Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Drug Crimes / Federal Drug Crimes In Florida

Federal Drug Crimes In Florida


The majority of drug arrests in Florida tend to be for the crime of simple possession, where individuals are caught with small amounts of one drug. By comparison, most federal drug charges that come out of Florida’s districts have to do with trafficking, where large quantities of many different drugs are moved and sold. There are several differences between facing federal and state drug charges – and while neither should ever be taken lightly, federal drug crimes generally have higher stakes and require an experienced legal professional to help you through the process.

More Serious Than State Charges

Federal drug charges are essentially any drug charge that is pursued by federal agents, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). More specifically, federal drug charges are defined as the intentional sale, manufacture, distribution, or dispensing, or possession with intent to engage in any of those acts. Federal charges tend to cover activities that are far wider in scope than state charges – usually manufacturing, trafficking and other large-scale activities that can often require a very long time to gather evidence to prosecute.

If there is evidence to charge you, there is still some room for discretion as to just how severe the charges may be. While almost all federal drug charges are felonies, degree can sometimes be a decision for a prosecutor. The major questions that can be at issue for a prosecutor are (1) the type and amount of the controlled substance in question; (2) the circumstances of being caught (for example, if the drugs were trafficked over a state line); and (3) whether or not a defendant has any prior criminal history.

Very Severe Consequences

Because federal drug trafficking cases often require months or even years of work to build a case, the consequences for a conviction can be quite severe. Depending on the specific crime you are convicted of, fines can vary, as can prison time. However, they are generally quite serious, even for first-time offenders – sentences can be over ten years, depending on the amount of the substance involved. For some convictions, fines can rise as high as $50 million, and prison terms can be for life.

While the majority of federal drug cases are fairly open and shut because of the level of work that has gone into mounting the initial case, this does not mean that it is impossible to receive an acquittal. There are defenses that can be asserted – for example, alleging that the prosecution performed illegal searches or otherwise violated your constitutional rights, or that you lacked the knowledge or intent to engage in trafficking. Every case is different, and having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference.

Contact A West Palm Beach Federal Drug Charges Attorney

Being charged with a state crime is a very serious matter, and being charged with a federal crime can be even worse. If you are facing federal charges, you need an experienced legal professional to help you through the legal process. Contact the West Palm Beach drug crimes attorneys at the firm of Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. today to speak to an attorney who will work hard for you.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn