A St. Johns County man and woman are charged with child neglect and felony drug charges after police said they found a methamphetamine lab where a child lived. The two were arrested last week after police were called to investigate a strange smell coming from the home, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Police say the smell got stronger once the woman answered the door, the newspaper reported. Police found several items used to make meth and also alleged the drug had recently been produced inside the home.
The suspects are now facing multiple charges in this St. Johns County Drug Crimes case, which could even be enhanced further by the fact the child was in the home. As of now, the charges include child neglect, producing or manufacturing meth, possession of meth, keeping or maintaining a drug dwelling and possession of drug paraphernalia. Production of meth is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in state prison, and the drug paraphernalia charge is a misdemeanor, which only exposes the person to time in the county jail - not state prison. The three other charges are all third-degree felonies, and all have a maximum sentence of up to five years in state prison. So, as of now, the maximum penalty in this St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case is 26 years behind bars. One charge that hasn't come yet, but is certainly possible given the facts that have been reported, is producing or manufacturing meth in the presence of a child. That St. Johns County Drug Crime becomes a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison - more than anything either suspect is charged with now combined. This could be something the state chooses to file later, or there may be facts of the case - such as the child being dropped off after the production was complete - that prevent the state from charging it that way. Because meth is essentially the product of several harmful chemicals and emits toxic fumes when it is cooked, laws are very strict in St. Johns County Drug Cases involving meth - especially when children are involved. The odors also make it much more difficult to hide, especially when people are cooking the drug in hotels and apartment complexes where other people are often present.
In St. Johns County Drug Crimes Cases, the severity of the charges is determined by the type of drug and the amount. And meth is one drug that carries among the most serious penalties. Any amount of the drug is a felony, and there are multiple charges that almost always come down when police find a meth lab - as these suspects have learned. Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney has represented people facing all types of drug charges, from possession of marijuana on up, and knows the ins and outs of the laws and procedures police must follow to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.