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Federal Sentencing Statistics Show Florida Tough On Drug Crime

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Drug offenses are prosecuted at both the state and federal level, with the proper place for an individual case usually decided by the amount in question. Florida’s drug laws are seen as draconian, and it is somewhat common for individuals charged with drug offenses to think that a federal sentence will be less harsh. In reality, federal sentencing for drug crimes is just as harsh or more so than in Florida. A recent report on federal sentencing statistics show some illuminating trends.

More Cases, More Sentences

Federal cases from Florida made up approximately 5 percent of all filings in 2022, but of those filings, approximately 34 percent were drug-related. This is above the national average of 31.5 percent, and indicates just how doggedly the state prosecutes drug defendants. That said, the most common drug featured in federal cases was cocaine – not fentanyl, which is currently at the top of law enforcement’s list, or methamphetamine, which is more commonly seen in many other states.

Another remarkable trend in the data is that in general, Florida is harsher on federal criminals, contrary to the popular misconception. While the overwhelming majority of people tried with federal drug crimes accepted plea deals instead of going to trial (approximately 96 percent), those plea deals carried longer sentences, with Florida’s average being 93 months compared to the national average of 78.

Why Federal Court?

There are several factors that place a drug case within the jurisdiction of a federal court, most commonly if state lines have been crossed in commission of the act (for example, mailing drugs across state lines will often result in federal drug trafficking charges). Another common reason to remove a case to federal court is the sheer amount of the substance involved – many drug trafficking cases wind up there, for example.

If you have been charged with a Florida drug offense in federal court, be aware that you face potentially serious consequences – not only time behind bars, but also fines, court costs, and the possible loss of opportunities in the future. The most important thing to do if this is your situation is to enlist a knowledgeable attorney – you have the right to mount a defense, and an experienced attorney can only help you improve your odds.

Contact A West Palm Beach Drug Offenses Attorney

The statistics do not lie – being charged with a drug offense in Florida will result in serious penalties, regardless of the legal system in which your case is brought. If you have concerns about your case, calling a West Palm Beach drug çrimes attorney from Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help ease your mind about arguing your innocence. Contact our office today to speak to an attorney.

Source:

ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-and-publications/federal-sentencing-statistics/state-district-circuit/2022/fl22.pdf

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