Charged with Drug Trafficking in Polk County?
Get a defense attorney who knows how to fight tough charges
Florida has strict laws pertaining to drug charges, and the most severe charge is drug trafficking. You might think of “trafficking” as the business of drug cartels and hardened career criminals, but the truth is that regular people can run afoul of trafficking laws, too. The consequences can be severe: years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines, plus potential seizure of your property.
What is the definition of drug trafficking?
In Florida, drug trafficking is defined as the sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, transportation, or possession of a specific amount of a controlled substance. The amount needed for a trafficking charge varies by substance.
The mandatory minimum sentence for any trafficking charge in Florida is three years in prison, plus a $50,000 fine ($25,000 for cannabis). Larger amounts of controlled substances carry even more severe penalties, as shown in the table below:
|Controlled Substance||3-year mandatory minimum||7-year mandatory minimum||15-year mandatory minimum|
|Cocaine||28 to 200 grams||200 to 400 grams||400 grams to 150 kilograms|
|Cannabis (Marijuana)||25 to 2,000 pounds or 300 to 2,000 plants||2,000 to 10,000 pounds or 2,000 to 10,000 plants||10,000 pounds or more|
|Heroin||4 to 14 grams||N/A||14 to 28 grams|
|Hydrocodone||14 to 28 grams||29 to 49 grams||50 to 200 grams|
|Oxycodone||7 to 14 grams||14 to 25 grams||25 to 100 grams|
|LSD (Acid)||1 to 5 grams||5 to 7 grams||7 grams or more|
|MDMA (Ecstasy)||10 to 200 grams||200 to 400 grams||400 grams or more|
|Methamphetamine||14 to 28 grams||28 to 200 grams||200 grams or more|
Very large amounts of certain controlled substances can carry even higher mandatory minimums: 25 years, or even life without parole.
If a charge carries a mandatory minimum, the judge has no discretion to impose a lower sentence. If you’re convicted, you’re going to prison for a long time, regardless of any mitigating circumstances. In other words, it’s all or nothing. The only way out is to fight your charges with everything you’ve got, and the only way to do that successfully is with an experienced drug defense attorney on your side.
Get an attorney who can fight a drug trafficking charge
Depending on the circumstances, there are several defenses that can be used to beat a trafficking charge. For one, you have Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. An experienced defense attorney who knows the procedures police must follow may be able to get evidence thrown out if it was obtained in an illegal search. Since trafficking charges hinge on whether you had a certain amount of a substance, if we can get that evidence thrown out, the entire charge collapses.
Florida law also allows the “entrapment defense,” which applies to situations where the police illegally induce a person to commit a crime. Often, police are overzealous in “sting operations” intending to catch drug traffickers, and innocent people are caught in that web. The entrapment defense is difficult to pull off, but a lawyer who knows the law and knows the system can investigate and determine whether it’s a viable strategy.
It may be possible to get your charges dropped or reduced, or it may be necessary to go to trial. When you’re facing drug trafficking charges in court, an experienced trial attorney can fiercely represent your interests at every stage, from jury selection through closing arguments, and fight for a Not Guilty verdict.
Put experience and legal knowledge on your side
When you’re facing drug trafficking charges, you don’t just need a lawyer: you need the right lawyer, one who knows the law and knows how to win tough drug cases. My track record of results in a tough legal environment speaks for itself. I am also one of only four Florida attorneys recognized as an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist, which means I have special training in the science behind drug trafficking charges. I know how to debunk the outdated or non-validated science often used by police and prosecutors and use real, legitimate science to advocate for my clients’ interests.
Remember, the clock is ticking. The sooner you get a lawyer involved, the stronger your legal case will be. If you’re facing trafficking charges in Polk, Pasco, or Hillsborough County, get a free consultation with an experienced drug crime defense attorney today.