Sales Within 1000 Feet of a Church
The Florida Legislature has passed laws which make it a greater crime to be convicted of Drug Sales within 1000 feet of a church. This can make something like the sale of a small baggy of cocaine a first degree felony, meaning the person arrested could face up to 30 years in state prison.
Because of zoning laws, it is most common to find storefront churches and churches mixed with residential buildings in poorer neighborhoods, which means that it is usually the poorest Floridians who are faced with the consequences of these laws.
We have represented clients who were arrested for selling cocaine from within a small house, and charged with three first degree felonies, because three different “churches” were in the neighborhood. This means this particular client was facing up to ninety years when he was forced to make a decision to accept a plea or go to trial.
He believed in his innocence and so did we. We went to trial and won.
But every case is different and the huge amount of prison time for these cases can be terrifying to defendants. The police know this and actively manipulate the situation to make sure they make arrests closer to churches and schools and other forbidden areas.
But is it really a church? Does it hold regular religious services? And has anyone measured the one thousand feet? What about the alleged drug sale – who witnessed that? Only a police officer? Or a confidential informant, working off his own case? Why no video? Why no independent witnesses?
Every case has holes. Every case can be beat.
If you are facing a charge of Sales within 1000 feet of a Church, it is important to contact Grant Dwyer, a Miami Drug Sales criminal lawyer today, to see how your case can be beat.
Call us at (305) 215-7586 or click HERE.