 14. A short time later, law enforcement officials took her into custody on suspicion of drug possession. The previous day, Nov. 13, the woman's 19-year-old daughter was also taken into custody on charges she had more than 20 grams of marijuana in her possession. Anclote High School officials decided to put the assistant principal on administrative leave following the incident and investigation. She could be suspended without pay, according to a school district representative.

According to the preliminary investigation, the woman and her daughter intentionally and knowingly had the drug-laced cookie within their possession. Both women were charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. Authorities released the two women from jail on a $2,000 bond.

Florida has severe penalties for those who have been convicted for drug charges. Those who face such charges might assume they have no way of being cleared. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney might find a way to get the charges reduced or even dropped by challenging the manner in which the evidence against the defendants was gathered. The attorney might also question the responding law enforcement official's reason for probable cause. Another approach the attorney might take is to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution that could result in the mitigation of a convicted defendant's penalties.

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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.

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