My client is a young man who had no prior record. He was asked by a friend to help sell cocaine to a new customer. I believe the friend was using him as a test to see if the new customer was a police officer. (unfortunately, that is not a defense) My client met the customer at the Winghouse parking lot on Ulmerton. He sold .2 grams of cocaine for $100. It was the only sale that was conducted.
He went about his business for two years until the Pinellas County Sheriff’s warrants division came knocking on his door. It turns out that the customer was an undercover detective with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. The detective had sat on the case for over a year before turning it over to the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office, which took another several months to charge him. He was arrested for two felonies. The first count was for the sale of cocaine and the second was for possession of cocaine.
From the time of the sale at the Winghouse to the time the charge was filed, 25 months had passed. During that time, my client had not been in any trouble and had moved on with his life. These charges sent him into a tailspin out of the blue. I was able to get him enrolled in outpatient counseling. At his first pre-trial hearing, I was able to work out a deal. He got 18 months drug offender probation with a curfew from 10pm-6am. He had to complete his drug counseling. He got withholds of adjudication on the felonies, so he was not a convicted felon. As long as he does not get in trouble and completes the conditions, he can get off of probation after 9 months.
We were very happy to be able to avoid jail and felony convictions. He will be able to keep working and take care of his family.