Drug Trafficking Definition

Florida’s drug trafficking laws are serious. Many people think that drug trafficking only involves drug cartels and moving a massive amount of drugs across borders. However, defendants do not have to sell drugs to face drug trafficking charges under Florida law. Florida Statute 893.135 makes drug trafficking illegal. According to the statute, any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of controlled substances is guilty of drug trafficking. 

Minimum Amount of Drugs Needed for Drug Trafficking

Under Florida law, drug trafficking charges depend on the amount of controlled substances involved. The minimum amount of controlled substances needed for a Florida drug trafficking charge includes the following:

  • Oxycodone: 7 grams
  • Cocaine: 28 grams
  • Cannabis or marijuana: 25 pounds or 300 plants
  • Hydrocodone: 14 grams
  • MDMA (Ecstasy): 10 grams
  • LSD (acid): 1 gram
  • Methamphetamine: 14 grams
  • Heroin: 4 grams

The amounts listed above are only the minimum amounts of drugs that are needed for a prosecutor to bring Florida drug trafficking charges. When defendants are found in possession of these minimum amounts of controlled substances, courts must impose the minimum mandatory penalties which include mandatory prison and high fines. However, as the amount of the drug increases, the minimum mandatory penalty will increase. Every schedule of controlled substances comes with its own categories of penalties based on the amount of drugs. 

Driver’s License Suspension and Profession License Suspension

A conviction to the criminal charge of Trafficking in a controlled substance will also result in some collateral consequences that need to be fully understood.  In Florida, if you are convicted of a Trafficking charges, you are subject to a revocation of your Driver’s license for 6 months.  (Florida Statute 322.055) Additionally, a conviction for trafficking in controlled substances is grounds for disciplinary action by the licensing state agency. A state agency shall initiate an immediate emergency suspension of an individual professional license upon conviction for trafficking in a controlled substance.

Defenses to Orlando Drug Trafficking Charges

If the defendant is a young offender, under the age of 21, he or she might qualify for youthful offender sentencing. A person can only take advantage of the youthful offender sentencing once in his or her life. Defendants who qualify can ask the judge to disregard the minimum mandatory sentence for drug trafficking. The judge will have complete discretion when it comes to youthful offender sentencing.

As with other drug charges, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant was in actual or constructive possession of the drug in question. Law enforcement must abide by the constitution when they are collecting evidence in drug offense charges. Law enforcement cannot engage in unlawful search and seizures of evidence. They need to have reasonable suspicion before pulling over a driver, and they must have probable cause to search a suspect’s house for drugs. When law enforcement does not abide by these laws, the court could throw the evidence out.

Some of the potential defenses include:

  1. Mere proximity to the controlled substance does not establish possession
  2. Temporary possession
  3. Knowledge is required.  In actual possession the knowledge is presumed, however in constructive cases the knowledge of the controlled substance is not presumed.
  4. Entrapment
  5. Fourth amendment violation due to unlawful search and seizure – this could be an unlawful search of your vehicle or an unlawful search of your pockets. 
  6. Prescription Defense

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Drug Trafficking Charges

Many individuals are surprised to learn that they are facing drug trafficking charges when they are not “drug dealers.” Every year, stay-at-home mothers, tourists, students, and other responsible people face drug trafficking charges. It is essential to hire a lawyer as soon as possible so that you have as much time as possible to prepare your legal defense. 

Contact Our Lawyers as Soon as Possible

At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, we fight hard for our clients who are facing Drug trafficking criminal drug charges. We offer aggressive representation for our clients, and we negotiate effectively on behalf of our clients. We will find all of the discrepancies and holes in the prosecution and develop a strategic legal defense. Contact our law firm as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation. 

Trafficking Resources:

Florida Statute 893.03 – Drug Schedules
Florida Statute 893.12(6)(a) – Possession of Controlled Substance Statute
Florida Statute 322.055 – Driver’s license suspension for drug conviction
Florida Statute 893.21 – Overdose possession
Florida Statute 777.201 – Entrapment Statute
Florida Statute 893.11 – Profession License Suspension Statute