Charged with Drug Trafficking? Here’s What You Need to Know
If you’re facing drug trafficking charges, it’s only normal to feel completely overwhelmed. Florida law’s pull no punches when it comes to offenders, and you may have to serve prison time, pay fines, and suffer many other strict penalties if you’re convicted. Additionally, a conviction on your criminal record could affect your ability to find a job, rent an apartment, and apply for loans.
Fortunately, a conviction is never a foregone conclusion. Not only may it be possible to have your penalties reduced, but you could also fight to have the charges dismissed. In this article, we answer common questions about drug trafficking charges in Florida and explain how a criminal defense attorney may be able to help protect your rights.
What Is Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking is defined as the intentional manufacturing, purchasing, delivering, transportation into Florida, or possession of a “trafficking amount” of a controlled substance. This amount will depend on the type of drug in your possession. For instance, if you have 28 grams or more of cocaine, you might be charged with trafficking in cocaine. Alternatively, if you are caught with 25 pounds or more of illegal marijuana, you could also be facing trafficking charges.
What Are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking?
Sentences for these crimes will usually depend on the amount and type of drug in your possession. In Florida, drug trafficking cases are subject to statutorily required mandatory minimum sentence acts. As such, a judge cannot sentence you below this mandatory minimum sentence. For example, if you are convicted for trafficking in MDMA, and you had 200 grams or more in your possession, a conviction would result in a minimum of seven years behind bars and a $100,000 fine.
Can I Defend Myself against the Charges?
Just because you were arrested, does not mean you will be convicted. Based on your circumstances, there are a variety of defenses you could use to have your penalties reduced or the charges dropped, such as:
- Showing that the drugs belong to someone else;
- Arguing that the drugs were discovered during an illegal search;
- Pressuring the prosecution to prove the substance in question is actually a controlled substance; or
- Showing that you were the victim of entrapment.
The burden is on the prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were knowingly in possession of a controlled substance. A criminal defense attorney can assess your situation, investigate the arrest, and help develop legal strategies to dismantle the case against you.
Speak to Drug Crime Attorney in Port St. Lucie, Florida
Were you arrested and charged with drug trafficking? It may be in your best interests to speak to a Port St. Lucie drug crime lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney Todd A. Kawecki can assess your situation as part of a free consultation during which he can answer your questions and discuss how best to proceed with your case. To book a case review, dial 772-485-4500 or visit our Online Contact Page.