While fentanyl does have some medical uses as a pain reliever for extremely serious injuries and illnesses, it is much more widely known as an extremely dangerous and addictive drug that causes tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the United States each year. It should not be surprising to hear that Florida courts take allegations of trafficking in fentanyl and fentanyl-related materials extremely seriously. They will prosecute these charges harshly.
After being accused of bringing in fentanyl, you will need help from an experienced drug trafficking defense attorney if you want to achieve a favorable final resolution to your case. With an Orlando fentanyl trafficking lawyer on your side, you will have a better chance of providing an effective defense and questioning the prosecution’s case.
Under Florida Statutes § 893.135(1)(c)(4), knowingly possessing, buying, making, selling, delivering, or transporting four grams or more of fentanyl or any derivative compound is a first-degree felony offense. It is punishable by a maximum 30-year prison term. In addition, state law imposes increasingly severe fines and mandatory minimum prison terms on defendants convicted of fentanyl trafficking, depending on the amount of fentanyl or derivatives they trafficked.
For the offenses involving between four and 14 grams of fentanyl, the mandatory minimum prison term is three years and the maximum applicable fine is $50,000. Offenses involving between 14 and 28 grams of fentanyl have a mandatory minimum 15-year prison term and maximum $100,000 fine attached to them. Offenses involving over 28 grams carry a mandatory minimum 25-year prison term, as well as a maximum $500,000 fine.
In addition, anyone found to have trafficked in fentanyl by knowingly selling or delivering fentanyl to a minor packaged in one or more of the following ways is subject to between 25 years to life in prison and a $1,000,000 fine:
An Orlando fentanyl trafficking attorney could explain the specific elements of this charge as defined by state law and begin determining the best defense strategy.
Importantly, convicting someone for fentanyl trafficking in Florida requires proving that the defendant knowingly and intentionally possessed the fentanyl with intent to distribute or sell it to other people, and not just for personal use. Accordingly, it can sometimes be an effective defense to fentanyl trafficking allegations to establish that the defendant had no intent to sell or distribute.
Likewise, possession of fentanyl for personal use is still a serious felony offense, but it is a much less severe crime compared to trafficking. Resources are available to help individuals dealing with fentanyl addiction. Once again, a fentanyl trafficking lawyer in Orlando could discuss these and other possible defense strategies during a private consultation.
Fentanyl trafficking is one of the most severely punished offenses codified under Florida law—in fact, it can even be used as grounds for murder charges if the fentanyl you allegedly trafficked directly led to someone’s death. However, you still have rights even when facing allegations this substantial, including the right to have a capable drug lawyer defend you throughout your trial.
Orlando Criminal Lawyer | Defense Attorney | Charged with a Crime