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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Drug Crimes / Drug Trafficking Charges In Florida

Drug Trafficking Charges In Florida


When people think of drug trafficking, they tend to think of drug cartels and briefcases full of money. In reality, the average person is capable of trafficking in drugs under Florida law – and in some cases, they may not even realize they are doing so. If a person is caught with a large quantity of an illegal substance, they will likely be charged with trafficking, even if they lacked any intent to do so.

Classification & Weight Matter

Florida law on drug possession, sales, and trafficking is among the strictest in the United States, at least partly because of the state’s past as a cartel hotbed in the 1970s and 80s. The state is one of the few to still impose mandatory minimums for this type of offense, and the penalties if convicted are more severe than in most other areas. Trafficking offenses in particular are seen as crimes against society, and crimes against society are prosecuted severely.

The two major factors in drug offenses in Florida are the weight and the classification of the substance involved. In state law, every drug has a specific ‘threshold’ over which possession ceases to be possession, and turns into a trafficking or distribution charge. For example, if a person has less than 4 grams of fentanyl in their possession, they might be charged simply with possession of fentanyl – but if they have 4.1 grams of the substance, this is enough to warrant a trafficking charge. By comparison, it would take more than 28 grams of cocaine to be tried as drug trafficking.

Creating Reasonable Doubt

In order to convict a person of drug trafficking, Florida state’s attorneys must establish three criteria. They are (1) “actual or constructive possession” of the drugs – in other words, having control over them; (2) that the substance was controlled or illegal to possess; and (3) that the person possessed an amount higher than the threshold number. Notice that intent to traffick is not one of the criteria that the prosecution must establish in order to get a conviction.

If you and your attorney can cast reasonable doubt on any of these points, the state’s attorney cannot convict. You may also be able to cast doubt on the evidence intended for use by the prosecution; for example, if you suspect that it was collected improperly, it may be possible to suppress the offending items. With the right attorney on your side, you can at least know your rights will be protected.

Call A West Palm Beach Drug Trafficking Attorney

Given Florida’s harsh treatment of drug trafficking, it is important to have a West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney on your side if you have been charged with this offense. The firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. has handled this type of case before, and will work hard to give you your day in court. Contact our office today at (561) 721-0552 to speak to an attorney.



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