Reports say that a Florida congressman has agreed to enter a rehabilitation facility for drug and alcohol abuse. He recently faced drug charges in connection with an incident that occurred in Washington on Oct. 28.
According to reports, the 37-year-old man agreed to meet with someone he thought was a drug
dealer, and he allegedly purchased drugs from an undercover police officer. Later, when federal agents confronted him, the man cooperated with them. Reports say that the congressman took the investigators to his apartment where he gave them a vial of cocaine he had been keeping there.
He was placed on a year of probation for the drug related charge, and, if he completes the sentence, he will not face any further repercussions. The man can also apply to have his record expunged when the sentence is complete. A report says that he may be the first sitting member of Congress to face drug charges since a congressman in 1982 was convicted for drug possession.
Although this was a misdemeanor offense in Washington, Florida laws regarding possession of that amount of cocaine would be a third-degree felony offense, and a conviction may have led to a 5-year prison sentence. A criminal defense attorney working with individuals facing such penalties may be able to mitigate the sentence or have the charges dropped by pursuing a plea deal. By accepting a plea bargain, individuals may be able to avoid an expensive trial and lengthy prison sentence by agreeing to terms that may include probation and enrollment in substance abuse programs.
Source: Macomb Daily, “Florida congressman enters rehab after cocaine charge“, Michael J. Mishak, November 22, 2013
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