Shutting down the large-scale movement of illegal drugs is a priority of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, which devote substantial funds to drug deterrence efforts. Drug trafficking charges carry significant penalties upon conviction, including a life sentence in some cases. If you face drug trafficking charges, your entire future is at stake. It is imperative to work with an experienced drug defense attorney to protect your future.
A Clermont drug trafficking lawyer could combine their deep knowledge of the law with excellent strategic skills to achieve a favorable outcome in court. Reach out immediately if you have been arrested or believe you are under investigation for drug trafficking.
The quantity of drugs law enforcement finds distinguishes drug possession from drug trafficking. If the individual possesses or controls a specific amount, which varies depending on the substance, prosecutors have the legal right to presume the possessor intends to distribute the drugs. The quantities necessary to assume an intent to distribute are listed in Florida Statute § 893.135. A person who possesses or controls the following quantities of specific drugs could face trafficking charges:
Possessing these minimum quantities leads to first-degree felony charges. Because prosecutors base drug trafficking charges on the amount of substance the police confiscated, a Clermont attorney could challenge the methods law enforcement used to identify and weigh the drugs. If the police did not scrupulously observe best practices in handling, transporting, testing, and weighing the drugs, the failure could lead to a reduction or even dismissal of the charges.
Law enforcement pours substantial resources into eradicating the drug trade and might feel pressure to produce results. Sometimes, officers may not follow proper procedures when investigating suspected trafficking and gathering evidence against a suspect.
An attorney could scrutinize any warrants that authorities used to conduct surveillance, monitor electronic communications, access bank accounts, or search property. They could evaluate whether the police had a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity if the arrest resulted from a traffic stop. They could ensure the defendant received timely notice of their rights to remain silent and consult an attorney.
If it appears law enforcement overstepped, a defense attorney could file a motion to suppress evidence. Prosecutors cannot use evidence against a suspect if the police obtained it through illegal means. In many cases, prosecutors drop or reduce charges if the defense mounts a successful challenge to the admissibility of important evidence.
Drug trafficking is a first-degree felony, but the penalties depend on the quantity of drugs seized. Mandatory minimum sentences apply.
For example, trafficking less than 2,000 pounds of marijuana carries a mandatory sentence of three years in prison and a $25,000 fine. If the alleged trafficker possessed more than 2,000 pounds but less than 10,000 pounds, the mandatory sentence is at least seven years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Someone convicted of trafficking more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana faces a mandatory minimum prison term of 15 years and a $200,000 fine.
Someone convicted of possessing more than 150 kilograms of cocaine or 30 kilograms of heroin faces life in prison without possibility of parole. A life sentence without parole is also possible if someone possessed significant quantities of drugs and knew they could cause someone’s death. Depending on the specific circumstances, a Clermont attorney could challenge whether a person had actual or constructive possession of the statutory drug quantities necessary for a life sentence.
Drug trafficking is one of the most serious charges a person could face in Florida. The future could be bleak if you contest the charges without highly skilled legal representation.
A Clermont drug trafficking lawyer could use every possible means to ensure the best outcome achievable given the evidence. Call immediately if you require a robust defense strategy.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys