Drug Court Is Not a “Get Out of Jail Free” Card
Drug courts are a welcome contribution to criminal justice reform, and they are present in all of Florida’s most populous metropolitan areas. If you get arrested for drug possession and the judge approves you for participation in drug court, you can emerge from the experience without a criminal conviction on your record if you complete the drug court program successfully. The program requires you to comply with rules similar to those of probation and to undergo treatment for substance use disorder; the exact terms of your drug court agreement vary from one case to another. If you do not complete the program successfully, though, the court registers your plea as guilty, and you must serve a sentence for your drug possession conviction, which will go on your record. If you are currently participating in drug court but are being accused of using drugs during the program, contact a Florida drug offenses attorney.
Defendants Allegedly Used Airbnb House to Produce Methamphetamine and Counterfeit Money
In November 2022, Kevin Downes and Christine Cicco were staying in a house in Bradenton Beach, when the property manager, who had not given them permission to enter the house, called the police. When police arrived, Downes said that he had rented the house on Airbnb. Inside the house, police found a glass pipe, fragments of steel wool such as are commonly used to clean glass pipes, and a plastic bottle full of white powder that turned out to be methamphetamine. They also found a printer and a stack of sheets of paper it had printed, which were sheets of counterfeit $20 bills. To make matters worse, Cicco already had a warrant out for her arrest in connection with a violation of the terms of her drug court agreement in Sarasota County.
Downes and Cicco are facing the following criminal charges:
- Possession of a controlled substance, for the methamphetamine
- Possession of drug paraphernalia, for the pipe
- Possession of tools for forgery and counterfeiting
- Armed burglary, for bringing a firearm into a house that they did not have permission to occupy
- Smuggling contraband, for bringing the counterfeit bank notes into the house
Both defendants were booked into Manatee County jail after their arrest. Cicco’s bond was set at $31,000, and bond was also set for Downes, but the Anna Maria Island Sun website did not indicate how much his bond amount was. News sites did not give any information about further developments in the case against Cicco and Downes or whether anyone else was arrested as a result of the evidence that police obtained from the Bradenton Beach house.
Contact FL Drug Defense Group About Drug Cases
You still have the right to the presumption of innocence even if this is not your first arrest. A Central Florida criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of drug possession by itself or in connection to other crimes. Contact FL Drug Defense Group in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.