Drug Trafficking Definition in Florida

Orlando drug trafficking lawyers

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. 

If you are facing charges for drug trafficking, you need a lawyer that will fight for your rights. The Orlando drug trafficking lawyers at Moses & Rooth have over 3 decades of experience defending the rights of individuals in Central Florida. Contact us today.

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. 

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A wealth of legal expertise coupled with a make it happen professional attitude is exactly what you get when you hire Attorney Paul E. Ghezzi, Esq., of Moses & Rooth, to represent you. From my initial consultation Paul exuded an air of overwhelming confidence in his ability to get the Court to grant my motion for early termination of probation. Mom always said to me that God gave us all 2 ears to listen twice as much as we talk. Paul did just that, he listened intently to my intricate predicament which is a major attribute in the legal world. Having said that, when he spoke, I hung on every word and the motion was granted. Thank you Paul. Ladies and gentlemen, to regain your peace of mind in tough legal times, get yourself a magnificently savvy go-getter type of attorney.......Call Moses & Rooth and ask for Attorney Paul Ghezzi. With Paul, failure is NOT an option!
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Trafficking Cocaine

Florida statute 893.135(1)(b) defines the crime of cocaine trafficking as anyone who:

  1. Knowingly possessed, sells, purchased, manufactured, delivered, or brought into Florida
  2. The Substance was cocaine 
  3. The Cocaine or mixture containing cocaine weight is 28 grams or more. 

To prove the element of knowingly possessed, the government must prove that the defendant knew of the existence of the substance and intentionally had control of the substance.   The crime of cocaine trafficking can be found in Florida statute 893.135 which covers cocaine trafficking, mandatory sentences, suspension or reduction of sentences, and conspiracy to engage in trafficking.  The Florida Statutes also classifies cocaine as a Schedule II drug.

The Penalties For Cocaine Trafficking In Florida

The penalties for cocaine trafficking in Florida depend on the amount of cocaine the defendant is accused of possessing. Potential penalties for cocaine drug trafficking include mandatory prison time and significant fines. Florida has created minimum mandatory sentencing for cocaine trafficking convictions, to include the following:

Cocaine AmountPotential Prison TimeFines
28 – 200 grams3 Years Minimum$50,000
200 – 400 grams7 Years Minimum$100,000
400 grams – 150 kilos15 Years Minimum$250,000
150+ kilosLife

Trafficking Oxycodone (Oxycontin)

Per Florida Statute 893.135(1)(c)(3) anyone who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 7 or more grams of Oxycodone, will face Oxycodone (Oxycontin) trafficking charges. Oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance under federal and state laws.

It is also illegal to knowingly possess mixtures including Oxycodone, or in conjunction with other chemicals and equipment utilized in the manufacture of Oxycodone.


Common sense suggests that prescription drug trafficking criminal charges would involve large amounts of pills, drug transportation and the actual sale of drugs. Individuals accused of trafficking Oxycodone and other prescription drugs, often simply have a relatively small quantity of pills and will still be criminally charges with trafficking in Oxycodone.  Why?

Florida law determines that you are trafficking prescription drugs by the weight of the pills. This can lead to surprising and frightening trafficking charges since just a handful of pills — sometimes as little as nine pills — can lead to trafficking charges. Trafficking charges can be charged even if:

  • All pills in possession were meant for consumption by the pills’ owner
  • The weight of the pills is primarily comprised of inert/inactive ingredients

What Is Oxycodone (Oxycontin)?

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid drug that is typically prescribed for severe pain.  The common prescriptions for Oxycodone are Tylox®, Percodan® and OxyContin®.  Oxycodone is usually taken in the pill form but can also be ingested by inhaling the vapors by heating the tablet or snorting the crushed pill.   

The Penalties For Oxycodone Trafficking In Florida

The penalties for Oxycodone trafficking in Florida depend on the amount of Oxycodone involved. It is important for law enforcement officers to accurately measure the amount of Oxycodone (Oxycontin) in question. While the arresting officer will measure the weight at the scene, an official measurement from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Forensic laboratory will also be completed for evidentiary purposes at a hearing or trial.  The minimum mandatory penalties for Trafficking in Oxycodone (Oxycontin) are as follows: 

Oxycodone AmountPotential Prison TimeFines
7 – 14 grams3 Years Minimum$50,000
14 – 25 grams7 Years Minimum$100,000
25 – 100 grams15 Years Minimum$500,000
100+ grams25 Years Minimum$750,000

Trafficking Methamphetamine

Per Florida Statute 893.135(1)(f)(1), anyone who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 14 or more grams of amphetamine, or methamphetamine, or of any mixture containing amphetamine or methamphetamine, will face methamphetamine trafficking charges. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II controlled substance under federal and state laws.

It is also illegal to knowingly traffic mixtures including amphetamine or methamphetamine, or phenylacetone, phenylacetic acid, pseudoephedrine, or ephedrine in conjunction with other chemicals and equipment utilized in the manufacture of amphetamine or methamphetamine.


Florida is home to hundreds of labs where methamphetamine is unlawfully cooked and distributed to the users. Florida prosecutors and law enforcement have clamped down on prosecuting drug crimes cases in Florida. Unfortunately, their zeal to prosecute can result in innocent people being charged. Understanding the potential consequences of a Meth trafficking criminal charge and the potential legal defenses to the charges will be crucial to obtaining a favorable resolution. 

What Is Methamphetamine?

Meth is considered a Stimulant that speeds up the body’s system and increases the heart rate.  Meth is often in either a pill or powder form, however the crystal meth which is cooked in the illegal labs look like glass fragments that are then either smoked, snorted or injected.  

The Penalties For Methamphetamine Trafficking In Florida

The penalties for meth trafficking in Florida depend on the amount of methamphetamine involved. It is important for law enforcement officers to accurately measure the amount of methamphetamine in question. While the arresting officer will measure the weight at the scene, an official measurement from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Forensic laboratory will also be completed for evidentiary purposes at a hearing or trial.  The minimum mandatory penalties for Trafficking in Methamphetamine are as follows:

Methamphetamine AmountPosible Prison TimeFines
14 – 28 grams3 Years Minimum$50,000
28 – 200 grams7 Years Minimum$100,000
200+ grams15 Years Minimum$250,000

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 drug 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. Law enforcement entrapped you into committing the crime – 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
  7. There is not enough evidence to prove the charges

Why You Need an Orlando Drug Trafficking Attorney

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 the Orlando Drug Trafficking Lawyers at Moses & Rooth

At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, we fight hard for our clients who are facing drug trafficking 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 Orlando drug trafficking defense lawyers 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