If you are facing drug trafficking charges, you could be facing very serious realities like jail time and fines. We understand these types of cases and know that if you are charged, you are scared. At The Umansky Law Firm, our Orlando drug trafficking defense lawyers are here to protect you from consequences that could wreck your life.
What Is Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking includes the importation, sale or delivery of a drug such as marijuana, cocaine or meth, opiates, hydrocodone or any other number of drugs under Florida's Controlled Substance Act. Police may infer that you intended to sell or deliver the drugs from the quantity of drugs found in your possession and all of a sudden you are being accused of trafficking when perhaps the drugs were for personal use if for use at all.
A lot of people when they hear drug trafficking, they think "Miami Vice." In Florida, it doesn't even need to be the allegation that you are selling drugs or of any intent to sell drug. With cocaine, any amount of cocaine over 28 grams is considered trafficking in cocaine. There are a lot of issues that have been delegated in possible law changes that have been suggested to legislator with regard to whether is fair or unfair for drugs to be categorized as trafficking based on the amount.
- With pills such as OxyContin or oxycodone, the charge relies completely on the entire weight of the pill and not just the active ingredient that actually gets you high. With many types of drug, the weight may not be made up of an active ingredient but instead be filler. You can be charged with trafficking, the problem with a trafficking charge is that it requires a mandatory minimum sentence, depending on the weight of the drug and kind of a drug.
- The sentences can be anywhere from three years mandatory minimum in prison up to 25 years, and the fines range from $50,000 up to $500,000. The only way the judge is allowed to come down off the mandatory minimum sentence is if you are a youthful offender, if you are charged with the trafficking with any drug that is controlled, and if you're 21 or under 21 by the time you are sentenced.
- The way to reduce sentencing is what is called substantial assistant and also know as, flipping or snitching. Basically what that means is you agree to work with law enforcement to set up other people. What law enforcement is going to be looking for is not for small amounts of drugs, but other trafficking amounts.
What You Need To Know About Drug Trafficking Cases
Drug trafficking can be charged in Florida state or federal court. Conviction under Florida drug trafficking statutes can result in a minimum mandatory sentence of three years to life in prison.
Most people assume that only high-level drug dealers are charged with drug trafficking. However, it's not unusual for college students and professionals who sell drugs to their friends and acquaintances to get caught up on these charges. In many cases, it is a housewife filling an unlawful prescription that may get charged with trafficking. With minimum mandatory sentencing, judges cannot change the sentence at their discretion even when prison seems inappropriate.
Defenses In Drug Trafficking Cases
Defenses in drug cases often focus on how the police came into contact with you and seized the drug evidence. If the police did not have a proper warrant, used an illegal wiretap or did not have enough evidence to tie you to the drugs, the charges may be dropped or dismissed.
Undercover Officers And Entrapment
- Drug trafficking charges may be the result of sting operations with the use of undercover police officers or confidential informants. As former prosecutors who worked with police on sting operations, we can give you an honest evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the state's case.
- While the specifics of a drug trafficking sting operation vary from case to case, there are similarities. Many of them involve a setup designed to get the alleged drug trafficker to sell drugs to an undercover police officer.
- When we review these cases, we want to find out about the steps taken by law enforcement to set up the drug deal. Is there indication of entrapment? Were your constitutional rights violated? If so, we will use these details to weaken the case against you or potentially to have it dismissed in its entirety.
The Reliability Of Confidential Informants
- Confidential informants are usually people who have been arrested on drug charges themselves and are cooperating with police. However, police don't monitor confidential informants carefully, and these informants may engage in illegal entrapment to arrest you. Our lawyers also have good relationships with prosecutors if you wish to negotiate a plea bargain or a substantial assistance agreement of your own.
- Many drug trafficking sting operations rely on information provided by a confidential informant. Who are these confidential informants? Often they are criminals themselves, people who are trying to get a deal after being charged with a drug crime. Was the information reliable, or did the police move forward based on faulty information? The answer to this question could play an important role in your case, which is why we always conduct a thorough investigation.
Do You Need Help With Your Drug Trafficking Case? Contact Us Day Or Night.
If you have been charged with drug trafficking in Florida, you need a lawyer's advice as soon as possible. A felony drug trafficking conviction is very serious and you could be looking at significant prison time under Florida's minimum mandatory sentencing guidelines. One of our drug trafficking lawyers can meet with you during your free case review to go over all of your case information and begin structuring your case with our strategy planning tool.
To schedule a free case review with an attorney at The Umansky Law Firm, contact us online or call 407-228-3838.
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