There are a number of different drug crimes that are aggressively prosecuted by authorities in the state of Florida. But perhaps the most serious drug charge is drug trafficking, which is the crime of selling, transporting, and/or importing illegal drugs.
Every drug crime conviction can lead to serious consequences, but this is especially true of a drug trafficking conviction. If you have been charged with this crime, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation from a Tampa criminal defense attorney. But for now, it’s important to learn what penalties you could face if you are convicted of drug trafficking in Florida.
What You Should Know About Drug Trafficking Charges in Florida
The drug crime laws in Florida are extremely complex. If you are accused of drug trafficking, the charges and penalties you will face will depend on the type and amount of drug involved in the crime.
The penalties may vary, but every drug trafficking offense carries serious consequences. In fact, there are mandatory minimum sentences that must be imposed on drug trafficking offenders in Florida.
What Are the Penalties for Trafficking in Cannabis?
It is illegal to sell, purchase, manufacture, deliver, import, or be in possession of cannabis in the state of Florida. If you engage in any of these acts with more than 25 pounds of cannabis or 300 cannabis plants, you are committed the crime of “trafficking in cannabis.”
Trafficking in cannabis is a first degree felony. The mandatory minimum term of imprisonment will vary depending on the amount of cannabis involved in the crime. For example, if you are charged with trafficking more than 25 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds of cannabis, you will be sentenced to a minimum of 3 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $25,000.
But if you are accused of trafficking with more than 2,000 pounds and less than 10,000 pounds of cannabis, the minimum sentence is increased to 7 years and the fine is increased to $50,000. Trafficking over 10,000 pounds of cannabis will lead to a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison in addition to a $200,000 fine.
What Are the Penalties for Trafficking in Cocaine?
Selling, purchasing, manufacturing, delivering, importing, or being in possession of more than 28 grams of cocaine is also illegal in the state of Florida. This crime is known as “trafficking in cocaine,” and it is a first degree felony.
Similar to cannabis trafficking charges, the penalties for trafficking of cocaine will vary depending on the amount of drug involved in the crime. If you are convicted of trafficking more than 28 grams but less than 200 grams of cocaine, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and be ordered to pay a $50,000 fine.
The prison sentence increases to 7 years and the fine goes up to $100,000 if you are convicted of trafficking more than 200 grams but less than 400 grams of cocaine. If you are convicted of trafficking more than 400 grams but less than 150 kilograms, you will be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine.
The penalties become even more serious for defendants who are convicted of trafficking more than 150 kilograms of cocaine. If you are convicted of trafficking more than 150 kilograms of cocaine, you will be sentenced to life in prison. Furthermore, you will not be eligible for any type of early release except a pardon or executive clemency.
Most cocaine trafficking charges are first degree felonies. But in some cases, a cocaine trafficking charge can be classified as a capital felony, which is punishable by life in prison or death.
For example, if you are accused of trafficking more than 150 kilograms of cocaine and you intentionally kill or cause the killing of someone else, you will face capital felony charges. These are the most serious charges that a person can face in the state of Florida.
What Are the Penalties for Trafficking in Other Illegal Drugs?
Trafficking of cannabis and trafficking of cocaine are just two of the many drug trafficking charges you may face in the state of Florida. Some of the other charges include:
- Trafficking in illegal drugs: the crime of trafficking 4 grams or more of morphine, opium, hydromorphone, or any salt, derivative, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including heroin.
- Trafficking in hydrocodone: the crime of trafficking 28 grams or more of hydrocodone.
- Trafficking in oxycodone: the crime of trafficking 7 grams or more of oxycodone.
- Trafficking in fentanyl: the crime of trafficking 4 grams or more of alfentanil, carfentanil, fentanyl, sufentanil, or a fentanyl derivative.
- Trafficking in amphetamine: the crime of trafficking 14 grams or more of amphetamine.
These are some of the many other drug trafficking charges that a person can face in Florida. Each of these charges is classified as a felony, and each carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence and fine that must be imposed on all offenders.
The only way to avoid the penalties of a drug trafficking conviction is to aggressively fight the charges with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tampa. An attorney may be able to get your charges reduced so you face a lighter sentence. In some cases, an attorney may be able to get your charges dropped altogether.
Seek Legal Representation From A Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
Have you been accused of drug trafficking in the state of Florida? If so, it’s strongly recommended that you seek legal representation from the criminal defense attorneys at Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett as soon as possible. With over 125 years of combined legal experience, our team knows how to present an effective defense strategy and fight your criminal charges. We will work tirelessly to help you reach the best possible outcome in your case.
Take the first step toward protecting your rights by contacting our law office to schedule a free consultation today.