Drug Trafficking in Florida

Under Florida Statutes Section 893.135, drug trafficking is knowing selling, purchasing, manufacturing, or delivering a drug listed in the Controlled Substances Act.

Various controlled substances have different quantity requirements that would lead to trafficking. For example, if you have more than 25 pounds of cannabis or 300 or more cannabis plants, it is considered “trafficking in cannabis.” Similarly, if you have 28 grams or more of cocaine, it is considered “trafficking in cocaine.” The Florida drug trafficking statute details specific amounts for many commonly trafficked substances.

Commonly Trafficked Drugs in Florida

The most common narcotics involved in drug trafficking in Florida include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Morphine, opium, hydromorphone, or heroin
  • Hydrocodone or codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl and similar substances
  • Methaqualone
  • Methamphetamine and other amphetamines
  • Prescription drugs

Many other drugs may be trafficked in the state of Florida. If you are caught with illegal drugs and accused of possession with the intent to deliver, contact a Pensacola drug trafficking lawyer right away.

Drug Trafficking vs. Drug Possession

Drug trafficking is different than simple possession, distribution, or conspiracy. There is a threshold amount of each drug that is necessary for the state’s prosecutor to charge you with trafficking. Otherwise, you may be charged with another crime.

Florida drug trafficking amounts include:

  • Cannabis (Marijuana) – At least 25 pounds of cannabis or 300 cannabis plants
  • Cocaine – At least 28 grams
  • Fentanyl – At least 4 grams
  • Hydrocodone – At least 4 grams
  • Oxycodone – At least 4 grams
  • Morphine – At least 4 grams
  • Phencyclidine – At least 28 grams
  • Opium – At least 4 grams
  • Amphetamine – At least 14 grams
  • Methaqualone – At least 200 grams
  • Gamma-hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB- Date Rape Drug) – At least 1 kilogram
  • Lysergic Acid (LSD) – At least 1 gram

If you are in actual or constructive possession of any of these in lesser amounts, then you may be charged with drug possession.

Drug Trafficking vs. Drug Distribution

Drug distribution in Florida involves importing, selling, or moving a controlled substance. You do not have to be caught selling the drug. Even having a significant amount of cash and a controlled substance in your possession can warrant drug distribution charges.

The main difference between distribution and trafficking is the amount of drugs involved. Any amount of drug may result in distribution charges, whereas trafficking must meet the minimum threshold.

Conspiracy to Commit Drug Trafficking

Conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a criminal offense with the intent that the offense will be committed. Thus, if more than one person is involved in drug trafficking, then you may get conspiracy charges on top of trafficking charges.

Florida Drug Trafficking Penalties

There is a range of Florida drug trafficking penalties based on the substance and quantity. Additionally, the penalties are minimum mandatory sentences. If there are aggravating circumstances involved, you may face harsher penalties.

Cannabis/Marijuana Drug Trafficking

  • 25 pounds to 2,000 pounds: three years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine
  • 2,000 to 10,000 pounds: seven years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine
  • 10,000 pounds or more: 15 years in prison and up to a $200,000 fine

Cocaine Trafficking

  • 28 grams to 200 grams: three years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine
  • 200 grams to 400 grams: seven years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine
  • 400 grams to 150 kilograms: 15 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine

Fentanyl Drug Trafficking

  • 4 grams to 14 grams: three years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine
  • 14 grams to 28 grams: 15 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine
  • 28 grams to 30 kilograms: 25 years in prison and up to a $500,000 fine

GHB Trafficking

  • 1 kilogram to 5 kilograms: three years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine
  • 5 kilograms to 10 kilograms: seven years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine
  • 10 kilograms or more: 15 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine

Hydrocodone Trafficking

  • 14 grams to 28 grams: three years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine
  • 28 grams to 50 grams: seven years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine
  • 50 grams to 200 grams: 15 years in prison and up to a $500,000 fine
  • 200 grams to 30 kilograms: 25 years in prison and up to a $750,000 fine

Heroin Drug Trafficking

  • 4 grams to 14 grams: three years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine
  • 14 grams to 28 grams: 15 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine
  • 28 grams to 30 kilograms: 25 years in prison and up to a $500,000 fine
  • 30 kilograms or more: life in prison and up to a $500,000 fine

LSD – Drug Trafficking

  • 1 gram to 5 grams: three years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine
  • 5 grams to 7 grams: seven years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine
  • 7 grams or more: 15 years in prison and up to a $500,000 fine

