Florida devotes substantial resources to combatting the flow of illegal drugs through the state. If you face drug trafficking charges, prosecutors will likely press for severe penalties if you are convicted.
In their enthusiasm to extinguish drug trafficking in the state, police might overstep, and prosecutors might overcharge this offense. A Winter Garden drug trafficking lawyer could fight hard to achieve the best possible result to preserve your liberty. With a capable drug defense attorney, you might escape the harsh consequences of a drug trafficking conviction.
Prosecutors could bring drug trafficking charges if a person allegedly possesses a significant quantity of illegal drugs. The amount of drugs is what allows law enforcement to presume the possessor intended to distribute them. The drugs need not be packaged for distribution and the accused does not need to have packaging materials.
Florida Statute § 893.135 covers the crime of drug trafficking. Unlike possession charges, trafficking carries mandatory minimum sentences. According to the law, the quantities of some drugs that merit charging trafficking instead of simple possession include:
If someone allegedly possesses the minimum quantity necessary to support a drug trafficking charge, they typically will face a third-degree felony charge, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of three years’ incarceration and a $25,000 fine. Larger quantities could lead to second or first-degree felony charges, which carry longer mandatory minimum prison sentences. A Winter Garden attorney could explain the potential consequences of a drug trafficking charge in a specific case.
Law enforcement prioritizes eradicating illegal drug activity, and sometimes in their zeal to succeed, they do not pay proper respect to an accused’s Constitutional rights. A drug trafficking attorney in Winter Garden could investigate to ensure that the means law enforcement used to compile evidence in the case were legally correct.
Authorities must have probable cause to search a suspect and a search warrant to search their home, office, or phone. If law enforcement did not have legal grounds for a search, a defense attorney could file a motion to suppress the evidence the police found through illegal means.
A lawyer could question the laboratory work identifying the substance, since sometimes laboratories take shortcuts or have a history of inaccurate results. In some cases, an attorney might challenge the procedures police used to maintain the sample while it was in their custody. Problems with the chain of custody could render the evidence inadmissible.
Prosecutors must establish each element of a crime to get a conviction. A conviction on drug trafficking charges requires proof that someone knowingly possessed the minimum quantity of the drug, knew they had it, and knew the identity of the substance they possessed.
Sometimes, an attorney could disprove one of the elements of the drug trafficking. For example, some antibiotics and over-the-counter painkillers are white, oval-shaped pills. Some controlled substances, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, also could be white, oval pills. An accused might believe they possessed a legal drug that looks like the illegal drug the police found.
Drug trafficking charges often result from the use of confidential informants. The defense could attack the informant’s reliability, truthfulness, or motivation to weaken their credibility. By casting doubt on a government witness, a jury might find a prosecutor has insufficient proof to get a conviction.
Drug trafficking charges could have you facing a profoundly different future than the one you planned. You need to put up a vigorous defense.
A Winter Garden drug trafficking lawyer could apply their skills, legal insight, and knowledge of the courts and prosecutors to help you preserve your future. If you are arrested for drug trafficking, call us immediately to speak with an aggressive advocate.
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