Florida supreme renders opinion on miami marijuana possession case
Posted on October 09, 2009 3:00 AM EST
The Florida Supreme court reviewed a Miami marijuana possession case to settle a dispute regarding conflicting opinions from different Florida appellate courts. A juvenile defendant was arrested by the Miami-Dade Police Department for possession of marijuana. The Miami criminal attorney representing the juvenile filed a motion to suppress which was denied by the trial court. The 3rd District of Appeals reviewed the appeal and affirmed the trial court's decision. A Miami appellate lawyer filed and argued the appeal
before the Florida Supreme Court.
The court record and police reports indicate that the youth was sitting in his car rolling a marijuana cigarette when he was approached by armed police officers in marked unit with flashing lights. The Florida Supreme Court did not reverse the finding of the circuit court or appellate court, but provided some ammunition that will assist Miami criminal lawyers
when they file motions to suppress based on illegal stops. According to the opinion rendered by the Florida Supreme Court, a person has been stopped or "seized" when a person is confronted by armed police officers with flashing lights. When a person is confronted in this situation, a reasonable person would not be free to leave.
Motions to suppress are the best tool that a Miami criminal defense lawyer can use to defend narcotics cases from cocaine trafficking
to simple marijuana possession cases. Many Miami narcotics cases can be successfully defended by showing the police authorities did not have a reasonable to suspicion to stop an individual involved in illegal narcotics activities. If a trial judge can be persuaded that law enforcement officers cannot establish that they had sufficient facts to warrant the stop, the judge can exclude the evidence. Once the evidence is excluded after successfully arguing a motion to suppress, the prosecution cannot proceed with case and will dismiss the charges.
A successful motion to suppress is a sure fire way to beat Miami drug cases. It prevents an individual from going to trial before a jury where success can never be guaranteed. Depending on the charge, defendants can be facing significant prison terms if they are convicted at trial. Even if a motion to suppress is not factually strong, it generally gives Miami prosecutors and reason to work out a case to probation, therefore avoiding the risks at trial. It is imperative that anyone facing serious narcotics charges hire an experienced Miami criminal attorney to defend their case.
Court Clarifies When Someone is in Police Custody, The Miami Herald, October 9, 2009.