Possession of Drug Paraphernalia | Charge Dropped


State v. M.H.; Case No. 562008MM003951(St. Lucie County)


Drug and Narcotics Charges

Arresting Agency

Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC)


Charges Dropped

Our client was on a friend’s boat when a Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) agent decided to conduct a “safety check” on the boat. Under Florida law, a person’s right to go boating freely is limited, in that a cop can check to make sure you have all the proper safety equipment on the boat. However, these safety checks do not give the police unlimited power to search every occupant of the boat. Here, our client was prematurely seized and coerced into giving a statement that incriminated him. We filed a Motion to Suppress the statement and set if for an evidentiary hearing. Without the incriminating statements, the State would have no way of tying our client to the drug paraphernalia found on the boat. In order for the prosecution to prove possession of something, they have to be able to prove that the person had knowledge of the presence of the substance and had dominion and control over the substance. The only way they could do this is with our client’s admission that it belonged to him, which they didn't have.  As a result, charges were dropped prior to the Motion to Suppress hearing.