My client was 29 and had been struggling for years with drug problems. He did not work and lived with his mother. He had a relatively minor prior record and had never been to jail or prison.
Eventually, his drug addiction got worse and he started working for his drug dealer. His job was to drive the dealer and hold the drugs and a gun in a bag. He was paid for his services with drugs. The whole reason the dealer used him was so that the dealer never had to actually possess anything in case something bad went down. In other words, my client was there to be a fall guy if they were arrested.
On the night of the arrest, a deal was set up at a hotel room. A couple wanted to purchase a trafficking amount of meth and fentanyl. My client drove the dealer to the hotel and carried in the bag of drugs. In the bag was a firearm. Little did anyone know, that the whole deal was being monitored by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. When the police came in, my client was found holding the bag, just as the dealer had planned. Everyone was arrested for trafficking. My client was arrested for two armed trafficking charges, which were punishable by up to life in prison and carried with them a 25 minimum mandatory prison sentence.
My client’s mother hired me to defend him. We all knew that he wasn’t a dealer, he was just an addict who was working for the dealer to get drugs. He was being used. I won’t go in to all of the details of the defense because it is complicated. But, the point is that it was clear that my client was the least culpable out of the four people who were arrested.
After negotiations with the Office of the State Attorney, I was able to structure a deal to waive the 25 year minimum mandatory on the drug trafficking counts. We agreed to send him to an in-patient rehab facility where he has to stay for 12-18 months to get help for his addiction. He was also given 5 years of probation with aftercare. He avoided prison.
These types of results are extremely rare. My client believes that this deal saved his life. He is motivated to change his life and to stay clean.