Caught riding in a stolen red Ferrari convertible as he celebrated his 17th birthday, Chief Keef had a quick answer for the Miami Beach police sergeant who asked if he was carrying any weapons. “I have weed in my right front pocket,” said Keef, according to a police report of the arrest last August. The problem is that Cozart violated his probation from a gun conviction. A Florida judge issued an arrest warrant, and it remains in effect and will be served if Cozart should ever be stopped around Miami Beach again.
The first piece of advice that most lawyers and non-lawyers will give is this: Remain Silent. When being pulled over by police, sometimes officers approach the vehicle not as if one has merely run a stop sign or swerved, but approaches with an aggressive attitude as if one is a known criminal or in the act of doing something very wrong. Many times, even, the police will force one out of the vehicle and start patting one down while looking through one’s car. One may likely feel the itch to explain oneself, and either admit to one’s wrongdoing at the outset, or prove to the officers one did not do what the officers are accusing one of doing. Remember, no matter what the situation, talk to no one but one’s experienced attorney.
The other problem that many accused parties in non-violent drug related situations like this face is the issuing of a warrant. Any type of warrant in Jacksonville is serious, whether it involves a new crime, failure to appear, failure to comply with probation terms or other difficulties in the legal system. Unfortunately, leniency is not often given to those who do not comply with a scheduled court date. In fact, many judges take the crime very seriously, being quick to impose harsh penalties for those who are found to have failed to appear in court. In most cases, the only way to avoid such consequences is to provide a defensible reason for one’s absence.
In Cozart’s case, the Florida police in charge of his case were not willing to travel to Illinois to arrest and initiate extradition procedures for violation of Probation (VOP) crimes involving marijuana possession, simply because of the distance in travel and likelihood that Cozart might flee if he was tipped off. However, other local offenders will not be so likely to use police funding issues to escape an arrest, especially for those who live in Jacksonville, or even just across the border in Georgia.
The consequences of having the outstanding warrant can include being ineligible to collect certain government, state or local benefits such as social security income, unemployment compensation, or financial aid, having one’s driver’s license suspended indefinitely until one surrenders, and possibly a finding of contempt if that option is exercised by the court.
Many times throughout Jacksonville, accused parties face charges they never knew of and warrants they never thought would be out on them, and because of their lack of knowledge, they suffer at the hands of a very powerful state operated legal system. Fortunately, one does not have to fight the battle for one’s freedom alone. If one obtains an experienced Jacksonville drug crimes defense attorney” to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected, one can be sure that one will know one’s rights, know what the prosecution and police have access to, and will be able to make sure that wrongfully obtained evidence will not be used against one.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source: More trouble for Chief Keef: Arrest warrant in Florida, Rosemary Regina Sobol, Chicago Tribune News