J. Pete Theodocion, Attorney at Law
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Deputy accused of planting drugs in victims' vehicles

In national news, a Florida deputy has been accused of planting drugs in vehicles, then arresting people on made-up drug charges moments later. You might wonder why this is of any importance to you in Georgia but being so close to Florida, there's a possibility that you've traveled there or been caught up in this unusual circumstance.

The deputy was arrested after a year-long investigation. The arrest warrant detailed how he would pull over drivers for minor offenses before stating that he smelled marijuana. Then, he'd search the vehicle and plant drugs inside. He often failed to use his body camera in direct violation of department policy.

What is most damaging about this is not that many people faced drug charges but the lasting impact that it had on them. One person lost custody of a child, for example. One of the terms of the man's custody arrangements was that he would be routinely tested for drugs based on a past DUI conviction. Though the test came back negative, he still lost custody of his child after the falsified evidence was produced against him.

The sad truth is that cases like this aren't as uncommon as you may believe. It may be difficult to know how many people faced serious consequences as a result of this officer's actions. While he's been arrested now, that arrest can't do anything to help those who already suffered the consequences of false drug charges.

This case serves as an important example of why you need to work with a defense attorney if you're ever accused of drug charges. Even the authorities could falsify evidence to try to hold you accountable for things you never did.

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