When most people hear the words “drug trafficking” they assume that a “big time” drug dealer has been busted. They assume there has been a big “sting” operation to bring down these drug dealers and tons of money and drugs have been exchanged through an extensive black market with other big-time drug dealers.
But this is not the case, especially in Florida. As scary as it sounds to be charged with drug trafficking, it is not what most people think it is, although it does carry hefty punishments.
Myth vs. Reality
When you hear of drug trafficking, you may envision a scene from the movie Miami Vice or Scarface, with drug lords and suitcases and trunks full of drugs and cash. But this is just a myth, the reality of drug trafficking in Florida is much different.
In Florida, drug trafficking simply means that the defendant is in possession of a certain weight of drugs. The weight limits for each drug are specific for each drug. You can also be charged for drug trafficking even if it was never proven that you sold the drugs, the charge is purely about possession.
Suddenly drug trafficking in Florida does not sound like a Hollywood movie portrayed by big Hollywood actors…
Florida Drug Trafficking Laws
Florida Statute 893.135 states the laws for drug trafficking as well as the weight limits/threshold for each drug.
To be convicted of drug trafficking, the state must prove three things:
- Actual possession or constructive possession (you had knowledge and control) of the substance
- The substance was controlled under Florida law
- The substance weighed over the threshold amount
The most trafficked drugs in Florida are:
Florida Drug Trafficking Punishments
While other states in America have started to implement a more reasonable system for punishment for those convicted of nonviolent drug crimes, Florida is not one of those states.
Drug trafficking in Florida is a serious felony. Every drug trafficking offense is a first-degree felony that is punishable with up to 30 years in prison. The minimum mandatory prison sentences and fines go up with the weight of the drug trafficked and some charges can even be considered capital felonies, with life in prison.
These charges and punishments are harsh, and it is up to the state to prove you are guilty before you can be convicted. An experienced Florida drug defense lawyer such as Stechschulte Nell Law understands the law, charges, and punishments, but also understands possible defenses, which may apply to certain situations.
Fake or Counterfeit Drugs
Fake or counterfeit drugs are those that copy a legitimate drug, such as by putting a fake trademark, label, number, or other identifying mark on the drugs or drug container.
Be aware, you can still be charged with drug trafficking for fake or counterfeit drugs.
Never Fight a Drug Trafficking Charge without an Attorney
At Stechschulte Nell Law we know drug trafficking and drug trafficking defenses. We can look at every drug trafficking charge to see if there is an applicable defense for your charge. The most common defenses are making sure law enforcement has proper justification for the stop, arrest, or warrant; they properly weighed the drugs; and they properly tested the drugs (it may not be an illegal substance upon testing).
If you have been charged with drug trafficking, it is imperative that you call Stechschulte Nell Law at (813) 280-1244 for a consultation. Let us speak on your behalf and represent you fairly and properly.