With the widespread legalization of marijuana to some degree in most of the 50 states, it may seem like the War on Drugs has come to an end, but with the exception of small, personal amounts of cannabis, law enforcement has been as aggressive as ever in making arrests for illegal narcotics. And indeed things have changed. Back in 2010, 52% of all drug arrests were for simple possession of pot. You do, in fact, see a different picture now. On the other hand, DUI arrests are as ubiquitous as ever. If you’ve been arrested for DUI or a drug-related charge, you need to take your case seriously. Contact a criminal defense lawyer who has ample experience with drug and alcohol crimes immediately.
Drug Statistics in the State of Florida
Parikh Law, P.A. is located in Orlando, FL. Since the 1980s, Florida has been one of the most significant playing fields for the importation and distribution of narcotics. In 2019, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) reported 110,152 drug arrests. No other Part 2 Uniform Crime Report (UCR) category came even close to these numbers. In a state of 21.5 million people, and not accounting for repeat offenders, that’s almost 1,200 people arrested on just drug charges every year. One of the reasons that law enforcement has been so proactive in this regard is the morbidity associated with drugs. In the first half of 2018, FDLE reported 5992 drug-related deaths.
DUI by the Numbers
As a tourist destination, Florida has a reputation for beaches, theme parks, and libations. That also means that the Sunshine State boasts more than its fair share of DUI arrests and alcohol-related crashes. According to the CDC, Florida had 8,476 deaths over a ten-year period. Florida has the third-highest number of DUI deaths after California and Texas respectively. In 2017, Florida had 32,727 DUI arrests. In most cases, this is a misdemeanor charge.
Criminal Defense in Alcohol and Drug Cases
Most DUI arrests follow a prescribed pattern. Because DUI is charged with such frequency, attorneys on both sides of the criminal justice system have developed proven strategies to dismantle the opposition’s case. If you have been arrested for a DUI charge, then you should retain the services of a DUI defense lawyer. Your chances of beating or reducing the charge will be vastly improved with representation.
Drug charges tend to be more varied. The investigations for drug crimes range from drugs found on a traffic stop to undercover investigations utilizing confidential informants. In Florida, you can still be arrested for misdemeanor amounts of marijuana (under 20 grams) in most counties. Criminal defense lawyers who specialize in drug crimes can evaluate the case against you and tailor a defense strategy around the facts.
How a Drug or Alcohol Crime Can Affect You
Even if you’re arrested for a misdemeanor, like first or second DUI or possession of cannabis under 20 grams, you can be facing jail, fines, license suspension, and a criminal record. In most cases, you will not go to jail if this is a first or second offense, but you will have an arrest record that can be difficult to explain to future employers. With more serious charges, prison is a very real possibility, particularly if you have prior offenses. Don’t take risks. Contact an attorney in your area immediately.