Possession of cocaine and trafficking in cocaine criminal charges begin with the government finding and proving possession of measurable amounts of cocaine. Often Florida criminal defense attorneys must defend cases where a small or trace amount of cocaine is found, and often found not ON someone but in close proximity. What is a provable amount of cocaine for Florida criminal statutes to be invoked?
It varies from state to state, but our concern here is Florida criminal law. In Florida if the state can prove even a trace amount of cocaine, or cocaine residue, then they have met their burden. Outrageous yes? Yes. A trace amount of cocaine can be the cocaine dust that remains in a baggie that once contained cocaine, or the burnt residue of consumed cocaine in a pipe. It is enough. Possession of cocaine cases in Florida can be made if the State can find and prove you had a baggie that once contained cocaine, or a pipe (paraphernalia) that once burned crack or cocaine. In the waning months of 2009 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Florida criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale and Miami could demand a chemist appear in court to make the case, but the law remains: possession of cocaine can be proven with a charred pipe or an empty plastic bag.
Possession is a subject of another blog entry…so stay tuned! Or, if you have a question, contact a Florida criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, or Miami. Start with Ralph Behr; he’s been at it for over 34 years!