Definition of Trafficking in 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:
- When the defendant is in possession of between 14 and 28 grams of methamphetamine, he or she can face between three and 30 years of mail time, a fine of up to $50,000, and a minimum prison sentence of three years.
- Possession of 28 to 200 grams of methamphetamine will result in a jail term of seven to 30 years in prison with a potential fine of up to $100,000. The minimum prison sentence for this crime is seven years.
- When the defendant possesses 200+ grams of methamphetamines, he or she will face a prison sentence of up to 30, with a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 15 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Drivers License Suspension and Profession License Suspension
A conviction to the criminal charge of Trafficking in Methamphetamine 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 Drivers license for 6 months. (Florida Statute 322.055) Additionally, a conviction for trafficking in meth 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 Against Methamphetamine Trafficking Charges
The best defenses against methamphetamine trafficking charges depend on the facts of the individual case. Unfortunately, law enforcement officers can become over-ambitious and overstep their boundaries. Sometimes law enforcement officers conduct illegal searches and seizures. Experienced criminal defense lawyers know how to challenge the evidence of methamphetamine charges for the purpose of convincing the court to drop the charges.
Some of the potential defenses include:
- Mere proximity to the methamphetamine does not establish possession
- Temporary possession
- Knowledge is required. In actual possession the knowledge is presumed, however in constructive cases the knowledge of the methamphetamine is not presumed.
- 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.
- Prescription Defense
The Importance of Speaking to a Meth Possession Lawyer
Public defenders work hard, but they are often overwhelmed with too many cases. At Moses & Rooth, our lawyers give all of our clients the one-on-one attention they need. We take every methamphetamine trafficking case extremely seriously. With our decades of criminal defense experience, we know how to identify the best possible legal strategies for our clients.
Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers
At Moses & Rooth, we offer our potential clients a free case evaluation. We fight hard for our clients who are facing drug crimes so they can preserve their future opportunities. We put our experience to work for our clients. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free case evaluation.
Trafficking in Methamphetamine Resources:
Florida Statute 893.135(1)(f)(1) – Methamphetamine Trafficking Statute
Florida Statute 893.12(6)(a) – Possession of Controlled Substance Statute
Florida Statute 893.03(2)(c)(5) – Methamphetamine listed as a Schedule II drug
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
Methamphetamine Street Terms:
Meth, Speed, Ice, Bikers Coffee, Tweak, Chalk, Crystal, Crank, Yaba