Morphine belongs to the class of opioid analgesics. It operates by altering how a person's body responds to pain. It can bring on a state of euphoria and often has the side effect of nausea. Morphine trafficking occurs worldwide. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in 2015, Iran was the country that reported the largest quantity of morphine seized. However, the quantities of morphine seized continued to increase in North America in 2015. In Florida, you need not be an international drug lord to be convicted of morphine trafficking. If you are charged with this crime, it is crucial to consult an experienced Bradenton morphine trafficking lawyer. Hanlon Law fights for people accused of this crime or trafficking in other controlled substances, such as LSD, cocaine, and cannabis.Morphine Trafficking Charges Carry Harsh Penalties
Morphine trafficking charges are brought when suspects are caught with a certain threshold amount of morphine. There are numerous activities that are criminalized when they involve the threshold amount of morphine: actual or constructive possession, purchase, sale, manufacturing, delivery, and importation. The threshold amount of morphine is 4 grams. However, there are increased penalties for greater amounts of morphine than 4 grams.
You can face morphine trafficking charges regardless of whether you have a criminal record, and it is important to get a morphine trafficking attorney in Bradenton involved even if you are simply being investigated. This is because morphine trafficking convictions carry mandatory minimum penalties. These are penalties over which judges have no discretion. Most drug crimes are sentenced with some amount of judicial discretion, and judges can take into account mitigating circumstances, such as your not having a criminal record. But this discretion is removed when judges are required to impose mandatory minimum sentences.
Morphine trafficking can be charged even if the pure amount of morphine is less than 4 grams. In other words, the issue is whether you have 4 grams of a morphine-containing mixture, instead of whether you have 4 grams of pure morphine. If the police catch you with 4-14 grams of morphine, the potential mandatory minimum sentence is 3 years incarcerated and a $50,000 fine. If the police catch you with 14-28 grams of morphine, the potential mandatory minimum sentence is 15 years incarcerated and a $100,000 fine. If the police catch you with 28 grams-30 kg. of morphine, the mandatory minimum sentence is 25 years of incarceration and a $500,000 fine.
If the police catch you with a minimum of 30 kg. of morphine or a derivative of morphine, you will face first-degree felony charges and the possibility of life imprisonment without eligibility for discretionary release. If the police catch you trafficking in morphine, and the morphine resulted in your causing someone else to be killed or killing someone else, you also face the possibility of life imprisonment.
There are procedural and substantive defenses that may be appropriate for a Bradenton morphine trafficking attorney to raise if you face these charges. One substantive defense is entrapment. There are two separate entrapment defenses in Florida: subjective entrapment and objective entrapment. Objective entrapment examines a police officer's actions and whether those actions count as a due process violation under the Florida Constitution. The issue is whether the actions of law enforcement agents were so outrageous that due process principles should stop the government from using judicial processes to get a conviction. Whether or not a defendant was predisposed to traffic in morphine would not matter in the analysis.
A subjective entrapment defense would look at whether you were predisposed to traffic in morphine. The inquiry would be whether you were an unwary innocent with no predisposition to traffic in morphine, but you were lured into trafficking. If the court perceives you as an unwary criminal who simply availed yourself of an opportunity to traffic in morphine, this defense will not be successful.Discuss Your Case with a Morphine Trafficking Lawyer in Bradenton
Morphine trafficking carries extremely harsh penalties in Florida. If you are being investigated for or charged with morphine trafficking, you should hire a skillful criminal defense attorney. Our law firm's founder, Will Hanlon, has provided strong legal representation to defendants charged with drug crimes ranging from meth crimes to cocaine trafficking since 1994. You can contact Hanlon Law at (941) 462-1789 or via our online form.