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jamest, Private Investigator
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 372
Experience:  Investigator of criminal law cases, especially Florida law. Work with retailers, others, consultant
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I was charged with armed trafficking cocaine over 400 grams ...

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I was charged with armed trafficking cocaine over 400 grams less than 150 kilos in broward county, Florida. I was behind the wheel of the vehicle with a front seat passenger and a back seat passenger. The alleged narcotics were found in the back seat of the car where the backseat passenger was sitting. There is no evidence linking me to the narcotics in anyway, however a detective claims that he saw a firearm (wich was not stolen and I have a clean record.) fall from my waist after I was placed in hand cuffs and lifted from the ground in the parking lot. My question is do I have a good chance for a motion of aquittal by judge?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  jamest replied 9 years ago.
Well I am going to be honest, no. A motion for judgment of acquittal is granted only if the facts viewed in the light most favorable to the state no reasonable person could find you guilty. The question of your knowledge of the drugs is a question of fact for the trier of fact to determine. If you knew of them, you had constructive possession and as the driver of the vehicle trafficking the drugs, you would be a principle in the offense, a principle means your legally responsible for the offense, as opposed to accessory. Unless you have a permit to carry a concealed weapon or firearm, your carrying a concealed firearm is also a question of fact, for the trier of fact to determine, i imagine that it was your gun since you claim it is legitimately owned, not stolen. You face a possible life sentence under 775.087 since you possessed the firearm while committing the alleged drug traffficing, and a mandatory minimum of 15 years for the drug offense alone. I would highly recommend you try to make a deal with the state attorney. 400 grams is nearly a pound of cocaine, i doubt you can convince a judge or jury you knew nothing of a person in the back seat carrying over a pound of cocaine. I would stop thinking about motions for acquittal, and start trying to make a deal with the state to get the life sentence off the table, or even to reduce the trafficking charge, maybe they will offer a deal if you agree to testify against the other person. Just my opinion and I am trying to be as honest as I can, it's your case, your life, consult with your attorney.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
What Im saying is they have no evidence to link me to the narcotics in anyway. The only thing they can use against me is the firearm. Does that mean that I had Knowledge or control of the cocaine? My question is does having the firearm mean I automatically knew about the narcotics? If not then why cant I be granted a motion for judgment of aquittal? (Sorry for being a pain in the ass.)
Expert:  jamest replied 9 years ago.
You were the driver of a vehicle in which a passenger has over a pound of cocaine, not a baggies, or a rock. Your proximity connects you to the drugs, you had constructive possession. They were in the car, you were the driver. Weather or not you knew the drugs were present is a question of fact for the trier of fact to determine. A reasonable person could conclude just by the sheer amount that you must have known, therefore a motion for judgment of acquittal fails, and the question can be put before judge and jury to determine. A motion for judgment of acquittal will only be granted if there is no way the facts viewed reasonably could justify a finding of guilt.
If the jury thinks you knew about the drugs, then you had constructive possession and it's over, It is a first degree felony, but the firearm makes it a life felony. The sentencing range is 15-life, the 15 is a minimum, I strongly urge you to try to make a deal with the state.
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