Monday, September 27, 2010

Florida Man Charged with Drug Trafficking Guilty Until Proven Innocent

St. Petersburg Criminal Attorney and Former State Prosecutor Melinda Morris of the Morris Law Firm discusses the recent case of Central Florida businessman wrongly convicted for Drug Trafficking.


In 2001, Central Florida businessman Antonino Lyons was convicted of Drug Trafficking, carjacking, and distributing counterfeit clothing and was subsequently sentenced to three years behind bars.

An investigation uncovered misconduct by the prosecutor in the case, and a rare determination of innocence was made by a federal judge from the Middle District of Florida in an 18-page ruling.

Why This Matters To You:

If you have been charged with a crime, especially a serious felony such as Drug Trafficking, it is imperative that you retain experienced, aggressive legal counsel.

In this case it was uncovered that prosecutors based their case on 31 witnesses, all of whom were felons in prison.  It was further reveled in the investigation that the prosecutors encouraged the witnesses to lie under oath, and offered reduced sentences for agreeing to testify against Lyons.  While the “witnesses” stated that Lyons had sold them more than $6 million in cocaine, there was amazingly no hard evidence such as confiscated drugs or recorded conversations to indicate a crime.

A criminal defense attorney should be adept at uncovering inadequacies in the prosecution’s case and identifying and capitalizing on evidence (or in this case lack of evidence) that will produce the best possible outcome for their client.  A criminal defense attorney that has a background as a former State Attorney can aggressively provide a defense with the knowledge and experience that comes from having prosecuted criminal cases.

What To Do Next:

If you have been arrested for Drug Trafficking or Prescription Drug Trafficking, contact a St. Petersburg Drug Trafficking Attorney to discuss possible defenses and specific strategies that may exist in your case.  Call the Morris Law Firm at 727-388-4736 to discuss your case directly with an attorney, or fill out our Online Form to be contacted for a Free Initial Consultation.  The Morris Law Firm can help and has specific knowledge and experience in defending Drug Trafficking or Prescription Drug Trafficking offenders throughout Pinellas County and the entire Tampa Bay, FL Area (St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Hillsborough, Pasco, Bradenton, Manatee, and Sarasota).