Articles Posted in Drug Crimes

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyA major decision was just handed down this week when Florida’s Supreme Court upheld the state’s controversial drug possession statute. The case, Florida v. Luke Jarrod Adkins, was a closely watched one as the implications for defendants across the state was great. In a 5-2 ruling, the court upheld a law that says defendants arrested with drugs are presumed to have known that what they had was illegal. Moreover, if the defendant claims ignorance, then the law mandates that they must prove that to the jurors.

The decision means that Florida’s definition of drug possession does not require “knowledge” of the illegality of the action, putting Florida in a very small group of states. In fact, at least 48 other states require prosecutors to prove to the jury that the defendant knew they were carrying illegal drugs. The law says that prosecutors still must prove that the defendant was in possession of something, they just don’t have to show that the defendant knew what he had was illegal.

The Supreme Court took the case after a state circuit judge in Manatee County threw out 46 drug possession cases, saying they were at odds with a lower federal court’s opinion finding the law unconstitutional. However, lower federal court decisions are not binding on state courts and the issue was appealed directly to the high court.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyThis incident of a Meth Lab at a Motel 6 will be the third incident where JSO were dispatched to a Jacksonville Motel 6 and the resulting investigation turned up a Meth Lab.

JSO were dispatched to a Motel 6 on the Northside of Jacksonville around 1 AM this morning. Upon arrival the security officer notified JSO that the occupants of the motel room had fled the scene. The Security officer also notified JSO that he has inspected the room and located a smoking bottle with an unknown substance inside. JSO responding by sending in the fire-rescue team, bomb squad, and a chemical specialist to investigate the motel room and the items contained within.

To date the suspects are still at large and JSO is continuing to investigate. As a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney, these stories are not unusual or bizarre. These tough economic times have driven some individuals to take drastic measures that they normally would not consider. These individuals are not hardened criminals, but victims of these tough economic times.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyAs a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney, the situations people place themselves in boggle my mind sometimes. However, a strong Defense and zealous representation could prove to be invaluable in the your Criminal Case. One can never be too cautious and one can never know when the police will arrive and want to talk or arrest you. That is why one must always be aware of their surroundings and be weary when traveling on the city’s motorways.

One such incident of blind-luck worked out for the Columbia Police Department. The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when Chaylen Ortega (22) and Keith Wheeldon (31) were pulled over for a tag violation. A citation that would be dropped if proof of a valid tag is shown to the Court. However, in this case, chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine were located inside the vehicle. The police found and seized lithium batteries, pseudoephedrine, and a container of muriatic acid. All chemicals required in the manufacture of Meth.

Both occupants of the vehicle were arrested and booked at the Columbia County Detention Facility. They both have been charged with the possession of listed chemicals with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance (a 2nd degree felony). Ortega is being held without bond due to her violation of probation and a warrant out for her arrest. Wheeldon, on the other hand, had a bond set at $5,000.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyYesterday I reported on a Meth Lab located in Jacksonville’s exclusive gated community, James Island. Well, today I report a Meth Lab located in Jacksonville’s Argyle area. The location of the Meth Lab was Motel 6 located at 6109 Youngerman Circle. If that address seems familiar it is because JSO just recently busted a previous Meth Lab in the same location!

In this case, the Motel 6 security guard waived the police down on Wednesday night. He reported smelling unusual orders and the particular behavior of room 107’s occupants. When police arrived at the door the two occupants, Michael Aderhold (46) and Dawn Hoden (39) denied any illegal activity. However, it was soon uncovered that the two were in-fact manufacturing methamphetamine inside the Motel room.

Aderhold has been charged with possession of chemicals to manufacture a controlled substance and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana. Hoden has been charged with possession of chemicals to manufacture a controlled substance. Both are being held in Duval County Pretrial Detention Facility and neither are eligible to receive a bond.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyThe US economy has taken its toll on Jacksonville residents and people across this Nation. These tough economic times have driven some individuals to act in a manner that is not themselves. We have all felt the impact of the plummeting housing market and job reductions. However, during these times crime, drugs, and alcohol abuse are at their all time highs. As a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney, this economy has increased the crime rate by individuals who would normally never think of such an act.

One specific case appeared recently in Jacksonville’s headlines. Charles Bickerton, 40, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell and intent to manufacture controlled substance. Normally, this story would not get my attention, as Meth Labs have become, unfortunately, a common occurrence around Jacksonville. However, the Meth Lab was located in Jacksonville’s exclusive gated community, James Island. Furthermore, this lab was not located in a shack, car, or someone’s shed; it was located in a house worth over $300,000.

Charles was probably an upstanding citizen who stayed clear of the law. Maybe these tough times have driven Charles to seek other means of monetary accruement. Maybe Charles lost his job and could not find other employment and sought this alternative to stay in the black. Without talking with Charles directly, I cannot know his motives. Although his actions were illegal, a good Jacksonville Criminal Attorney can present these mitigating factors to the Court and the State in order to negate the offense or get a lessor sentence.

 Criminal Shh.jpgThe most important thing to remember after you have been arrested in Duval, St. Johns, Clay, or Nassau County is to NOT talk to law enforcement officers until you have spoken with a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer. You must protect your Rights and if you go after the Florida Criminal Justice System alone, adverse consequences could result. That is why I notify all my clients to as for an attorney before telling a Florida Law Enforcement Officer anything. This one tip could prove to be invaluable in your Florida Criminal Case.

