posted 2017 | State v. RS
The client was arrested in a sting operation when she attempted to sell oxycodone to an undercover officer. When she was arrested, she also had Hydrocodone pills in her purse. The amount of these Hydrocodone pills required a 25 year minimum mandatory sentence. The client agreed to cooperate with law enforcement, but the agreement was breached when she was arrested for a driving offense. She was going to go to prison.
Facing the 25 year mandatory sentence, the client decided to enter a plea and was sentenced to 78.5 months in prison. After almost two years, the client hired Mr. Forman to see if she can get some sort of sentence reduction. Mr. Forman reviewed the files and subsequently filed a Motion for Post-Conviction Relief under rule 3.850 alleging that counsel was ineffective for failing to raise the lawful proscription defense.
The client’s previous lawyer failed to recognize that the Hydrocodone pills that were in her purse were not offered to be sold during the undercover sting and thus, she can rely on this defense since she had a lawful prescription. Counsel should have filed a sworn motion to dismiss.
After filing the post-conviction relief motion, the State agreed that Mr. Forman was correct and dropped the trafficking charge! This allowed the client to be re-sentenced and have her sentence reduced from 78 months in prison to only 31 months in prison – a reduction of over 50%! Since the client had so much time already in custody, the client was shortly released. Unfortunately, criminal defense lawyers sometimes drop the ball.