Tampa Drug Trafficking Lawyer
If you are facing drug trafficking charges, you could be facing very serious realities like jail time and fines. We understand these types of cases and know that if you are charged, you are scared. At McLean & Mitchell drug trafficking defense lawyers are here to protect you from consequences that could wreck your life.
What Is Considered Drug Trafficking in Florida?
An individual can be charged with Drug trafficking if they have imported, sold, or delivered a controlled substance such as cocaine, opiates, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana, as well as any other drug listed under the controlled substance act. Police will assume that you had the intention to deliver or sell the drugs due to the volume of drugs found in your possession and will arrest you on trafficking charges, even if they were just for personal use.
A lot of people when they hear drug trafficking think “Miami Vice,” but in Florida, drug trafficking charges are based solely on quantity. For example, if you are caught with more than 28 grams of cocaine and had no intention to sell or deliver, you will still be facing a minimum mandatory prison sentence for drug trafficking rather than the less severe punishment for drug possession. Changes in these laws have been suggested time and time again, but legislation has not made much progress towards improving these laws.
Florida Drug Trafficking Penalties
As mentioned earlier, trafficking charged is based on the weight and type of drugs that are seized by law enforcement. Trafficking of any type carries a minimum mandatory prison sentence which can range from 3-25 years. Fines are also quite steep ranging from $50,000 – $500,000. The judge is required by the State to follow these sentencing guidelines. Reduction in sentencing can only be done if the defendant is under 21 years of age or if the defendant provides substantial assistance.
Defenses for Drug Trafficking Charges
When handling a drug trafficking case, one of the first things we review is the police report where we look at how the police approached you and how the drugs were seized and evidence collected. Often we find that law enforcement used an invalid warrant, used an illegal recording device, or lacked the evidence required to connect you with drugs. In these instances it’s not unlikely for the State to drop the charges or dismiss your case.
Undercover Officers and Entrapment
In drug trafficking cases, the police will use informants or undercover officers to conduct stings. All of our attorneys are former prosecutors that have seen the other side of drug stings which helps us to identify any errors that were made and exploit weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
Every sting operation can be different from others, but they all usually involve the alleged suspect selling drugs to undercover law enforcement. How the drug deal was setup is important and we look for any signs that you may have been entrapped or had your rights violated. Either of these will significantly increase your chances of dismissal.
Reliability of Confidential Informants
When someone is offered a deal that reduces or throws out the possibility of jail time in exchange for information, emotions can be strong and information may not be accurate. We check to see if any actions were taken based on false information from an informant. This is key to building a strong case in your defense during negotiations or at trial.
Informants are normally people who have been offered a deal to cooperate in a police investigation. However, they will sometimes commit entrapment in order to get you arrested. We have kept strong relationships with the prosecutors in Central Florida and can help you work out a deal to your advantage.
Do You Need Help with Your Drug Trafficking Case?
If you have been charged with drug trafficking in Florida, you need a lawyer’s advice as soon as possible. A felony drug trafficking conviction is very serious and you could be looking at significant prison time under Florida’s minimum mandatory sentencing guidelines. One of our drug trafficking lawyers can meet with you during your free case review to go over all of your case information and begin structuring your case with our strategic planning tool.