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2 Meth Arrests In 1 Night In Martin County
September has seen an uptick in arrests for methamphetamine (referred to as meth) possession and sale, leading law enforcement officials in West Palm Beach and Martin County to question if general use of the drug is on the rise. On one recent night, police made two arrests in Martin County within hours of each other, both involving significant amounts of methamphetamine. One man was arrested after he crashed his car into another vehicle and fled on foot, leaving 33 grams in his vehicle, while another was arrested after selling 18 grams of the drug to an undercover officer. Both possession and sale of meth are taken very seriously, and if you find yourself in this position, you will need experienced representation to guide you through the criminal process.
Meth Charges Are Extremely Serious
Because of its geography and past history as a battleground for drug trafficking, Florida State’s Attorneys take drug charges very seriously, and will often prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. They cite the potential danger and high fatality rate of the drug in doing so; in addition, meth is cheaper than many other possible alternatives for the average person. It is currently classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning that it has some severely restricted medical usage, but also a high potential for abuse or addiction.
Between the COVID-19 pandemic and rising unemployment rates, Florida is seeing a rise in drug overdose deaths – the numbers in Palm Beach County are 49 percent higher for Jan-Aug 2020 than they were during the same period in 2019. Because of unemployment or a general inability to afford health insurance payments, more and more people are turning to street drugs like meth to manage conditions or stem pain. Unfortunately, they are also running afoul of the law.
If You Are Charged
If you have been arrested for meth-related offenses, know that the charges against you will be decided primarily based on the weight of the drugs found (as opposed to the amount of pure methamphetamine which is contained in the drug mixture). There are three major charges that a person can face if they are arrested with methamphetamine: you are generally charged with simple possession if you are found with less than 14 grams, but even a conviction for simple possession can carry a significant sentence. Florida law makes it a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
If you are arrested with less than 14 grams, but have engaged in the “manufacture, sale, or delivery” of the drug (or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver), you may face second-degree felony charges, which has a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years, but can be as much as 30 years. Keep in mind, however, that Florida law states that if the offense involves more than 14 grams of meth, the alleged perpetrator should be charged with trafficking in methamphetamine. This may seem counter-intuitive, as historically trafficking involves distribution of an illegal item, but because more than 14 grams is involved, the state assumes an intent to traffic.
Call A West Palm Beach Drug Crimes Attorney
Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug that unfortunately is seeing a bit of a resurgence during these difficult times. If you are arrested with meth in your possession, you can face very serious consequences. The West Palm Beach drug crimes attorneys at the firm of Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. can help guide you through the legal process, and hopefully give you the best chance for a fair outcome. Call our offices today to speak to an attorney.