Florida Man Disguises Truck As Sheriff’s Vehicle But Fails To Disguise Drug Paraphernalia
In Florida, the weather is so warm and the days are so long year-round that it is the perfect environment to start putting up Christmas lights even before Thanksgiving. Last week, while most Floridians were plotting their Black Friday itineraries and bedazzling their houses with red and green lights, a Volusia County man bedazzled his silver Ford F-150 with red and blue lights that gave the vehicle an especially authoritative look, especially in combination with its Florida Sheriffs association license plate. Toward the beginning of morning rush hour on Thursday, November 18, Joseph Mercier, 54, of Port Orange set out in his decked-out truck and flashed his lights at another vehicle, signaling for it to pull over. Before the traffic stop could progress, however, a real sheriff’s deputy, who happened to be off-duty, drove by, and Mercier drove away. The real deputy was able to photograph Mercier’s license plate, though and Mercier was arrested on a warrant. He now faces charges for impersonating a law enforcement officer, driving with a suspended license, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Whatever the circumstances of your drug paraphernalia case, your Florida drug offense lawyer has heard of much weirder cases.
How Bad Is It to Get Charged With Possession of Drug Paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia refers to items that are not, in themselves, illegal drugs but which are associated with the consumption or manufacture of illegal drugs. An ordinary item can count legally as drug paraphernalia if it is in the wrong place at the wrong time. For example, a souvenir spoon from the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park in St. Augustine is perfectly legal if it is in its original unopened packaging in the trunk of your car. If it is in the front console next to an empty plastic baggie with traces of a white powder residue, however, you could get drug paraphernalia charges for having it there.
While possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, drug paraphernalia charges rarely occur alone. They are often in connection with other charges, from drug possession to more serious offenses like drug trafficking to more bizarre occurrences like the aforementioned case of impersonating a law enforcement officer. A police officer who stops you for jaywalking and then arrests you because you have a box of zip lock bags in your backpack is clearly overstepping their boundaries. Unfortunately, criminal charges resulting from cases where law enforcement violated a defendant’s rights are far from uncommon. If you got arrested for drug paraphernalia possession when you were simply minding your own business, a criminal defense lawyer can help.
Let Us Help You Today
All defendants in criminal cases have the right to representation by an attorney. A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you get accused of a drug related crime, no matter how minor, and can stand up for your rights. Contact FL Drug Defense Group for help today.