According to a report from WTSP, a Bartow educator was recently arrested on drug possession charges:


A Bartow High School math teacher is under review by the school board after he was arrested Friday night. An undercover narcotics detective arrested 45-year old John Michael Garrison for possession of marijuana under 20 grams. Detectives say they received a tip he had pot in his Lakeland home, when they opened the door they say they could smell the drug. When they searched his home they found a metal grinder used to grind marijuana, a glass pipe and small bag of pot. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says Garrison admitted to the detectives he “smoked a joint” earlier in the day.

Having police officers banging on your front door can be a panic-inducing experience—and that’s putting it lightly. If ever the same happens to you and you are placed under arrest on criminal charges, try your best to remain calm. Don’t forget you always have the right to the following: Access to an Attorney Immediately inform officers that you wish to speak to an attorney. When you invoke this right, police officers are legally bound to help you find an attorney. Naturally, the sooner you can get an attorney on your side, the better shape you’ll be in. With that in mind, try to keep the contact details of a respected Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney, like Richard F. Della Fera, tucked away in your wallet.

Remain Silent It’s one of the most asserting Miranda Rights, yet you’d be surprised by how many people choose to ignore this right. Resist the temptation to clear your name then and there by verbally invoking your right to remain silent. After all, your silence cannot be used as a sign of guilt. Furthermore, you protect yourself from self-incrimination by remaining silent. At the very least, make sure you tell officers that you wish to speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney before you consent to an interrogation. You should also remember that your attorney is allowed to be present during your interrogation.


Refuse a Test or Search Contrary to popular belief, you do have the right to refuse to allow officers from going through your car or home. Be sure to verbally invoke this right as well by saying, “I don’t consent”. In doing so, there’s a chance that any evidence they find in your car or home may be thrown out of court proceedings as they were acquired illegally.

(Source: Polk teacher arrested for drug possession; WTSP; October 27, 2014)