Hiring a Sarasota Drug Defense Attorney
If you’ve been arrested for drug charges in Sarasota, you need to hire a drug defense attorney immediately to protect your rights. Upon your arraignment, the court will ask you if you have an attorney representing you and, if you can’t afford one, the court may appoint a public defender to be your advocate. However, if you don’t meet the indigency guidelines for court-appointed counsel, you will need to hire your own attorney who can effectively fight for your rights.
Erika Valcarcel is an experienced Sarasota drug defense attorney who can defend you against these charges. Drug crimes are serious offenses that can carry substantial prison time and fines with a conviction. Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. will work hard to protect your rights, conduct an extensive investigation, and implement a strategy to present an effective defense in your case.
What You Should Look For in a Defense Attorney
Before you meet with a potential defense attorney, there are certain qualifications you should look for. First, you need an attorney who has extensive experience representing people who are facing similar drug charges in Sarasota as the charges you are facing. Each type of drug offense has distinct elements, and putting up a good defense requires that your attorney knows those elements well and what kinds of evidence and arguments will work effectively. Additionally, you need an attorney who is compassionate and who will listen well to your story but will also provide you with an honest assessment of your case. Your attorney should know the Sarasota criminal justice system and procedures well to be able to come up with a good defense strategy.
When speaking with a lawyer, you should feel comfortable engaging in two-way communication. You should be able to tell them your story and feel that they are taking in every word. After all, it is the details that often make for a compelling defense. After you have explained your situation, you should ask as many questions as possible. Important questions to pose include, but are not limited to:
- How much experience do you have handling cases that are similar to mine?
- How often do you negotiate plea agreements or request a lesser charge?
- How much of my case will be handled by you?
- Can you provide references from the clients you have assisted?
- What are your fees and how are they calculated? Are there any payment plans?
Drug Crimes in Florida
There are a wide variety of possible criminal charges involving drugs in Florida, with an equally wide range of possible penalties on conviction. The main types of charges are either possession, sale, or trafficking. Possession of a controlled substance is typically the least serious drug offense, and Florida provides several drug diversion programs for possession offenses that may help offenders avoid prosecution and conviction.
Drug sale and trafficking are far more serious offenses that are prosecuted extensively by prosecutors. Sale of drugs may result in up to fifteen years of imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as suspension of your driver’s license. Trafficking offenses carry mandatory minimum penalties under Florida law that depend on the amount of controlled substances involved. These minimum penalties range from three years to life in prison, and thousands of dollars in fines.
With your freedom at stake, you will want to hire the best lawyer you can find. It is for this reason that certain factors must be considered before committing to legal representation. When conducting research, you must first examine the qualifications of the lawyer to determine if they are familiar with drug cases. The number of drug cases the attorney has won is an excellent indicator of whether or not your case will be handled effectively.
It is also important to consider whether or not the lawyer has the skills necessary to construct a winning defense. To defend a drug-related case, the attorney should be familiar with witness interviewing, crime scene investigation, sketches, eyewitness accounts, and specific rights violations. An effective drug defense attorney will also be familiar with the courts in your area. Knowing the ins and outs of the local legal system increase the chances of a lawyer being able to reach a desirable outcome.
Contact a Sarasota Drug Defense Attorney Today
Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. has helped countless people in eliminating or reducing their drug charges. Attorney Erika Valcarcel works exclusively in the Sarasota area, meaning she understands the nuances of the local courts. In addition, she has experience as both a prosecutor and a defender and can anticipate the prosecution’s strategy in order to craft a winning defense. Attorney Valcarcel believes that keeping you out of jail is best achieved through listening to your side of the story. With all of the details, she can present your case in the best possible light to protect your freedom; whether that involves conducting an independent investigation or pointing out blatant violations of your rights.
If you’re facing drug charges in Sarasota, getting an attorney as soon as possible is important to ensure that your rights are protected at the outset. Contact attorney Valcarcel today at (941) 363-7900 for a free, initial consultation to help you figure out what your next steps should be.