MDMA (Ecstasy) Trafficking

  • 10 grams to 200 grams: three years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine
  • 200 grams to 400 grams: seven years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine
  • 400 grams or more: 15 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine

Methamphetamine Trafficking

  • 14 grams to 28 grams: three years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine
  • 28 grams to 200 grams: seven years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine
  • 200 grams or more: 15 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine

Oxycodone Trafficking

  • 7 grams to 14 grams: three years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine
  • 14 grams to 25 grams: seven years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine
  • 25 grams to 100 grams: 15 years in prison and up to a $500,000 fine
  • 100 grams to 30 kilograms: 25 years in prison and up to a $750,000 fine

Other Consequences of Drug Trafficking

A drug trafficking conviction can have serious consequences that extend far beyond jail, fines, or probation. A Florida drug trafficking conviction may result in the following limitations:

  • Employment: Many employers conduct background checks, and a drug trafficking conviction could disqualify you from certain jobs, especially those involving security or public trust.
  • Professional Licensing: Depending on the profession and severity of the offense, you may be denied a professional license or certification or face restrictions on your ability to practice.
  • Housing: Landlords may be less likely to rent to you if you have a drug trafficking conviction.
  • Federal Benefits: You may be ineligible for certain federal benefits, such as student loans or public housing assistance.
  • Voting: You may lose your right to vote while incarcerated or on parole for a drug trafficking conviction.
  • Immigration: If you are not a U.S. citizen, a drug trafficking conviction could jeopardize your immigration status or make it difficult to become a citizen.

The severity of the collateral consequences will vary depending on the specific facts of your case. That’s why it’s important to work closely with a drug trafficking defense attorney. They can help you avoid the harshest consequences of a conviction.

How a Drug Trafficking Lawyer Helps

With the significant consequences of drug trafficking charges and the harsh penalties associated with a conviction, the importance of an experienced drug trafficking attorney in Pensacola cannot be overstated.

Mitkevicius Law, PLLC, has extensive expertise in handling complex and sensitive drug trafficking cases. We meticulously analyze every aspect of the prosecution’s evidence, starting with the initial arrest. We then develop a robust defense strategy to achieve the best possible outcome, whether that’s a charge reduction, case dismissal, or minimizing the impact of the charges on your life.

Defending Against Drug Trafficking

Our Pensacola lawyers for drug trafficking know how to defend against interstate and federal trafficking charges. Some of the common legal defenses we use include:

Lack of Knowledge or Intent

This defense challenges the prosecution’s case that you knowingly possessed or intended to distribute drugs. You might not have known the substance was illegal or belonged to someone else.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

If the police violated your Fourth Amendment rights by searching you or your property without a warrant or exceeding the warrant’s scope, any evidence obtained might be thrown out. Without key evidence, the prosecution or Court may dismiss the case.

Entrapment

This defense argues that law enforcement induced or persuaded you to commit the crime, essentially entrapping you. You must show that you would not have committed the crime but for the persuasion of the police or undercover cop.

Can I Get a Reduced Sentence for Drug Trafficking in FL?

You may be able to get a reduced sentence if your attorney can prove that you did not have the required amount of controlled substance that is in question. Other defenses that might help you negotiate a reduced sentence include lack of intent and entrapment. The prosecution might be willing to negotiate a plea agreement to a sentence below the mandatory minimum.

When Is Drug Trafficking a Federal Crime?

Drug trafficking may be considered a federal crime and prosecuted in federal court if drugs are transported across state lines or if the trafficking utilizes any form of interstate commerce, such as mail, phone lines, or the internet, to facilitate the sale or transport of drugs.

Are There Mandatory Minimums for Drug Trafficking in Florida?

Yes, there are mandatory minimum sentences based on the type and amount of drug involved in the trafficking. It’s essential to work with a drug trafficking lawyer to avoid the harshest of these consequences.

Don’t Face Drug Trafficking Charges Alone – Call Today

It’s hard to avoid the mandatory penalties of a Florida drug trafficking conviction without help. While prosecutors and police may suggest your case is open and shut, there is a lot Mitkevicius Law, PLLC, and an experienced drug trafficking lawyer can do.

Contact our office today at 850-361-2142 to schedule your free consultation. Lead attorney Josef Mitkevicius has 10+ years of experience and won’t force you to settle for an unfair deal.