A career criminal is heading back to prison after police approached a Ford F150 parked near a gas station. As the police approached, the man, who was apparently asleep, smashed the gas pedal and led police on a chase through an area neighborhood. The man took out two fences and proceeded to keep going before he was apprehended by police.
Police have charged the man with possession of 31 grams of methamphetamine, grand theft auto (the truck was stolen), fleeing with the intent to elude, leaving the scene of a crash, possession of a weapon by a felon, and armed methamphetamine trafficking. To top it off, the Polk County sheriff described the man as a “menace to society”. Perhaps if his meth was a little better he would have been able to stay awake and avoid apprehension. At this point, he is facing a litany of felony charges and has a long wrap sheet of felony convictions.
Analyzing the charges
Let’s start with the meth. You need 14 grams of methamphetamine to qualify for trafficking charges. Part of the problem for meth traffickers is that regardless of how watered down their meth is, the charge is related to the overall weight of the meth plus whatever it’s been cut with. So you may only have 8 grams of meth in a 14-gram bag plus 6 grams of baby laxative or whatever they cut it with nowadays, and still, get charged for possessing 14 grams of meth. Those who possess between one ounce (28 grams) and 200 grams must face a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years. Interestingly, if you’re found in possession of the same amount of cocaine, your sentence is only 3 years.
Fleeing and eluding police
You can’t flee from the police once you’ve been detained, but you need to know that you’re being stopped. The law punishes fleeing to elude worse when the police officer’s lights are active and sirens are blaring. In this case, it’s unclear whether the police officers had activated sirens and lights when they confronted the defendant. Nonetheless, the defendant probably knew he was being detained when he slammed the gas and proceeded to plow through neighborhood fences. Assuming the police charge the man with fleeing to elude and reckless driving, he would face a prison sentence of 1 to 5 years on the charges.
The police actually have no evidence that the driver was high at the time of the crash. Since they have him on grand theft auto and possession of a firearm by a felon plus meth trafficking, it is unlikely that the prosecution will attempt to pursue DUI charges especially when the defendant is supposedly on meth while taking a nap in his vehicle. They can still charge the defendant with reckless driving and causing property damage, so it doesn’t seem like the backbone of their case against this individual.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing serious charges related to a single incident, you may be able to get many of those charges tossed to reduce your sentence. Call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at the Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.