Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant. It has approved medical uses, but it is often used illicitly. On the street, it is often sold as crystal meth in a form that looks like blue or white shards of glass. Often, it is smoked in a glass pipe, but sometimes it is crushed into powder and snorted or dissolved into liquid. If you are being investigated for methamphetamine trafficking, you should hire a Bradenton meth trafficking lawyer to be involved and on your side even before you are charged. Hanlon Law fights for people accused of drug trafficking involving meth as well as cocaine, cannabis, morphine, and other narcotics.Understanding Methamphetamine Trafficking Charges
Methamphetamine trafficking is an extremely serious charge. Florida Statute section 893.135(1)(f)(1) allows a prosecutor to obtain a conviction for methamphetamine trafficking when they can establish the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) knowing (2) actual or constructive possession, purchase, sale, manufacture, importation into Florida, or delivery (3) of at least 14 grams of methamphetamine. The threshold amount to charge methamphetamine trafficking need not be a pure 14 grams. You could be convicted even if there was less than 14 grams of pure meth involved, as long as the entire mixture weighed 14 grams.
Trafficking charges are serious because they carry mandatory minimum penalties. These are penalties regarding which the judge does not have discretion to depart downward. In contrast, if you are charged with simple methamphetamine possession because you were caught with less than the threshold amount, the judge would have some discretion over your sentence. In some cases, a meth trafficking attorney can help Bradenton residents arrange for a reduction in the charge from trafficking to possession.
If the police catch you with 14 grams-28 grams of methamphetamine, you face a potential mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years’ incarceration and a $50,000 fine. If the police catch you with 28 grams-200 grams, you face a potential mandatory minimum prison term of 7 years’ incarceration and a $50,000 fine. If the police catch you with 200 grams or more of meth, you face a potential mandatory minimum prison term of 15 years’ incarceration and a $250,000 fine. If the police catch you bringing 400 grams of meth or a meth-containing mixture into Florida or catch you manufacturing that amount, and they believe that you knew that the probable result of your manufacturing or importing was another person's death, you may face charges of capital felony manufacturing or importation.
The prosecutor must prove every element of methamphetamine trafficking beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes it is possible for a Bradenton meth trafficking attorney to raise a reasonable doubt, and that can be an effective defense at trial. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to negotiate a plea for a meth crime other than trafficking so that there is no threat of a mandatory minimum sentence. However, in other cases, it may be appropriate to raise more substantive defenses, such as substantial assistance or entrapment.
Two types of entrapment defenses exist in Florida. With subjective entrapment, the analysis will focus on whether you were predisposed to commit methamphetamine trafficking. The court would look at whether you should be considered an unwary innocent person lured into methamphetamine trafficking, even though you had no predisposition to do it, or whether you were an unwary criminal who readily availed himself of the opportunity to perpetrate the crime. We would need to show that: (1) a law enforcement officer or person in cooperation with him (2) induced or encouraged and, as a direct result, (3) caused you to commit methamphetamine trafficking (4) by using methods of persuasion or inducement that create a substantial risk that such a crime would be committed by someone other than a person ready to perpetrate it.
In contrast, predisposition to commit a crime is of no concern under an objective entrapment defense. Instead, the issue is whether law enforcement's behavior constituted a due process violation of the Florida Constitution. We would need to show that the actions of law enforcement officers were so outrageous that in the interests of due process, the government should be prevented from invoking judicial process to secure a conviction.Consult an Experienced Meth Trafficking Lawyer in the Bradenton Area
Methamphetamine trafficking is aggressively prosecuted in and around Bradenton, as are crimes involving trafficking in LSD, cocaine, and other narcotics. Whether you are being investigated or charged, you should consult a skillful trial attorney as soon as possible. Will Hanlon has provided strong legal representation to people accused of drug crimes since 1994. Contact Hanlon Law at 941.253.0254 or via our online form.