Verifiable Case Result

Drug paraphernalia charge dropped

State v. M.H.; Case No. 2008-MM-3951(St Lucie County)

Arresting Agency: Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC)

Case Summary: “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 admissions that it belonged to him.”

Result: “Charges dropped prior to motion to suppress hearing.”


Brian Mallonee is a Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving St Lucie, Indian River, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties