Fort Lauderdale Drug Crimes Defense Attorney
The war on drugs has taken a devastating toll on our country. Millions are imprisoned or on probation because of minor drug crimes, which makes finding work after life in prison virtually impossible for many. While communities have been ravaged by gang violence, often fighting for drug turf, those same communities have also been subjected to police violence and levels of racism that many associate with an entirely different era of American history. The war on drugs has cost hundreds of billions and has accomplished nothing more than sending millions of young men and women to prison, ruining lives in the process. It all began when those seeking office realized that being tough on crime and drugs was a way to win votes, and so the war on drugs was born in the 1970s and has continued on to today. Drug crimes are punishable as though they were violent acts, and nearly half of all those incarcerated are serving sentences for drug crimes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, as opposed to theft or crimes of violence. If you have been charged with a drug crime, the penalties that you face are likely incredibly high. Contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale drug crimes defense attorney today to increase your chances of having the charges thrown out or staying out of prison.
Mandatory Minimums for Drug Charges Have Detrimental Consequences for Minorities
Mandatory minimum sentences lay out what the jail time is for committing a specific crime. Often these mandatory minimum sentences are discussed specifically in regards to drug crimes. Our criminal justice system punishes those who commit minor drug crimes harsher than other, more serious, offenses because the sentences have already been laid out in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act. For instance, if caught with 500 grams of powder cocaine, the minimum sentence is five years without parole. A judge cannot look at the unique details of the case and impose a lower sentence unless the convicted drug offender provides information on other drug dealers to the Justice Department.
While the intentions behind mandatory minimum sentences were good (to decrease addicting and harmful drug use), the outcome of instituting them has been overwhelmingly detrimental to minority groups. Hispanics make up 41.5% of all offenders convicted of a mandatory minimum sentence. And, study after study shows that, in the U.S., caucasians use drugs at a higher rate and are more likely to sell drugs than any other ethnicity, showing that institutionalized racism is still, unfortunately, alive and well in our country.
There are other crimes that have a mandatory minimum sentence. For example, a convicted felon with three prior violent felonies or serious drug crimes who possesses a firearm has a 15-year minimum jail sentence. For a full list of Federal Mandatory Minimums, look at FAMM’s chart. This chart does not include state mandatory minimums. If you have been charged with a drug crime of any sort, contact Fort Lauderdale drug crimes defense attorney Deric Zacca, P.A. at 954-450-4848 today. We can help you fight for your rights throughout your criminal case.