State Attorney’s Office Offers Plea Deal To Sheriff’s Deputy Who Allegedly Arrested Dozens Of People On False Charges Of Drug Possession
Anyone who has served a prison sentence for drug possession can tell you that it is an excessive punishment. Fortunately, Florida has expanded its access to pretrial diversion programs for drug cases in recent years. Maintaining sobriety and finding stable employment are hard enough when you are not one missed probation appointment away from going back to jail or prison. Imagine if you had to go through all the hassle and expense of fighting drug charges, trying to get the record of your arrest sealed, and explaining the whole story of your drug arrest to prospective employers at every job interview. That would be bad enough, but now imagine if there had never even been any drugs in your possession at the time of that fateful traffic stop. Imagine if you, being just as broke as everyone else, couldn’t find the time or money to fix your taillight and still had a baggie of baking powder in your purse from when you had visited your aunt several days earlier and taken her advice about baking. A cop who arrests people for drug possession when they don’t have any drugs sounds like an early draft of a movie villain, but dozens of people in Martin County met this villain in real life, and many of them are still sorting out the legal issues arising from their arrests. If you have been falsely accused of drug possession, contact a Central Florida drug crimes defense lawyer.
The Sheriff’s Deputy Who Falsified Drug Arrests
By the time the Martin County Sheriff’s Office terminated his employment in 2019, Stephen O’Leary had arrested more than a dozen people on false allegations of drug possession. In some cases, he falsified reports, and in others, he admitted legal substances into evidence, claiming they were illegal drugs. As of October 2021, most of them are still dealing with the legal consequences of their arrests. Some of them even spent time in jail; in most cases, it was only a few days before they were released, but some of the falsely accused defendants were behind bars for months.
O’Leary has since been arrested, and the criminal case against him is ongoing. In September 2021, news outlets reported that the State Attorney’s office had offered O’Leary a plea deal. If he accepts the plea deal, he could still face prison time for abuse of the justice system, but the maximum prison sentence the judge can hand down for him is 17 years in jail. If he pleads not guilty, and a jury convicts him at trial, he could get an even longer sentence. It is to the credit of the falsely accused defendants and their criminal defense attorneys that none of them were pressured or manipulated into pleading guilty to crimes they did not commit.
Contact Us Today for Help
A Florida drug offense lawyer can help you if you are facing criminal charges for drug possession, but you have never possessed illegal drugs. Contact FL Drug Defense Group for help.