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What are the mandatory sentences for drug trafficking in Florida?

In Florida, where drug crimes are more common, local residents may have heard about various drug offenses, including drug possession and drug trafficking. These two common types of charges carry unique penalties. If you were charged with drug possession, this could mean that authorities discovered or found an ample amount of drugs in your possession. When it comes to drug trafficking charges, authorities may have confiscated a large quantity of prohibited substance and they believe that you intended to distribute or sell the illegal drug.

There are mandatory sentences for those accused of drug trafficking. It is important to understand that the sentence depends on the type of drug confiscated and the quantity. If you were caught with more than 25 pounds of marijuana or 300 cannabis plants, you can be charged with trafficking in cannabis -- a first degree felony. If the confiscated cannabis is between 25 to 2,000 pounds, the defendant can be sentenced to a minimum of three years and fined $25,000. If the total weight of confiscated cannabis is between 2,000 to 10,000 pounds, you can be sent to prison for seven years and fined $50,000. If the confiscated cannabis weighs more than 10,000 pounds, you may be fined $200,000 and sentenced to a minimum of 15 years of jail time.

The mandatory minimum sentences show that penalties for trafficking marijuana increase depending on the quantity of the drug or illegal substance. Anyone who has been charged with a drug trafficking charge should understand that it is a felony offense, and therefore the penalties are more severe compared with misdemeanor offenses.

If you have been accused of any type of drug offenses, you may need legal guidance, especially in developing a strong criminal defense. A legal professional may be able to effectively negotiate with the prosecution and find the best possible solution for your case.

Source: Flsenate.gov, "2011 Florida statutes," accessed on Sep. 25, 2014

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