What Constitutes Drug Trafficking in Florida?
In the United States, drug trafficking is the unlawful cultivation, distribution, or possession of controlled substances. The federal laws clearly state that it is illegal to cultivate, manufacture, sell, dispense, or possess controlled substances.
However, every state has its drug trafficking laws that may be confusing. If you are facing drug trafficking charges in Florida—contact Glenn R. Roderman, P.A., to get help from drug crime lawyers Fort Lauderdale.
Elements of Drug Trafficking
You will get arrested and convicted of drug trafficking in Florida if the state proves the following elements against you beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You knowingly and intentionally sold, manufactured, delivered, or possessed a certain amount of controlled substances. The type and amount of drug will determine the severity of the charges and the penalties you may face. For instance, if caught with 28 grams or more of cocaine, it is already drug trafficking.
- You had the intention to sell or deliver the controlled substances. The prosecutors will examine various factors, such as whether you had large sums of cash, multiple prepaid phones, and a firearm, to prove that you intended to sell the drugs.
- The controlled substances were in a particular form. The form can be either raw, meaning it is yet for processing, or in its final forms, such as pills or powder.
What Amount of Drugs is Considered Drug Trafficking?
The number of controlled substances you have when caught will also affect how they prosecute you in your case. But what amount of drugs is considered trafficking?
In Florida, the amount of drugs necessary for a trafficking charge is as follows:
- Cocaine- At least 28 grams of cocaine
- Oxycodone- At least 4 grams
- Hydrocodone- At least 4 grams
- Morphine- At least 4 grams
- Opium- At least 4 grams
- Phencyclidine- At least 28 grams
- Methaqualone- At least 200 grams
- Amphetamine- At least 14 grams
- Flunitrazepam- At least 4 grams
- Gamma-hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB- date rape drug)- At least 1 kilogram
- Lysergic Acid (LSD)- At least 1 gram
If they catch you with these amounts of drugs, you will be facing a first-degree felony charge, which is punishable by a prison sentence, a hefty fine, or both.
Causes of Drug Trafficking Charges
There are many different ways that a person can get charged with drug trafficking. Some of the most common ways are:
- Caught with a large amount of cash but no legitimate source of income
- Caught with numerous drugs and paraphernalia, such as scales and baggies
- Caught with drugs in your car or house
- Caught selling drugs to undercover police officers
- Saw manufacturing drugs in a “drug lab.”
In some cases, a person faces charges of drug trafficking even if not caught with a large number of drugs. For instance, you can still face charges if the police find drugs in your car or house, even if the drugs do not belong to you.
Penalties for Drug Trafficking Convictions
The penalties for drug trafficking cases in Florida depend on the type and amount of drug involved in the offense.
For instance, if convicted of trafficking cocaine, you will face the following penalties:
- 28g or more but less than 400g – 3-year mandatory minimum prison sentence and a $50,000 fine
- 200g or more but below 400g- 7-year mandatory minimum prison sentence and a $100,000 fine
- 400g or more – 15-year mandatory minimum prison sentence and a $250,000 fine
Each drug has different penalties associated with it, and the amount of the drug will also affect the sentence. In addition to prison time and fines, a person convicted of drug trafficking will also have their driver’s license suspended for two years. A conviction will also go on your criminal record, making it difficult to find a job or housing in the future.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Drug trafficking is a serious offense that can result in severe penalties, including prison time and significant fines. If you or someone you know have a drug trafficking case, it is crucial to contact a felony drug trafficking attorney as soon as possible.
Drug crime lawyers Fort Lauderdale can help you by investigating the facts of your case and looking for any holes in the prosecution’s case against you.
Your lawyer will also negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf and may be able to get the charges against you reduced or even dismissed. Some common defenses to drug trafficking charges include:
- The drugs did not belong to you
- You were not aware that the drugs were in your possession
- The police conducted an illegal search and seizure
- The number of drugs was not enough to consider drug trafficking
Do not try to defend yourself if you have a drug trafficking charge. Drug trafficking charges are the most severe narcotics offenses you can have, and you will need an experienced attorney to help you through the process.
Call us today and have a free consultation.