Methaqualone is a sedative-hypnotic drug that is also known by the name of Quaaludes. It is a synthetic drug, similar to barbiturates and central nervous system depressants. You do not need to be part of the criminal underworld to face drug trafficking charges in Florida. If you are being investigated for methaqualone trafficking, you should be aware that this is a serious charge that carries mandatory minimum penalties, similar to trafficking in cocaine or other drugs. Bradenton methaqualone trafficking lawyer Will Hanlon fights for the rights of the accused.Fighting a Methaqualone Trafficking Charge
A methaqualone trafficking conviction may be obtained if a prosecutor can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you: (1) knowingly (2) possessed, purchased, sold, made, imported into the state, or delivered (3) a minimum of 200 grams of methaqualone or a methaqualone-containing mixture. Beyond a reasonable doubt is a tough standard to meet, but law enforcement officers and prosecutors pursue drug traffickers aggressively. It is very important to consult knowledgeable counsel as soon as you realize that you are being investigated.
The penalties imposed for methaqualone trafficking hinge on how much methaqualone over the threshold amount was involved in the activity. When 200 grams-5 kg. of methaqualone are involved, the mandatory minimum sentence is 3 years’ incarceration and a $50,000 fine. When 5 kg.-25 kg. are involved, the mandatory minimum sentence is 7 years’ incarceration and a $100,000 fine. When a minimum of 25 kg. of methaqualone is involved, the mandatory minimum sentence is 15 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. However, a methaqualone trafficking attorney in Bradenton can fight hard on your behalf to try to avert these penalties.
If you are charged with bringing 50 kg. or more of methaqualone into Florida, and the prosecutor can show beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew that the probable consequence of doing this would be another person's death, the result can be a capital felony conviction. In other words, you face the possibility of life in prison without eligibility for parole or a death sentence. You can also face enhanced penalties for possessing a firearm during capital importation of methaqualone under Florida Statute section 775.087. If you were involved in capital importation of methaqualone, and during the commission of this crime, you actually possessed a firearm or destructive device, you will face a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
Mandatory minimum sentences are sentences over which judges do not have discretion. While methaqualone trafficking has a mandatory minimum sentence, other drug crimes not involving a threshold amount of drugs may allow a judge the discretion to impose a lighter sentence based on mitigating factors, such as being a first offender. This type of judicial discretion is not available when sentencing methaqualone trafficking charges, which may involve a relatively small quantity of methaqualone.
There are defenses that may be available. In some cases, your Bradenton methaqualone trafficking attorney can raise a reasonable doubt about one or more elements of methaqualone trafficking. For example, we may be able to show that your activity with the methaqualone was not knowing. Or, depending on the factual circumstances, we may be able to find constitutional or procedural violations that form a basis for moving to suppress the methaqualone or other related evidence that was seized.
Often, Fourth Amendment violations are a basis for getting evidence suppressed in a drug crime case. For example, if police officers pulled you over without a reasonable suspicion that you were committing a crime, and merely on a hunch, it may be possible to get suppressed any evidence that they found during that encounter. If constructive possession of methaqualone is the basis of the charge, and the drugs were found in a shared living space, we may be able to show that you did not have dominion or control over the area where the drugs were seized.Contact a Methaqualone Trafficking Lawyer in Bradenton
Methaqualone trafficking charges should be taken seriously. If a conviction is secured, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence that includes prison time. If you have been charged with methaqualone trafficking or trafficking in meth or another controlled substance, you should hire a skillful criminal defense attorney. Our law firm's founder, Will Hanlon, has represented people charged with drug crimes since 1994. Contact Hanlon Law at (941) 462-1789 or via our online form.