Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

What does a prosecutor have to prove to win a drug case?

In every state, it's illegal to transport illicit drugs. However, every state is different when it comes to the drugs that are illegal as well as how those who transport drugs are penalized. Florida has its own specific laws and regulations that you should know about if you face drug distribution charges.

First, it's important to understand how the prosecution gets enough evidence to pursue a case. The prosecution is required to know that you knowingly participated in trafficking offenses. For instance, if you were driving a friend who had drugs in his or her possession but did not know it, then you did not knowingly participate in the activity and can use that as a defense. The prosecution has to show that you intended to engage in drug trafficking to prove that you're guilty of the allegations against you. The drugs in question must also be controlled substances, so a crime lab analysis of the drugs will likely be necessary.

If the evidence against you goes missing, then you can use that as a defense. For example, if the drugs are tested but the evidence of their chemical analysis is lost, the prosecution won't have much evidence to use against you, if any.

It's also good to understand that the prosecutor doesn't just have to file one charge. He or she may file many depending on the case. He or she can pursue charges related to your charge, which could mean facing additional penalties beyond those for drug trafficking in the state's borders. This is something your attorney can talk to you about and prepare you for.

Source: FindLaw, "Florida Drug Distribution Laws," accessed Jan. 16, 2018

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