Drug Trafficking

Felony Defense Lawyer Advocating for People in Bradenton

Drug trafficking is not a charge reserved for people with deep connections to the drug underworld in Florida. All that it takes to be charged with drug trafficking is getting caught with a threshold amount of a particular controlled substance, such as meth, heroin, cocaine, acid, cannabis, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and other substances. Drug trafficking convictions come with mandatory minimum sentences, and it is crucial to hire a Bradenton drug trafficking lawyer as soon as possible if you are being investigated or charged. Hanlon Law fights for the rights of the accused.

Understand the Consequences of a Drug Trafficking Charge

Mandatory minimum sentences are the minimum prison term and fine that a judge may impose once a prosecutor obtains a conviction. In most drug crime cases, a judge has some discretion over the sentence. They can, for example, impose a lighter sentence on someone who has no criminal record and has other mitigating factors in his or her favor. With a mandatory minimum sentence, you could be a model citizen who graduated with honors and made a single mistake due to severe economic hardship, and you will still receive a significant punishment for a first offense of trafficking if you are caught with a threshold amount of drugs.

There are different threshold amounts for different controlled substances. The threshold amounts are enumerated under Florida Statutes section 893.135. For instance, if the prosecutor can show beyond a reasonable doubt that you: (1) knowingly (2) made, delivered, imported into the state, sold, bought, or were in actual or constructive possession of (3) more than 25 pounds of cannabis or at least 300 cannabis plants, you can be convicted of first-degree felony trafficking in cannabis. There are different potential penalties, depending on the quantity of cannabis involved, and a drug trafficking attorney in Bradenton can explain the specific penalties that you may face.

If what is involved is 25-2,000 pounds or 300-2,000 plants, you may face a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison and a $25,000 fine. If what is involved is 2,000-10,000 pounds of cannabis or 2,000-10,000 cannabis plants, you may face a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years and a $50,000 fine. When 10,000 pounds or more is involved, or 10,000 or more cannabis plants are involved, you can face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 calendar years plus a $200,000 fine.

Mandatory minimum sentences may be imposed for a range of other controlled substances, including amphetamine, methamphetamine, methaqualone, fentanyl, 1,4-Butanediol, LSD, hydrocodone, oxycodone, phencyclidine, and flunitrazepam. The sentence will be harsher as the amount of the substance increases. The sentence may be especially harsh for certain controlled substances when someone brings a certain amount into Florida and knows that the probable result of importing the substance is the death of someone else. This is capital importation and can be punished by life imprisonment or in some situations by death.

Many people are distressed to find that they are being investigated for drug trafficking. A Bradenton drug trafficking attorney can usually build a stronger defense strategy if they get involved in a case early. When we are involved before formal charges are filed, we may be able to influence which charges are filed, begin negotiations with the prosecutor, and start working on building a strong defense for trial. Sometimes we may be able to get a revision of the charges so that you will not face a mandatory minimum sentence for trafficking. Getting a charge revised from drug trafficking to constructive possession can substantially change the trajectory of your case.

Sometimes the police do not respect the Fourth or Fifth Amendment rights of suspects. When the drugs at issue are illegally seized, it may be possible to file a motion to suppress. If we are successful, a prosecutor might not be able to prove trafficking beyond a reasonable doubt.

Contact an Experienced Drug Trafficking Lawyer in the Bradenton Area

Drug trafficking convictions can result in harsh penalties, including prison time and fines, as well as a significant social stigma that can make it difficult to go to school, get a job, or find housing even after serving your time. If you have been charged with drug trafficking, you should retain a tough and experienced lawyer like our firm's founder, Will Hanlon, who has represented the accused since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at 941.462.1789 or complete our online form.