Conspiracy to traffic in drugs is a serious crime in Florida. The conspiracy to traffic in controlled substances can be for illegal narcotics such as cocaine or heroin, and it could be for regulated medications such as oxycodone. Florida Statute 777.04(3) defines the crime of conspiracy:
A person who agrees, conspires, combines, or confederates with another person or persons to commit any offense commits the offense of criminal conspiracy.
Conspiracy to traffic drugs means that the defendant agreed to the drug trafficking and had actual intent to traffic drugs. Prosecutors must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt to convict a defendant of conspiracy to traffic drugs:
- The defendant intended to commit the crime of drug trafficking, and
- The defendant agreed, combined, or confederated with another person to cause the drug trafficking to be committed by either of them, or by one of them, or by some other person.
In Florida, drug trafficking does not require proving that the defendant was selling a controlled substance. To prove drug trafficking the government must prove the following:
- The defendant knowing possessed, sold, purchased, manufactured, or delivered a substance.
- The substance was a controlled substance such as cocaine, heroin, LSD, or cannabis.
- The substance weighed over a certain amount.
What if the Defendant Never Actually Possessed the Trafficked Drugs?
The crime of conspiracy to traffic in drugs is separate and distinct from the actual trafficking in drugs. This means that a conspirator never actually needs to possess the controlled substance but only needs to agree to traffic in the substance. An example would be someone who assists in arranging for the drugs to come into the state or be transported. Another example would be a person who gave money to someone so they could purchase the drugs.
Penalties for Conspiracy to Traffic In a Controlled Substance
Under Florida law, conspiracy to traffic drugs would trigger the same mandatory minimum sentence as if he or she had actually trafficked in the controlled substance. For example, a defendant convicted of trafficking in a methamphetamine would serve the same three year minimum mandatory sentence as someone who conspired to traffic in methamphetamines. The weight of a substance determines if a drug crime rises to the level of drug trafficking.
Cannabis: 25 lbs or 300 plants
Cocaine: 28 grams
Heroin: 4 grams
Hydrocodone: 14 grams
LSD: 1 gram
MDMA or Ecstasy or Molly: 10 grams
Methamphetamine: 14 grams
Oxycodone: 7 grams
In addition to incarceration and fines starting at $50,000, a person convicted of conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance will also be subject to a driver’s license suspension. (Florida Statute 322.055). Additionally, a person convicted of conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance who has a professional license will be subject to disciplinary action.
Defenses to Conspiracy to Traffic Drug Charges
At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, we can help you develop the best legal defense to your drug charge(s). In many cases, the prosecutor cannot prove that the defendant agreed to traffic drugs. Prosecutors need to prove that the defendant agreed to the crime. The fact that a defendant was at the scene of the crime is not enough to prove a conspiracy.
Even if the defendant aided in the commission of the crime, he or she may not be guilty of conspiracy to drug traffic. For example, if a defendant agreed to transport a load of cargo and did not know that the cargo was full of drugs, the prosecutor will not be able to prove all of the elements of conspiracy to commit drug trafficking.
Other potential defenses include:
- Fourth amendment violations due to unlawful search and seizure or unlawful wire taps conducted by the government.
- Violation of Fifth Amendment rights were they to interrogate you without properly advising you of your rights including the right to remain silent. Also know as your Miranda Warnings.
- Prescription Defense
How an Attorney Can Help You
Conspiracy charges are incredibly technical. If you have been charged with conspiracy to traffic drugs, you need a lawyer who has a deep understanding of Florida drug laws. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, we can help you fight for your constitutional rights. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.