Eric J. Dirga, P.A.

A Florida Trial Attorney

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Florida Drug Trafficking Penalties

How Florida Drug Trafficking Penalties Work

The Typical Scheme Used In The Florida Statutes For Drug Trafficking

Last Updated: May 27, 2016

The pattern of how the law prohibiting drug trafficking works under Florida's drug trafficking statute. For additional information see the Florida Drug Trafficking Statute.

Activity Involved Does Not Matter

Under Florida's trafficking laws it does not matter if you were not dealing the drug. The statute specifically prohibits any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of a specified weight of the prohibited drug. This means all activity including simply possessing the drug can be considered trafficking if the weight of the drug meets or exceeds a specified amount.

Weight Of The Drug Determines The Penalty

Specific drugs have specific weights that trigger the trafficking statute. An example of this is cocaine. Once the weight of cocaine is 28 grams (about one ounce) or more it becomes a trafficking offense. Different drugs have different weights limits. An example of this is LSD which becomes a trafficking offense at 1-gram.

Anything the drug is combined with is included in the weight.

When considering weight the law includes any mixture that the drug is found in. This means that cannabis is weighed with stems, cocaine with any cut mixture, LSD with the paper it is on, etc.

Minimum Mandatory Prison Terms

If you are found guilty of trafficking in an illegal drug the court is required to sentence you to a minimum mandatory amount of time in prison. The lowest minimum mandatory sentence is 3-years. The sentence is detemined by the specific drug and the weighted amount that the jury (or your plea) finds you possessed. Minimum mandatroy sentences include a 7-year and 15-year term of imprisonment.

Punishable By Life In Prison

A first degree felony is punishable by 30 years in prison. Some offenses will be designated PBL (punishable by life in prison). Under Florida law Life means life. Under the Florida trafficking statute many drugs have a PBL enhancement due to a specific weight.

Enhanced Penalties When Death Occurs

Florida law also provides for a capital offense if anyone who knows that the probable result of such importation (of a specific drug) would be the death of a person. Such drugs as heroin are well know to cause the death of users by overdose. This enhancement can be found listed for many drugs in the Florida Drug Trafficking Statute.

What To Do If You Are Charged With Trafficking

Trafficking a controlled substance (drugs) is a very serious offense. If you are being charged with trafficking you need to contact a criminal attorney who focuses much of his or her criminal practice on drug offenses. There are defenses and options that are available to the defendant that only a lawyer can explain to you. Seek a consultation immediately.

Because drug trafficking usually has a very high bond many criminal attorneys will consult with a potential client in the jail.



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