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IMG_0476-e1456765765191-300x225True confession.   I “secretly” hope is that you read these articles and say “Hey, John knows all about my situation, I’m going to hire him.”   The opposite is also true: you wouldn’t expect me to write an article that would hurt business, would you?  Well, I’m in a generous mood.

Here’s the situation:  Every criminal defense attorney has received the panicked mom call.  My heart goes out to mom’s, they bare the brunt of their children’s shenanigans.  Anyway, the call goes something like this: “My son’s on probation, he’s at school.  His probation officer just called to say he is coming by the house to search our home.  I’ve searched first, and found drugs.  What should I do with these drugs?


Moms being moms, they want to be the good Samaritan and hand over the drugs to the police when they arrive.   Hum.

Bad idea.

That’s what happened in the real life case of Stanton v. State746 So. 2d 1229 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999).  Stanton was a recovering addict, and a former dealer gave Stanton some cocaine to get him hooked again.  Nice guy, this dealer, right?  It would be like a new ad campaign from Marlboro offering free cigarettes for those who have quit.   Maybe the longer you’ve gone without smoking, the more packs you get for free?  Anyway, Stanton’s old drug dealer was offering free cocaine samples to his recovering ex-income streams.  Pure evil.  What is the world coming to that coke dealers are begging recovering addicts to come back like my old cell phone company?  Continue Reading

drugs-various-300x225A couple of articles back, I ranted about cops trumping up charges.  Yes, my outrage can get boring at times, as it seems everyone is outraged over something.  That being said, getting pissed off about something is a fine cure for writers block.  And, in my defense, at least I’m able to give very specific examples of why you taxpayers should be concerned about how the criminal justice system is wasting your hard earned cash.

Before we jump into the case of the day, a bit of background may be helpful. We charge people for possessing drugs, not using drugs.  If a cop finds someone high on cocaine in a night club–they cannot charge them with possession of the cocaine they consumed in order to get high.  Being “high” on drugs is not a crime.  Possessing those drugs is a crime.

In some cases, the line between using a drug and possessing the drug becomes blurred.  This is especially true in drug paraphernalia cases (drug paraphernalia is any “thing” used to ingest or store a drug, like a bong or a heroin needle, etc.).  In Holloman v. State, the defendant was convicted of possession of cocaine, and he didn’t even know he had any cocaine on him.  2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 2061 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).  Holloman was arrested with a brass fitting in his pocket, and this brass fitting had a copper mesh that facilitated the smoking of cocaine.  It was a pipe, of sorts. Continue Reading