Tampa Drug Trafficking Lawyer
Defense for Drug Trafficking Charges in FL
Drug trafficking is defined as the selling, transporting, or importing or drugs into the U.S. and is part of the global "black market." Drug trafficking can include any controlled substance, such as marijuana, heroin, LSD, or cocaine. These crimes are usually investigated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Justice. Being investigated by these federal agencies means that there are greater resources and manpower working against you than would be the case with state or local law enforcement. For this reason, you need a strong advocate on your side such as a Tampa drug trafficking lawyer from our firm.
If you or a family member has been accused of drug trafficking, you need a strong advocate on your side. Even though you have been arrested and accused of Trafficking by law enforcement, it is likely that the State or Federal Prosecutors have not reviewed your case and not immediately decided to pursue the charges against you.
As a former prosecutor, the Tampa drug trafficking attorney at Taracks & Associates will work with you and the government in an effort to drop or reduce the charges against you before they are formally filed. If the State or Federal Government has charged you with Drug Trafficking who better to represent you against these allegations in court than a former prosecutor with over 30 years of experience in Federal and State Court?
Call Taracks & Associates today to speak with our Tampa drug trafficking lawyer!
Florida Drug Trafficking Penalties
Do you know that if convicted of Drug Trafficking in Florida you face a minumum of at least 3 years in Prison and a $25,000 fine?
Drug Trafficking cases in Florida are punishable by very serious minimum mandatory penalties. A minimum mandatory sentence means that, if convicted, the Judge is required to sentence you to a specified term of prison even if you have no prior record or sentencing guidelines are far below the minimum mandatory sentence.
The penalties differ depending on the type of drug, the amount being trafficked, and what state lines or country borders were crossed. For a first offense of trafficking 28-279g of cocaine, you could be facing between five and forty years in prison and up to $25 million in fines. If you are convicted of a second offense of trafficking Fentanyl, you be facing from twenty years to life imprisonment and up to $75 million in penalties.
Minimum Mandatory Sentences in Florida
Under Florida Statute 893.135, a person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, brings drugs into the state across a border, or is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of a certain amount of a drug can be found guilty of drug trafficking. Florida has set forth certain "minimum mandatory" sentences for these crimes:
- 25+ pounds but less than 2,000 pounds (or 300 or more plants) = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 2,000+ pounds but less than 10,000 pounds (or 2,000 or more plants) = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 10,000+ pounds = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 28 grams to 200 grams = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 200 grams to 400 grams = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 400 grams to 150 kilograms = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 150+ kilograms = life sentence.
Oxycodone, Hydrocodine, Morphine, Opium and Hydromorphone
- 4 grams to 14 grams = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 14 grams to 28 grams = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 28 grams to 30 kilograms = 25 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 30+ kilograms = life sentence.
Amphetamine and Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth)
- 14 grams to 28 grams = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 28 grams to 200 grams = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 200+ grams = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 1 to 5 grams = 3 minimum years mandatory sentence.
- 5 to 7 grams = 7 minimum years mandatory sentence.
- 7 grams+ = 15 minimum years mandatory sentence.
- 7 grams+ = possible capital felony (punishable by death)
The United States Government in Federal Courts also enforce minimum mandatory sentences for controlled substances, and are governed by United States Code (U.S.C.) 18 § 841. Please contact us to discuss the complex Federal Sentencing guidelines with your offense level, criminal history category, and minimum mandatory.
Possible Defenses to Drug Trafficking Charges in FL
1) Unlawful Search and Seizure
In Trafficking cases, law enforcement gathers most evidence through "search and seizure" that is based often times usually on probable cause to search or a search warrant. The United states Constitution protects against unlawful and unreasonable searches and seizures. Therefore, any illegally obtained evidence gathered as a result of an unlawful search cannot be used against you. These "search and seizure" challenges may be raised as a result of an unlawful traffic stop of your vehicle, the illegal search of you your home or your vehicle without probable cause, an illegal or invalid warrant, and a search without a lawful consent. If you feel you were illegally stopped or searched an experienced defense attorney must make a challenge in court and fight to have the evidence and/or your case thrown out.
2) Constructive Possession
To prove Trafficking, the Government must first prove that you had either actual or constructive possession of the drug. To prove constructive possession the Government must show that you had knowledge that the drug was there, knowledge that the substance there was a drug and the ability to have "dominion and control" over the drug. What that means is that simply being around or near the drug when it was discovered does not mean that you possessed it. Often times when a person makes no admission in relation to the drug that was found or invokes their Miranda rights the Government cannot prove that you "possessed" the drug.
3) Violation of Fifth Amendment - Miranda Rights
If you were arrested or detained by law enforcement, prior to them questioning you they were required to read you "your rights". If an officer failed to advise you of your Miranda Rights prior to questioning or threatened or coerced you into answering a question or consenting to a search it is possible to get that search or your statements thrown out.
Depending on the facts of your cased there may be other defenses to a charge of drug trafficking. Other defense to drug trafficking cases could be that you were set up by law enforcement and thus may raise a claim of entrapment, or that the confidential informant or the Government witnesses lack credibility and have a criminal records or a history of issues with trustworthiness and reliability.
Our Tampa drug trafficking attorney at Taracks & Associates will review your and use the skills that we learned as a prosecutor and perfected as a defense attorney to look for and put forth all available defenses in an effort to have your charges dismissed.
Criminal and Civil Forfeitures: Drug Trafficking Charges
When a person has been arrested for drug trafficking, the government may initiate a forfeiture action against the person or property. Criminal forfeiture is a punitive measure taken against a defendant after a conviction, where, as a part of the sentence, the government seizes property that more likely than not was obtained as a result of the crime. By contrast, civil forfeiture actions allow property to be seized, even without a criminal conviction, if the government proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the property was obtained from unlawful activity. Not surprisingly, the majority of forfeitures pursued by the government are civil. You usually only have 15 DAYS to challenge the seizure or forfeiture of cash or property.
If you would like a member of our team to review your case and the evidence against you, contact a Tampa drug trafficking attorney from Taracks & Associates today.
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