If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in Florida, there are many things with which you’ll likely need to concern yourself. However, one thing that you likely won’t expect to have to address is being found in criminal contempt of court unless you engage in some very improper behavior. In the case of one man facing drug charges, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed a contempt finding against him because he neither disrupted nor embarrassed the trial court. For all of the twists and turns of your criminal case, it is important to have an experienced Florida drug crime lawyer defending you at every step along the way.
The case began when Ulysses was arrested in Hillsborough County on multiple drug charges, including cocaine possession, marijuana possession, and drug paraphernalia possession. On the morning of the man’s scheduled hearing, the man’s lawyer asked the court to “pass the case” (meaning to delay it briefly) because he and the prosecution were working on a plea deal, and he needed to discuss the terms with his client. Eventually, Ulysses’ attorney informed the prosecutor that he couldn’t ethically go forward with discussing plea deal terms with the defendant because the lawyer was concerned that the defendant was impaired.
The judge called the lawyers to the bench, where the defense lawyer acknowledged, under questioning from the judge, that he smelled alcohol in the vicinity of the defendant. The judge then put the defendant under oath and asked him if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Ulysses said no. The judge then ordered the defendant taken into custody and tested for drugs or alcohol.