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2 FSU football players headed to court for smoking pot

The athletics department at Florida State University in Tallahassee acknowledged that local police cited two student athletes for smoking marijuana. The university intends to address the situation internally and did not provide more details about how the students might be disciplined. Both male students, age 19, held positions on the 2017 football roster, one as a freshman running back and the other as a sophomore defensive back.

A police officer reported approaching their vehicle that was parked near Doak Campbell Stadium after watching it drive suspiciously without the headlights on in the dark. Court documents recounted the officer's claim of smelling cannabis and witnessing the driver with a blunt.

When backup officers arrived, they searched the vehicle and confiscated the remains of the cannabis cigarette. Police said that the passenger admitted to sharing cannabis with the driver. The police investigation resulted in charges against the men for possessing a small amount of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. Law enforcement released the men at the scene, but they must appear in court for their arraignments.

When a person has to go to court to answer for criminal charges, a defense attorney might provide guidance. Penalties for drug crimes could include fines and jail time and produce a criminal record that reduces employment and education opportunities. Legal insights provided by an attorney might allow a defendant to make an informed decision before entering a plea. If evidence appears insufficient to justify the charges, an attorney might pursue the dismissal of the case. An attorney could challenge the validity of some evidence if police violated legal procedures during a search. Negotiations with the prosecutor initiated by the attorney might result in reduced charges or a lenient sentence.

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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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