Interviewer: How have you seen drug charges affect people’s lives?
Randy Berman: There are physical issues that drugs cause by their impairing your abilities and creating chronic health problems. There are psychological issues that drugs cause undermining your ability to deal with your family, deal with your job which can ultimately lead to the breakup of the family and the loss of the job. That is all there in addition to the criminal justice system and the potential for jail or prison.
The progressive thinkers would like to do away with the criminalization of drugs and deal with it as a social issue not a criminal issue. Addiction is a disease and we should deal with it from a treatment perspective and not a criminal justice issue.
Fear and Anxiety are Commonly Experienced Emotions that Follow a Drug Related Arrest
Interviewer: What do your clients say when you meet them? Are they pretty much scared at that point?
Randy Berman: I think everyone who gets arrested has some type of fear or anxiety associated with the arrest. For some people that’s enough to set them straight, for others who have been in the system before and accept that as the price of doing business or having that type of behavior it becomes less of a concern.
Public Knowledge of Drug Related Arrest in the State of Florida
Interviewer: How public will my drug case be? Will work and friends and family and people find out about it?
Randy Berman: The publicity about your arrest will be out there for people to find if they’re looking for it. Initially the booking blotters that many police agencies have that publish the information on the website; is available for public view. The records for the clerks of court that list your case and allow for public view are there for people to find if they’re looking for it. The newspapers, if your case is significant, can publish a story about your arrest, and depending on where the arrest occurs obviously that will have an impact of who was aware of your predicament. If you’re arrested at home or at work families, friends, co-employees, boss depending on where the arrest is are going to know firsthand.
The Difficult Aspects in Defending a Drug Related Charge
Interviewer: What would you say is the most difficult aspect of a drug case that an attorney has to deal with?
Randy Berman: They’re all different, they’re not the same and it really depends on the facts of the case. There are certainly difficult situations that occur and the most difficult situation that comes to mind is where the client claims the drugs aren’t his, where drugs are found in an area near the accused and the police assume that they belong to the accused. The problem comes in when the accused is forced to accept the plea and potentially go to jail or fight the case and worry about getting much more jail time if they lose.
That’s the predicament that people who are wrongfully charged face all the time not only in drug cases but all cases. Because there is always that risk that if you fight the charges, you are not going to be acquitted even if you are innocent. Generally the penalties for people that fight the charges are going to be more severe than the people who accept the blame and work out a plea deal.