D. Scott Rieth Criminal Defense Attorney
888-352-3179 941-404-4192

April 2016 Archives

Drug crimes deliver stiff penalties in Florida

Crimes involving drugs are on the rise in the United States. Drug offenses can involve drug trafficking (selling or distributing large amounts of drugs), drug possession and possession with intent to sell (depending on the volume and type of drugs in your possession). Marijuana (possession of or selling even 20 grams or less in the state of Florida), cocaine (a third-degree-felony in Florida), prescription drugs, doctor shopping (obtaining prescriptions from several doctors with the intent to use or sell for recreational purposes) and more can land you in hot water.


How can you protect your rights?

Having a DUI charge pressed against you can be daunting, confusing and intimidating to anyone who is not familiar with the legal processes in place in Florida. According to Florida State Legislature, a person is legally defined as "operating under the influence" if the operator of the accused vehicle is determined to have their faculties impaired by any chemical substance the state has deemed to be "harmful." While this definition, in and of itself, leaves room for interpretation, there is no ambiguity surrounding the fact that any DUI charge can be a serious matter.

Will I lose my driver's license if I am charged with a DUI?

Drunk driving results in thousands of fatalities every year in the United States, and the legal system is not very forgiving when it comes to DUI, or driving under the influence. Many people who are charged with a DUI end up having their licensed revoked. If you've recently been charged with a DUI, you may be wondering if you will lose your driver's license. Below is some information that should give you some insight into the possible consequences you may face after a DUI arrest.

The accused have rights too

With an ever increasing rate of both crimes and violent crimes in our country, there has been a groundswell of support for 'victim's rights' legislation. The perception that the legal system provides the accused with 'unreasonable' rights is as old as habeas corpus, itself. However, the burden of proof and the presumption of innocence are cornerstones of our society and were beliefs that the founding fathers held very dear within the context of colonial persecution and lack of due process.

A look at drug crimes in Florida

The significant number of drug crimes across the country and in Florida in the 1980's resulted in an outdated system akin to a revolving door where people were arrested, prosecuted and released. This is no longer the case, and drug charges are now taken very seriously in Florida and across the country. According to the Florida Office of the State Courts Administrator, there were over 170 thousand Circuit Court Filings during FY 2014 - 15 and of those, over 45 thousand cases involved drug crimes.  That's over 26% of all crime committed in Florida being drug related.


D. Scott Rieth
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Bradenton, FL 34202

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