Arrested for Drug Trafficking? Here’s What You Should Know
If you’re facing drug crime charges, it’s only normal to feel completely overwhelmed. A conviction could result in serious penalties such as jailtime, fines, and other life-changing consequences. However, these punishments are just the tip of the iceberg as a conviction on your criminal record could make it impossible for you to find work, rent an apartment, or continue your education for many years after you’ve served your sentence.
Fortunately, a conviction isn’t a foregone conclusion. In this article, we look at a few things you should know if you’re facing drug trafficking charges:
What Is Drug Trafficking?
Unlike drug possession, which is usually defined as the intentional possession of a banned substance, drug trafficking charges require police to show evidence that you were intending to purchase, deliver, transport or manufacture a scheduled drug in the state. They can also get these charges to “stick” by proving that you were carrying a so-called “trafficking” weight of a specific substance. The threshold for this amount can vary depending on the type of drug you had in your possession.
Florida’s Drug Trafficking Penalties
Drug trafficking charges are subject to the state’s mandatory minimum terms. Simply put, judges cannot, regardless of the situation, decide to put you on probation rather than put you behind bars. This mandatory minimum varies depending on the type of substance you were caught trafficking, and can range from between 3 years to 25 years.
However, while the judge cannot waive the mandatory minimum, the prosecution does have the authority to lighten the blow. For instance, you may be able to reach a plea bargain with the prosecution to avoid time behind bars. In addition to prison time, those convicted for drug trafficking may also have to pay fines and perform community service.
Police officers might make you feel like your fate is set in stone, but it might be possible to have the penalties reduced or the charges dropped. A skilled criminal defense attorney can investigate the arrest and help develop strategies to dismantle the prosecution’s case. For instance, if you can prove that the substance wasn’t in your possession, the officers planted the drugs on you, or there were no signs you intended to sell it, you could avoid time behind bars.
Speak to a Palm Beach Gardens Drug Crime Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with drug trafficking, speaking to an attorney could be a wise decision. A strong defense could help you avoid serious penalties that might affect the rest of your life.
Attorney Todd A. Kawecki is a former prosecutor who understands the ins and outs of Florida’s criminal justice system. As part of a free consultation, he can assess your situation, answer your questions, and discuss some of the strategies he might use to help you fight the charges. Call us today at 772-485-4500 or head over to our contact page HERE to set up a meeting with a Florida drug crime lawyer.