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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23155
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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if the police had a search warrant for marked bills, large

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if the police had a search warrant for marked bills, large quanities of cocaine and were looking for me dealing and came up with very little and no money or weapons is the search warrant still good? They got a no knock search warrant based on a snitch that gave me up to get out of trouble. I am just a user and not a dealer. they have no video, recordings or anything other than the word of the junky snitch. Is this grounds to get the whole case thrown out? The smashed my door for less than an ounce of cocaine and 2 percersett pills. Please let me know what you think

No this probably isn't an illegal search. To get a warrant, the police need only to have probable cause to search. Probable cause is just a reasonable belief that a crime may have been committed and you may have committed it. It isn't proof beyond a reasonable doubt and doesn't require much real evidence at all. The word of the informant -- even if he's just a good liar -- can be enough to provide a reasonable belief. A judge also heard the informant and signed off on the warrant.

This doesn't mean you can't challenge the search and seizure, including the legitimacy of the warrant. If you wish to fight this case, your lawyer can get you a hearing to attack this and try to keep the evidence that was seized from being used against you. But for now, it will not get this case knocked immediately out of the box.

Sorry for being the bearer of bad news, but police never know for sure what they will find on the other side of a locked door. Sometimes what they find is worth nothing at all. Other times, it exceeds their wildest exectations.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What is your opinion on this matter knowing what I have already said. thinking that talking to the prosecutor and trying to make a deal for some short term probation may be a good idea. I have a public defender that I believe represents the snitch. My public defender says that if it confirms that he does he will not be able to represent me due to conflict of interest. If the public defenders office cannot represent me is this grounds to get the case thrown out or get a favorable deal?


Every state has a pool of private attorneys that they will tap when there is a conflict of interest on a case with an indigent defendant. It happens all the time. For example, if two of you were arrested together and neither of you had enough money for a lawyer, only one of you would get the public defender, and the other would get a private lawyer who does pro bono work for the state.

So you will have a lawyer and the fact that it comes from a different law firm than the one you have now is not anything that will get your case dismissed.

As for the informant, if your case goes to trial, your lawyer would get the right to cross examine him and let the jury see that he came forward with information just to save his own skin. The jury would factor that into whether his testmony is credible or he's a liar.

If you didn't want to try this case and you have no criminal record you could possibly get a special program -- drug court is one -- that would allow you to get these charges dismissed after the completion of your supervision. Don't deal with the prosecutor yourself. You'll have a new lawyer and anything you say to the prosecutor cn be used against you. Let him negotiate something that will hurt your record as litle as possible.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

knowing the law in the state of florida, what do you think will be offered to me for less than a gram of cocaine and 2 pills. I have a petty theft charge from 3 years ago but never any drug charges? Can you offer your opinion on this? I know every case is different but can you offer any opinion?


I thought I dealt with that, but I put it in between the lines. In my experience and with no prior felony or drug matters, you're looking at nothing worse than probation for this. And, as I indicated, if you have a substance abuse problem and are willing to address it, Florida has programs that can get your case dismissed after you finish your supervisory requirements. Treatment Court is only one possibility. There may also be other opportunites for a deferred senence.

The only way you'll see jail on this case is if you warrant on your court appearances or take it all the way to trial and lose. The standard plea offer for something like that in your circumstances is a probation offer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do you know anything about them suspending my drivers license in this type of case. As I need my license for work and if I need to get to drug court. Please advise.

Hello Steve,

Sorry for the delay but I was away from the computer. Florida law does require a mandatory two year suspension of a license for someone convicted of a drug offense. There are apparently ways to get around that, however, one of which would be to get adjudication withheld as part of the disposition. This is something you'd have to take up with your lawyer, but it may be negotiable.

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