Additional Counts For Using A Phone In The Commission Of A Felony in Florida
A Key Largo man arrested on October 25, 2017 on drug charges will face additional counts for using a two-way communications device to facilitate a felony, according to a recent report from online news source KeyNews.com. A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson stated that the allegations stem from three separate incidents where the man sold Oxycodone and other controlled substances to an undercover informant in August. In all, the accused faces three second degree felony counts for drug crimes, plus, three third degree felony counts for using his cell phone to make arrangements for the sales transactions to the informant. If you’re facing similar charges, it’s critical to retain a knowledgeable Florida criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review some general information on how using your phone can lead to additional criminal implications beyond the underlying drug offense.
Overview of the Crime
The official term for the charges against the Key Largo man is Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device. When qualifying technology is used in commission of a felony, law enforcement may include this count in the case against you. Walkie-talkies, telecommunications networks, smart phones, pagers, and other types of devices that you can use to communicate with another person are all covered by the Florida statute.
Criminal Penalties for Conviction on Use of a Two-Way Communications Device
If you’re convicted of this offense, the charge is a third degree felony which may lead to a sentence of up to five years in jail, five years on probation, and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Defenses Available Under Florida Law
When the underlying offense is a drug crime, the best strategy for fighting the charges is to present a strong defense. Options include:
- Probable Cause: If law enforcement officers did not have sufficient probable cause to search you, any evidence they uncovered from you is not admissible in court.
- Entrapment: In the Key Largo case, there may be a defense based upon the involvement of the undercover informant. Florida law is specific regarding the circumstances where a confidential informant can be used to apprehend and arrest someone officials believe to be involved in drug crimes.
- Insufficient Evidence: A prosecutor must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction in a criminal case, and that burden extends to every element of the crime.
When the facts of the case reveal that a defense may be available in your case, the proper procedure for raising the issue in court is through a motion.
Talk to a Florida Criminal Attorney About Possible Defenses
Even simple use of a cell phone in commission of a crime can lead to additional felony counts under Florida law. However, it may be possible to beat or reduce the charges by presenting all defenses available under the criminal statute. You’ll need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help, as the motion process is quite complicated and mistakes can eliminate your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. If you have questions about your case or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact Fort Lauderdale attorney Kevin J. Kulik.