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Woman charged with felony after meth allegedly found in car

A Florida woman is facing felony drug charges after a search revealed a small amount of alleged methamphetamine in a car she was driving. She was stopped around 5:15 p.m. on June 5 in Okeechobee. After officers searched her vehicle and took her into custody, she was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license suspended and felony possession of a controlled substance.

The defendant's record showed that her driver's license was suspended due to a failure to pay traffic fines in January 2012, June 2010 and December 2007. Additionally, she reportedly failed to appear in court in December 2007 on a traffic summons.

A felony drug conviction may result in prison time, fines and probation. In addition, convicted felons frequently have trouble finding employment and secure housing. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to have a felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor.

A criminal defense lawyer may suggest working with the prosecution for a plea deal. Through a plea negotiation, the felony charge might be reduced in exchange for a guilty plea. The downside of a plea bargain might be a misdemeanor conviction.

If police did not have probable cause to search the woman's car, it might be possible to have the case overturned. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution offers legal protection to citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. In order to search a person's property or person, officers must have either probable cause or a search warrant. In the event that police violated a defendant's rights, the entire case might be dismissed.

Source: Florida Newszap, "Okeechobee woman facing felony meth charge", Eric Kopp, June 06, 2014

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