Successfully Fighting a Drug Trafficking Charge in Florida
Drug trafficking is a serious charge within the state of Florida. A trafficking conviction can result in a long prison sentence and large fines. Even prior to conviction, a defendant may sit in jail for months awaiting trial. This can result in a loss of employment and various family struggles. While these cases are often a result of an extensive police investigation, the charges can be successfully defended with the help of an experienced lawyer.
Recent narcotics arrests are shedding light on the seriousness of Florida drug trafficking laws. A report by the Ocala Star Banner discusses the investigation and subsequent arrests of five suspects. The case began three months ago when the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team (UDEST) received a tip about alleged drug activity in Marion County. In response to the accusations, an intensive investigation was implemented through the joint efforts of drug enforcement agents and local law enforcement officers. According to the article, searches allegedly resulted in the discovery of drugs and guns, as well as cash and several vehicles.
Facts About Florida Drug Trafficking Laws
The following provides specifics about Florida drug trafficking laws, and to whom they may apply:
- Drug trafficking is considered the production, circulation, delivery and sale of illegal narcotics in a specified quantity. The following provides a list of common narcotics and their threshold for trafficking:
○ Marijuana – More than 25 pounds
○ Cocaine – More than 28 grams
○ Heroin – More than 14 grams
○ Large amounts of prescription drugs, along with synthetic substances, may also qualify for trafficking classification
- Applicable to any person who knowingly sells or attempts to sell a controlled substance, even if no money is physically received in exchange for the drugs.
- Sentences are subject to mandatory minimums. These are laws that set the least amount of jail time a conviction must receive. Some examples of these controversial sentences include:
○ A trafficking conviction for an amount between 25 and 2000 pounds of marijuana carries a mandatory minimum of three years imprisonment.
○ A trafficking conviction for an amount between 200 and 400 grams of cocaine carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years imprisonment.
○ A trafficking conviction for an amount between 28 to 200 grams of crystal meth carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years imprisonment.
Defending Drug Trafficking Charges
The five suspects in the Marion County case are facing numerous charges, including allegations of trafficking cocaine, oxycodone and cocaine. The mandatory minimums for these crimes exemplifies the seriousness of drug trafficking charges and the importance of mounting a zealous defense.
An experienced lawyer can put forth numerous defenses to drug trafficking allegations. Knowledge is one element of the crime that the defense may challenge. If the defendant had no knowledge of the trafficking activity, a finding of innocence is possible. The trafficking designation can also face a defense challenge. The lawyer may successfully argue to reduce the charges down to simple possession, which generally carries a lesser sentence.
The methods of investigation and arrest are additional areas for successful defenses. Even for a suspect, law enforcement must respect constitutional rights and abide by procedural regulations. If they do not, searches and arrests may be thrown out of court, and charges dropped.
If you or a loved one is facing charges of drug trafficking, Miami based Attorneys Mycki Ratzan and Jude Faccidomo can provide you with an aggressive and comprehensive defense. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation.