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Drug Trafficking Charges in Florida

Drug trafficking charges in Florida carry serious penalties. Even if you aren’t a true “drug dealer” or a leader of a drug trafficking organization, Florida law requires mandatory minimum prison sentences. 

Drug trafficking is defined as the intentional sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, possession, or transportation into Florida of a “trafficking amount” of drugs.

Some of the most common drug trafficking charges are

  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Fentanyl 
  • GHB
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • MDMA (Ecstacy)
  • Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth or Meth)
  • Oxycodone

If you are caught in drug trafficking, you will not only be facing criminal penalties including fines, prison sentences, and probation, but also civil penalties such as forfeiture of homes, vehicles, or money that is believed to be linked to the drug trade/trafficking. 

The sale or delivery of a controlled substance is punished very severely in Florida. Law enforcement sometimes uses confidential informants or undercover officers to conduct controlled buys. In these cases, there is typically video and audio surveillance of the transaction. Even if you are not caught selling drugs, if the drugs are packaged in a manner consistent with a sale, the penalties are the same. This is called possession with intent to sell, Florida Statute Section 893.13(1)(a).

Misdemeanor drug offenses typically involve possession of cannabis (marijuana) or possession of drug paraphernalia. Although the penalties for misdemeanors are far less severe, there are consequences to any drug conviction. Many people do not realize the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will suspend your driver’s license if you are convicted of any drug offense. As of October 2019, Florida law set the length of suspension for drug offenses to six (6) months.

Penalties for Possession of Controlled Substances

Florida Statute 893.135 outlines the penalties for drug trafficking. 

  • Cannabis:
    • 25 lbs to 2,000 lbs; or 300 to 2,000 cannabis plants carry a minimum mandatory sentence of 3 years in prison and a $25,000 fine
    • 2,000 lbs to 10,000 lbs; or 2,000 to 10,000 cannabis plants carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
    • 10,000 lbs or more; or 10,000 or more cannabis plants carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $200,000 fine
  • Cocaine
    • 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
    • 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years in prions and a $100,000 fine
    • 400 grams or more, but less than 150 kilograms carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine
  • Fentanyl
    • 4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
    • 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $100,000 fine
    • 28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 imprisonments and a $500,00 fine
  • GHB
    • 1 kilogram or more, but less than 5 kilograms carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
    • 5 kilograms or more, but less than 10 kilograms carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years in prison and a $100,000 fine
    • 10 kilograms or more carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine
  • Heroin
    • 4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
    • 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $100,000 fine
    • 28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine
    • 30 kilograms or more carries lifetime imprisonment and a $500,000 fine
  • Hydrocodone
    • 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
    • 28 grams or more, but less than 50 grams carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years in prison and a $100,000 fine
    • 50 grams or more, but less than 200 grams carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine
  • LSD
    • 1 gram or more, but less than 5 grams carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
    • 5 grams or more, but less than 7 grams carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
    • 7 grams or more carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $500,00 fine
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)
    • 10 grams or more, but less than 200 grams carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 3 years in prison and a $50,00 fine
    • 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 7 years in prison and a $100,000 fine
    • 400 grams or more carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,00 fine
  • Methamphetamine
    • 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
    • 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 7 years in prison and a $100,000 fine
    • 200 grams or more carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,00 fine 
  • Oxycodone
    • 7 grams or more, but less than 14 grams carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
    • 14 grams or more, but less than 25 grams carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 7 years in prison and a $100,000 fine
    • 25 grams or more, but less than 100 grams carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $500,00 fine

Defenses to Drug Charges

There are many tactics to fight drug charges.

These include:

  • Constitutional challenges to any illegal search or seizure of your person or property
  • Available defenses provided by licensed medical marijuana cardholders
  • Whether you had knowledge, dominion, and control of the drugs – this is particularly important in constructive possession cases where the drugs are not located on your person.

Orlando Drug Trafficking Attorney

As a former prosecutor, Attorney Brandon Gans knows what issues to look for in drug cases. He will thoroughly explore all avenues of defense and strive for a dismissal of all charges.

Working with Attorney Gans was an assuring experience. He looked over my case and was very knowledgeable and efficient. Responds very quickly and very hands on as well. I am very satisfied and happy with his work and service provided to me in my time of need. I would recommend him to anyone and will definitely contact him again if need be.

- Emmanuel

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Gans Law offers a variety of services that range from criminal defense to suspended licenses. Here at Gans Law, we understand that sometimes good people find themselves dealing with complex legal matters.

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