Florida law prohibits the distribution and sale of controlled substances outlined by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Activities that bring large amounts of a drug into the state, called drug trafficking, can be serious offenses under Florida law. If you’re facing drug trafficking charges in Florida, you need an attorney who will fight for your rights in court and seek a sentence reduction whenever possible. The Hollywood drug trafficking attorneys at Fischer Redavid PLLC will help you understand the process and will mount a defense on your behalf. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options.
Statutes pertaining to drug trafficking fall under Florida Statutes 893.13 and 893.135. These laws require that a prosecutor show that the defendant knowingly participated in activities related to drug trafficking. In other words, any prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant not only had an awareness of their drug trafficking activity, but intent to bring drugs into the state of Florida.
Additionally, the prosecutor must show that the drugs specified in the drug trafficking charge are controlled substances under Florida law. Examples of controlled substances include:
Proving that a defendant was in possession of a controlled substance requires laboratory testing. If convicted of drug trafficking, a defendant may face a range of penalties.
Drug trafficking may be a first-degree felony under Florida law. Maximum term for first-degree felonies is 30 years, but state laws also impose different rules for trafficking depending on the type of drug and quantity a defendant trafficked into the state. Some types of trafficking offenses require minimum penalties – for example, trafficking a quantity marijuana between 25 and 2,000 pounds requires a prison term of at least three years and $25,000 in additional fines. An offense between 2,000 pounds and 10,000 pounds requires imprisonment of at least 7 years and $50,000 in fines.
In some cases, drug trafficking activities may face prosecution as possession with intent to sell. This is a third-degree felony, which carries imprisonment of up to 3 years and fines up to $5,000. On the other hand, prosecutors may choose to pursue more or less depending on the circumstances.
Florida law allows for enhanced sentences for defendants with a prior felony conviction. Those with prior felonies on their records may face additional jail time following a conviction.
There are several possible defenses to a drug trafficking charge. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your defense attorney may choose to defend charges with one of the following:
One of our most fundamental rights as U.S. citizens is protection from unreasonable search and seizure, both of your person and your property. This is one of the most important constitutional protections you have from law enforcement action. If a law enforcement agency or prosecutor used unreasonable or unconstitutional means to collect evidence against you, it may be inadmissible in court.
If a defendant is part of a larger sting operation, you may be a victim of entrapment, which occurs when police coerce a defendant into committing a crime. Establishing entrapment can lead to a dismissal or acquittal of all charges.
If you face charges for drug trafficking, you need an effective defense attorney to protect your rights. Contact the Hollywood criminal defense attorneys at Fischer Redavid PLLC to discuss your options today.