Law Enforcement Officers are trained interrogators and can manipulate a situation that will prove their case and incriminate yourself. Even seemingly innocent statements can be construed negatively if you are not assisted by a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer. I can control the questioning, make sure the answers are not manipulated, and protect your rights. If you are in custody and the police want to “question” you, you have a right to an attorney. USE THAT RIGHT! Do not answer any questions without an attorney present.

However, if you are not “in custody” the officers do not have to offer the assistance of counsel. With that being said, if you are not “in custody” you are also FREE to leave. USE THAT RIGHT and leave without speaking to the police. Do not give them a reason to place you into custody. If you have been questioned by the police or have been “in custody” and were allowed to leave, contact a Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer today. I will discuss your case with you, make the proper determinations in moving forward, and make sure your Rights are being protected along the way. So do not delay, call me today!

Jacksonville Beach Criminal Defense AttorneyLate on Wednesday Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) arrested one of their own during an undercover drug sting. The suspect is James Mock III of Jacksonville Corrections. He was arrested following a drug deal to an undercover officer at the corner of Market and State Street in Jacksonville. As a Jacksonville Beach Criminal Defense Attorney, this type of corruption in the legal system should not be tolerated.

The Jacksonville Corrections Officer has been charged with selling narcotics to an undercover officer and selling narcotics within 1,000 ft of a convenience store. JSO undersheriff Senterfitt made a press release following the arrest and stated Mock had confessed to selling the narcotics to the undercover officers. JSO also found additional pills and controlled substances in the vehicle of the accused.

As a Jacksonville Beach Criminal Defense Attorney, this incident reminds me of how bad our economy has gotten. I know that desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures, but when illegality is involved Criminal sanctions could follow. Although tough economic times is no excuse for Jacksonville Beach Criminal Behavior, the motive and reasoning behind the crime could be used as mitigating factors during sentencing and plea bargaining.

Police-ReportAs a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer I hear about a multitude of Criminal issues and I am not surprised all that often. However, I have recently been overwhelmed with the amount of inquiries concerning the filing of False Jacksonville Police Reports. This action, when taken, can lead to serious penalties for the wrongly accused and the person filing the report. Most people I speak to do not realize the severity of their actions and were just angry, jealous, or upset when making the report. But, their actions have now led to an arrest and possible conviction of an innocent Criminal Defendant.

Florida Statute § 817.49 defines the crime of filing a false police report. It reads, “whoever willfully imparts, conveys or causes to be imparted or conveyed to any law enforcement officer false information or reports concerning the alleged commission of any crime under the laws of this state, knowing such information or report to be false, in that no such crime had actually been committed, shall upon conviction thereof be guilty.” Filing a False Jacksonville Police Report is a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or fines not exceeding $1,000.

As a Duval, St. Johns, Clay, and Nassau County Criminal Defense Lawyer people who file false police reports only make my representation of Criminal Defendants more complicated. Therefore, next time you are angry, upset, or jealous of another, think twice before deciding to file a false police report. It could end negatively for all parties involved. So, if you are facing a Jacksonville, Duval, St. Johns, Clay, or Nassau County Criminal Charge and believe the accusations are false, contact a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer today. That decision could prove to be invaluable in your case.

WarrantThe 2nd DCA recently heard the case of Jose Ferrer v. State of Florida over the issue of whether the Defendant’s consent to enter the gate of his property and to talk about criminal activity permitted the Officers to walk behind the house, up the stairs, and therefore smelling marijuana. The Court ruled the search was not withing the confines of the 4th and 14th amendments and therefore reversed the Defendant’s conviction.

The Court based its conclusions upon the premise that searches conducted without a warrant are per se unreasonable unless conducted within a recognized exception. The Court went further and stated Consent is one such exception to the warrant requirement. However, the Court noted when a Consent search is conducted the scope of such search must remain within the confines of the consent given. The scope is based upon an objective reasonableness standard; what would a typical person understand the scope to be when giving permission to the Officers. In this case, the Officers approached the Defendant who was located behind the locked and electrified gate at his house. The Officers proceeded to ask permission to talk with him on the other side of the gate. The Defendant complied. However, when inside two officers proceeded behind the house and smelled the aroma of marijuana.

The Court concluded the Officers actions taken after permission given to enter and talk were unreasonable. Furthermore, the Court concluded a typical person’s consent to enter and talk would not authorize Officer’s to roam about the property without a warrant. Therefore, the Defendant’s conviction was reversed.

With a weak economy, everyone is feeling the ramifications of a state with declining revenue. The Huffington Post reports:

More than 20,000 Texas prisoners have been eating two meals a day on weekends since April, in a bid by the prison system to cut food-service costs… The two-a-day weekend meal plan is part of an effort to cut the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s budget by $2.8 million; other cost-cutting measures include giving prisoners sliced bread instead of hamburger or hot dog buns and offering powdered milk instead of carton milk.”

Florida is also using cost-cutting measures, but this is more beneficial to decreasing the prison population. “Florida lawmakers passed two bills earlier this week that would expand the state’s prison rehabilitation program and reduce jail time for non-violent criminals in a bid to make some headway in the state’s $2.3 billion budget deficit.”

Contact Information