Available 24/7

Florida Supreme Court Upholds Controversial Drug Law

A controversial Florida drug possession law placing the burden of proof on defendants was recently upheld – despite the fact that 48 other states disagree.

In most criminal cases, the burden of proof is on the prosecutor. Not so when it comes to cases involving a controversial 2002 drug possession law.

Upheld by the Florida Supreme Court, the recent Florida v. Adkins decision holds that defendants must prove that they did not know they were carrying an illicit substance. It’s a ruling that flies in the face of the laws of 48 other states that place the onus on the state, say drug arrest and criminal defense attorneys in Gainesville.

The 5-2 decision comes just a year after an Orlando-based federal judge ruled the entire Florida law unconstitutional under the due process clause. Calling the law “draconian and unreasonable,” the judge noted that it’s a blatant departure from the concept that defendants are innocent until proven guilty. It also goes against the concept of “mens rea,” which states that to be convicted on a criminal charge, a person must have a criminal or wrongful purpose to commit a crime.

Prosecutors still must prove that a suspect knew that the drug in question was in their possession. So, if you are charged with possessing a controlled substance that you held unintentionally – which is not at all uncommon – you may be able to establish the affirmative defense available under the law.

Because federal district court rulings are not binding in Florida, a comprehensive ruling still awaits review by the U.S. Supreme Court. In any case, if you are arrested or charged with drug possession, you need an experienced drug arrest attorney. Criminal defense lawyers with the Law Offices of Edwards & Jones Criminal Defense can help. Contact us at 877-377-7801 or via our online Quick Form.

Client Testimonials
Mr.Jones went beyond needed services as a lawyer to help me with my very in depth case. Very helpful throughout the whole 6-7 month process. Not only did he get all my questions answered to the best of his abilities but also really showed compassion for my family & I during the case as well as after. 5 star lawyer, highly recommended. Thank you for all your hard work!
★★★★★
I hired Christopher for situation I got myself in. He worked hard to get my case dropped. I definitely would recommend this attorney to anyone needing one. He puts his heart in his work. Roy M.
★★★★★
I hired Mr. Jones to represent my son. We had never had to hire a lawyer and I was anxious. Mr. Jones took the time to explain what was happening and it helped lessen my concerns. Once we hired him he started work immediately and was able to get my son's case thrown out. We are very satisfied with his services. Robert H.
★★★★★
  • Number OneFree Consultation
  • Number TwoAvailable 24/7
  • Number ThreeHelp With Bail
Contact Us 877.377.7801