A 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