Drugs Listed in Subsection (k) of 893.135
Phenylethylamine (PEA) is a natural stimulant that is found in the human brain but is also found on the street as a recreational drug used to trigger euphoria and pleasure. The drug stimulates the release of norepinephrine and dopamine. There are a number of related controlled substances, the trafficking of which is prohibited under subsection (k) of 893.135. If you are caught trafficking in any of the drugs listed in subsection (k) of 893.135, you face the serious risk of a mandatory minimum sentence that results in years of incarceration. It is imperative to hire a skillful Bradenton drug trafficking attorney with a strong reputation. Hanlon Law fights for the rights of people charged with trafficking in a wide range of narcotics, from cocaine to meth and cannabis.Drugs Listed in Subsection (k) of 893.135
Subsection (k) of Florida Statutes 893.135 prohibits trafficking in a number of different substances related to phenylethylamine. In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you: (1) knowingly (2) imported into Florida, delivered, sold, made, bought, or actually or constructively possessed (3) a minimum of 10 grams of (4) certain drugs enumerated under subsection (k). This is a first-degree felony charge.
While 10 grams is the threshold to be charged under this code section, you face the threat of increasingly serious penalties if more of the substance is involved. If you are caught with 10 grams-200 grams of one of the subsection (k) substances, the judge must impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and a fine of $50,000. If caught with 200 grams-400 grams of a listed substance, the mandatory minimum sentence is 7 years in prison and a fine of $100,000. If caught with 400 or more grams of a listed substance, the mandatory minimum sentence is 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Unlike with other drug crimes, such as marijuana possession, drug trafficking sentencing does not permit the judge to take into account mitigating factors, such as not having a prior record.
Most people find it stressful to be charged with drug trafficking. However, there are both substantive and procedural defenses that may apply to your situation. In some cases, your attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to plead guilty to a drug crime that does not carry a mandatory minimum sentence. We may be able to show that there was a constitutional or procedural violation in connection with the seizure of the drugs. A Fourth Amendment violation, for example, may be a basis of a successful challenge to a drug trafficking charge. There are a few different ways to show a Fourth Amendment violation. Generally, to stop you while you are driving, for example, the police must have a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, such as driving on a suspended license. If this standard is not met, it may be possible to get evidence obtained during that stop suppressed.
Similarly, to arrest you or conduct many different types of searches, the police must have probable cause to believe that you were involved in criminal activity. If there is no probable cause for a search in which probable cause was necessary, it may be possible to get evidence from the search suppressed.
There are also situations in which substantive defenses are available. For example, if we can prove objective or subjective entrapment or help you provide substantial assistance to law enforcement in connection with the charges, these may be appropriate defenses to raise.
Under Florida Statute section 921.186, the state attorney can ask the sentencing court to reduce or suspend your sentence if you are convicted of drug trafficking, but you provided substantial assistance in identifying, arresting, or convicting any of your accomplices, coconspirators, accessories, or principals, or any other person engaged in criminal activity that would be considered a felony. If the judge finds that you rendered substantial assistance, they can reduce or suspend the sentence. You should not attempt to raise a substantial assistance defense on your own because you run the risk of harming your case. Providing substantial assistance without a written contract can result in self-incrimination.Hire a Drug Trafficking Attorney in the Bradenton Area
Drugs listed in subsection (k) of 893.135 may not seem like major drugs, but trafficking in them can result in harsh mandatory minimum sentences. Whether you are being investigated or charged, you should consult a skillful trial attorney in Bradenton as soon as possible. Will Hanlon has defended people charged with drug crimes since 1994. Contact Hanlon Law at 941.253.0254 or via our online form.