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Florida man with drug possession charge thought cocaine was legal

A Florida man was recently taken into custody on drug possession charges. The drug possession charge relates to cocaine, which police say the man tried to hide in a flowerpot. Police allege that the 46-year-old man put his hand in a flowerpot when they asked him what he was holding. After looking inside the pot, police claim to have discovered a small amount of cocaine weighing .8 grams (less than three tenths of an ounce).

Police first approached the man on a recent Sunday while he was standing outside a Key West resort. They had been responding to a complaint by the resort's security personnel that a woman had been screaming in the back of the establishment. While police ultimately arrested the man and charged him with drug possession and tampering with evidence, authorities did not reveal any further information about why the woman may have been yelling.

While officers were booking him, the man allegedly told them that he thought cocaine was legal in Florida. Reportedly, he is a citizen of the United States and employed as a painter. While most United States citizens are aware that cocaine is illegal, there are many laws and regulations that Americans are not aware of. Nevertheless, ignorance of the law is not typically a valid defense, even if it is true.

As with anyone who is arrested and accused of drug possession in the state of Florida, this man could benefit from a well-planned and focused criminal defense. There is no way to guarantee the outcome of criminal defense proceedings. However, in many cases, individuals can successfully cast doubt upon the prosecution's version of the events. In the end, it is the sole responsibility of the government to prove each and every element of the crime charged by the stringent measure of proof required by our criminal justice system

Source: New York Daily News, Key West man arrested on drug charges told cops: I thought cocaine wasn't illegal in Fla., Nina Golgowski, Feb. 26, 2014

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Ian F. Mann PA

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