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Each lawyer in this firm has more than 25 years experience practicing criminal defense in Gainesville, Florida and surrounding areas, including Alachua, Levy, Bradford, Union and Gilchrist Counties.

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Judge Declares Florida Drug Law Unconstitutional

Today U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven declared Florida’s controlled substances law unconstitutional.

Today U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven granted a writ of habeas corpus and declared Florida’s controlled substances law unconstitutional.  The case is Shelton v. Dept. of Corrections.  The beginning of the order states:

On May 13, 2002, the Florida Legislature enacted changes to Florida’s Drug Abuse Prevention and Control law, FLA. STAT. § 893.13, as amended by FLA. STAT. § 893.101. By this enactment, Florida became the only state in the nation expressly to eliminate mens rea as an element of a drug offense. This case, challenging the constitutionality of that law, was filed following Plaintiff’s conviction for delivery of cocaine without the jury being required to consider his intent in any respect and the subsequent imposition of an eighteen year sentence following his conviction. Upon consideration of all relevant filings, case law, and being otherwise fully advised, the Court GRANTS Petitioner’s request for habeas relief (Dkt. 1), and finds that FLA. STAT. § 893.13 is unconstitutional on its face. Click here to read the entire judicial opinion.

UPDATE August 24, 2012: Federal Appellate Court Refuses To Find Florida’s Drug Statute Unconstitutional

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