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Drug Trafficking In Florida

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Drug trafficking is a serious problem in Florida, with the state’s countless miles of coastline and high population. Simple possession of drugs is a crime that is strictly prosecuted, but if you are arrested on drug trafficking charges, it is safe to say that you are facing severe penalties. You are, however, entitled to your day in court, and you deserve a dedicated attorney to defend your rights.

No Actual Trafficking Required

Drug charges in Florida focus primarily on the amount that one is caught with. Smaller amounts will yield a charge of possession, but if you are caught with over a certain amount of a drug, prosecutors will almost certainly charge you with trafficking, regardless of your intent regarding the drugs. The prosecution does not have to show that you engaged in any kind of trafficking in reality, which can be an unpleasant shock to those who may not have faced these charges before.

The specific amounts that may trigger trafficking charges (as opposed to simple possession) will differ depending on the drug in question – for example, a minimum of 28 grams of cocaine will result in first-degree felony charges of trafficking in cocaine, while only 4 grams of opium is necessary for opium trafficking charges. The mandatory minimum terms for trafficking charges will vary as well, with anywhere between 3 and 25 years in prison set down in the law.

Potential Defenses

If you have been charged with drug trafficking, it may be possible to assert what is called an affirmative defense, assuming it fits your situation. One of the most commonly used is lack of knowledge – the prosecution must be able to prove knowing possession of the drugs, or they will not fulfill all the criteria for a trafficking charge. You may even be able to assert entrapment, though making it stick is quite difficult.

Defense is critical, if there are extenuating circumstances in your case. Without any hyperbole, it is fair to say that a conviction on trafficking charges can ruin a person’s life, particularly if you are a person of color. Statistics from the Drug Policy Institute estimate that almost 80 percent of those locked up on federal drug charges, and approximately 60 percent of those locked up on state drug charges, are people of color, and research shows that prosecutors are twice as likely to seek a mandatory minimum sentence for black people than for white people charged with the same offense.

Call An Experienced West Palm Beach Drug Offenses Attorney Today 

Florida law enforcement is highly vigilant about drug offenses, but if the evidence is not there, you have a right to stand up for yourself. The West Palm Beach drug crimes attorneys at Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. are well versed in this area of law and will work hard to help you with your case. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Resource:

drugpolicy.org/resource/drug-war-mass-incarceration-and-race-englishspanish

https://www.palmbeachdefense.com/clarifying-florida-marijuana-offenses/

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