Tampa Drug Lawyer
When you’re arrested for a drug-related crime in Tampa, you’ll need help fighting for your freedom. Seek out help and avoid the long-term consequences that can haunt you if you don’t fight back.
Many of us have seen drug-related arrests on the news. Police officers take illegal substances seriously, so you may have seen many cases of people found possessing, selling, or using illicit drugs. Unfortunately, you yourself now may have been arresting for one of these crimes.
Because drug laws are so strict, you could find yourself facing heavy fines, jail time, and other penalties. If you don’t fight back, those charges can affect you for years to come, from financial impacts to social impacts and beyond. You’ll need help fighting back before you’re stuck with the consequences.
At Hersem Law, we understand that good people may be accused of serious crimes, which hurts their record, reputation, and future. That’s tough to overcome, but that’s what we’re here for as your Tampa drug lawyer. We’ll help you fight back and get your drug charges dropped before you suffer for them.
Consequences for Drug-Related Offenses
Unfortunately, even drug-related crimes that sound minor can hurt your record. Depending on the drugs and the amount in question, possession alone could be a first-degree misdemeanor, which can quickly become a felony charge. If you’re accused of selling or possessing with an attempt to sell, you’ll likely be charged with a felony.
Once you’ve been arrested and you know your charges, understanding the consequences is vital. It’s easy to think that it’s not worth fighting because it’s your word against an officer’s. The consequences alone, however, are worth fighting back against. Protect your future by fighting back today against your drug charges.
If you know what you’ve been charged with but aren’t sure what that means for you, see the following table for the consequences you could face if you don’t get those charges dropped:
|Charge||Maximum Fine||Maximum Sentence|
|Second-degree misdemeanor||$500||Sixty days|
|First-degree misdemeanor||$1,000||One year|
|Third-degree felony||$5,000||Five years|
|Second-degree felony||$10,000||Fifteen years|
|First-degree felony||$10,000||Thirty years|
Long-Term Effects of a Drug Conviction
The fines for drug charges alone can put you deep in debt, and years in prison can change your life. Sadly, even when you’re released from prison, the punishment doesn’t stop there. You’ll then be dealing with the effects of being labeled a criminal or a felon.
When you’re released, housing might be a priority if you don’t have friends or former living arrangements. Unfortunately, applying for an apartment can be difficult when you have a record. Most complexes will perform a background check, and if they find you have a criminal record, they may reject your application.
Job hunts are much more difficult as well. While a few employers are proud of the fact that they hire those with criminal records, finding work in your field might be difficult or impossible. That may mean taking a significant pay cut, compared to your former options, which makes paying your fines even tougher.
So, keep in mind that, even if you accept the charges, you could still suffer consequences for years to come. For these reasons, don’t wait to fight back. Instead, get ready to defend yourself and get those charges dropped with the help of a drug attorney.
Common Defenses for Drug Charges
So, what can you say to prevent misdemeanor or felony charges on your record?
- Testing the Drugs – One of the first defenses you may pursue is showing that the drugs aren’t what the police claim. Analyzing the alleged drugs in a lab could help you get your charges lowered or dropped. If they lack the drugs in question during this phase or during trial, your charges may be dropped then.
- Entrapment – While some operations are acceptable, officers may take their efforts too far. If you believe an officer pushed you to do something you wouldn’t normally do, speak to your lawyer about the officer’s actions.
- Search and Seizure Problems – Everyone has rights through the Fourth Amendment, which protects you from unlawful search and seizure. If the officer did anything to violate this, like searching your car during an unrelated stop, their evidence may not be used in court.
- Someone Else’s Property – In some cases, the drugs may simply not be yours. If you were borrowing the vehicle or have a roommate, you might not have been aware of the drugs there. You’ll need to show the drugs weren’t yours, in this case.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
In some cases, it can feel almost impossible to escape a conviction. Disagreeing with an officer is intimidating, and you may be concerned about the costs of a defense attorney. Unfortunately, that leads many people to choose not to speak to a lawyer, and that hurts their chances of getting their charges dropped.
When you’re struggling with a drug case, you’ll need someone with experience and knowledge on your side. You might not have the right resources to get evidence for your defense. Without that, it can be tough to prove you weren’t guilty.
For example, you might need to prove that the substance found on you isn’t an illicit substance. Say they say you were in possession of marijuana, but testing proves that’s not what it was. You’ll need to have the evidence tested, but you may not know what to ask or how to understand the results. If you’re not prepared to handle that evidence, you’ll have fewer opportunities to get your charges dropped.
Don’t Rely on Public Defenders
For many people, defending your case with the help of a public defender may sound like the better idea. You don’t have to worry about fees, so you can focus on your claim. Unfortunately, there are some downsides to putting your case in the hands of a public defender.
While they’re trained to handle cases like yours, you’re not the only client they’re focused on. They might have more than one trial in a single day, which means they may not be able to give you the full attention you need for a successful defense.
Instead, put your case in the hands a defense attorney. They’ll give you the attention and focus you need to get your charges dropped.
Seek out a Tampa Drug Attorney
When you’re accused of a drug crime, the aftermath can haunt you for years. You need to focus on your finances, your personal life, and your career, but a drug-related offense can ruin all that if you don’t fight back. Unfortunately, that can be difficult.
At Hersem Law, we understand how difficult it can be to deal with a drug charge and how difficult recovering from a conviction will be. That’s why we want to help you overcome your charges before you’re convicted. Getting your charges dropped will be vital to your future.
It might feel hopeless or overwhelming, but your defense is important. We’re driven by results, but our focus is on you and your future. So, set up an appointment with a Tampa lawyer who cares about you and your future. We’ll demonstrate why we’re the best law firm you and what we’ll do for your drug case.
Ready to start fighting back? Our Tampa drug lawyer is ready to speak to you during our strategy session about your defense. We’ll discuss your case first, so you’ll know what to expect from our firm. To speak to a drug attorney, give us a call at 813-251-7291 or fill out the following online form.