By Luz Root

The “Move Over Law” requires drivers approaching an emergency or maintenance vehicle to move to the next adjacent lane and slow down. Failure to comply could result in a fine up to $100. However, the result may be different if Deputies find 17 pounds of cannabis in your vehicle. That is Anthony Diaz’s case.

On May 19, 2022, Anthony Diaz was arrested in Brevard County, Florida, for possessing 17 pounds of cannabis and 130 grams of THC wax. The Texas man was travelling on I-95 and failed to move over for the safety of one of the Deputies who had a car stopped on the side of I-95.  Deputy Jason Lewis observed the traffic infraction and conducted a traffic stop on Diaz. The Deputy’s intention was to only issue Diaz a ticket for the infraction; until he saw multiple wrapped packages on Diaz’s vehicle. texas man charged with cannabis trafficking in florida

Diaz was taken into custody and transported to the Brevard County Jail on a total bond of $30,000. He is pending three counts of Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Sell or Deliver. These charges are Third-Degree Felonies, and each count carries a maximum of up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 fine.

From the defense perspective, the traffic stops are usually contested. The main question is whether an officer has the right to conduct a traffic stop or not. Unfortunately, in this case, a non-criminal traffic violation was observed by Deputy Lewis, which gave him the authority to rightfully conduct a stop.

The next question is whether the search was constitutional. Officers need “probable cause” that a crime is being committed in order to search a vehicle. One of the exceptions, however, if it’s the illegal item is in plain view. In this case, Deputy Lewis approached Diaz’s vehicle and observed the wrapped drugs through the window.

Some charges carry a minimum mandatory prison time. If Diaz’ had 25 or more pounds of Cannabis, the minimum mandatory sentence is 25 years in prison. Nevertheless, the charge of Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Sell or Deliver does not have a minimum mandatory sentence.

The defense in this case would litigate and provide mitigating factors to reach the best resolution favorable to Antony Diaz.

If faced with a serious criminal case, it is very important to have an experienced attorney on your side who will explore every possible defense to your case.