Although the penalties you might face are severe, an experienced drug trafficking attorney can help create reasonable doubt after closely examining your case.
Take steps to defend and protect your future when you contact Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A.
Florida Drug Trafficking Laws
Under Florida Statute Section 893.135, the law prohibits individuals from trafficking controlled substances, including narcotics. However, it is essential to know that it does not necessarily take your involvement in a multinational drug cartel for you to face drug trafficking charges.
The main difference between drug possession, sale, and trafficking charges is the amount of the drug involved.
Were You Charged With Crimes Related to Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking is considered a first-degree felony under Florida law. In addition to your drug trafficking charges, you could be charged with other drug crimes.
These crimes may include:
- Drug possession under Florida Statute Section 893.13. 6A
- Possession of drug paraphernalia under Florida Statute Section 893.147(1)
- Possession with intent to distribute under Florida Statute Section 893.13(1)(a)
- Armed trafficking under Florida Statute Section 893.03(1)(a)
- Drug manufacturing or delivery under Florida Statute Section 893.147
Elements Needed for a Tampa Drug Trafficking Conviction
The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the following elements of drug trafficking exist:
- The defendant knew of the controlled substance
- The substance in question is confirmed to be the alleged controlled substance
- The substance in question weighed over the minimum alleged amount
Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Tampa
What makes drug trafficking charges unique is that there are often mandatory minimum sentences attached to the conviction.
The mandatory minimum sentence varies depending on the type and amount of controlled substances involved in your case.
Here are some consequences of drug trafficking convictions in Tampa:
Marijuana Trafficking Penalties
Under Florida Statute 893.135(1)(a), trafficking marijuana is a first-degree felony. You could spend up to thirty years in state prison, depending on the amount of marijuana in question.
Based on the state’s mandatory minimum prison sentences and fines, here are potential penalties of a marijuana trafficking conviction in Tampa:
- Having more than 300 plants, or between 25 and 2,000 pounds of marijuana – Three years in prison; fines as high as $25,000.
- Having more than 2,000 marijuana plants, or between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds of marijuana – Seven years in prison; fines as high as $50,000.
- Having more than 10,000 marijuana plants, or more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana – 15 years in prison; fines as high as $250,000.
- Having between four grams and 14 grams of heroin – Three years in prison; fines as high as $50,000.
- Having between 14 grams and 28 grams of heroin – 15 years in prison; fines as high as $100,000.
- Having between 28 grams and 30 kilograms of heroin – 25 years in prison; fines as high as $500,000.
- Having between 28 grams and 200 grams of cocaine – Three years in prison; fines as high as $50,000
- Having between 200 grams and 400 grams of cocaine – Seven years in prison; fines as high as $100,000.
- Having between 400 grams and one-and-a-half kilograms of cocaine – 15 years in prison; fines as high as $250,000.
Penalties for Heroin Trafficking
Under Florida Statute 893.135(1)(c), trafficking heroin is a first-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of 30 years in state prison. Based on the state mandatory minimum prison sentences in fines, here are the potential penalties of a heroin trafficking conviction in Tampa:
Cocaine Trafficking Penalties
Under Florida Statute Section 893.135(1), trafficking cocaine is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in state prison. Based on the state mandatory minimum prison sentence says and fines, here are the potential consequences of a cocaine trafficking conviction in Tampa:
Challenging Tampa Drug Trafficking Charges
If you hope to avoid a drug trafficking conviction in Tampa, you must be prepared to defend your case. An attorney could negotiate a plea agreement. Further, pre-trial diversion programs might be available for first-time offenders charged with a non-violent offense.
The following defenses that may be available to you include:
Illegal Search and Seizure
Law enforcement officials only have the authority to conduct searches when they have the property owner’s permission or a warrant.
Any evidence obtained during an illegal search and seizure should be dismissed, as it was unlawfully obtained. Your Tampa drug trafficking lawyer will be prepared to protect your Fourth Amendment rights.
Entrapment occurs when law enforcement entices a person to commit a crime they would not otherwise have committed.
Get Help from a Drug Trafficking Lawyer in Tampa
If you hope to avoid the harsh penalties associated with a drug trafficking conviction, you will need a highly experienced criminal defense attorney to help you challenge the charges against you.
Contact dedicated Tampa drug trafficking lawyer Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A., for a confidential case evaluation. Complete our online contact form or call our office at 813-258-4800 to get started on your case today.