Tampa Bay Criminal Defense and Trial Law
(727)388-4736
Free Consultation

Submit this Form to receive a Free Consultation

Drug Trafficking

Since the war on drugs began, state and federal law enforcement agencies have been adamant about prosecuting those who possess and sell controlled substances. One of the most severe drug charges is drug trafficking. Drug trafficking often is defined as the purchase and sale of illegal drugs, or the manufacture, delivery or importation of illegal drugs across state or national borders.

Charges and penalties vary based on a variety of factors, including the schedule of the drug involved in the alleged offense. However, being convicted of a drug trafficking offense still could mean lengthy prison sentences, expensive fines and a lifetime of a criminal record. A Pinellas County drug trafficking lawyer can help you fight the charges.

St. Petersburg Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney

Convictions for drug-related offenses can carry consequences that extend far beyond jail time. A person could lose his or her right to drive, and the conviction could have a negative impact on job or college applications. The best way to avoid the hassle of a criminal conviction is to build a strong defense.

If you have been charged with drug trafficking, contact an experienced St. Petersburg drug trafficking defense lawyer at Morris Law Firm, P.A.. Melinda Morris and her legal team have helped people throughout the Tampa Bay area combat drug trafficking charges. She uses her years of experience as a state assistant attorney to get favorable results for her clients.

Call (727) 388-4736 to schedule a free initial consultation. Morris Law Firm, P.A. represents clients throughout the Tampa Bay area including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bartow, New Port Richey, Dade City and Plant City. We also fight for the rights of people accused in Hillsborough, Polk, Pasco and Pinellas counties and the surrounding areas.


Information About Drug Trafficking


Back to top

Drug Trafficking in Florida

When people think of trafficking offenses, they often imagine large drug cartels moving controlled substances into another country. However, anyone who delivers or sells a controlled substance can be charged with drug trafficking, according to Florida Statute Annotated § 893.13.

If a person travels from another state into Florida while in possession of a controlled substance, he or she can be charged with drug trafficking as well. A variety of controlled substances could be involved in trafficking, including prescription drug trafficking. Some of the most commonly trafficked drugs include:

  • Marijuana or cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine, also known as meth or crystal meth
  • PCP (Phencyclidine)
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
  • Psilocybin or mushrooms
  • MDMA / XTC (Ecstasy)
  • Opium
  • OxyContin or oxycodon
  • Demerol
  • Vicodin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Valium
  • Xanax
  • Ritalin, Adderall, methylphenidate or amphetamine

The severity of the drug trafficking charges often is largely based on the schedule of the drug and the amount of drug possessed. For instance, if a person is accused of trafficking 400 grams of cocaine, he or she likely would face serious charges. The consequences would not be as serious for someone accused of trafficking 30 pounds of marijuana.


Back to top

Armed Drug Trafficking

The term "armed trafficking," defined in Florida Statute Annotated § 893, is considered a subsequent charge from the primary offense of illegal drug trafficking. The succeeding offense is charged due to the use, applicable threat, possession or exposing of a firearm or weapon during the initial drug trafficking offense.

Armed drug trafficking allegations principally increase the punishment further. First, the minimum mandatory sentencing for the underlying offense of trafficking in marijuana, cocaine, heroin or another illegal drug will apply even when "armed trafficking" is alleged.


Back to top

Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Florida

Florida is one of several states with mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. Florida Statute Annotated § 893.135 outlines the mandatory minimums for certain drug trafficking charges, including trafficking in marijuana, cocaine and heroin. Some of the penalties could include:

Trafficking in Cannabis | First-Degree Felony

  • Trafficking an excess of 25 but less than 2,000 pounds or 300 or more cannabis plants —3 Years and $25,000 fine
  • Trafficking 2,000 pounds but less than 10,000 pounds or 2,000 or more cannabis plants — 7 Years and $50,000 fine
  • Trafficking 10,000 pounds or more or is 10,000 or more cannabis plants — 15 Years and $200,000 fine

Trafficking in Cocaine | First-Degree Felony

  • Trafficking 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams — 3 Years and $25,000 fine
  • Trafficking 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams — 7 Years and $100,000 fine
  • Trafficking 400 grams or more, but less than 150 kilograms — 15 Years and $250,000 fine

Trafficking in Heroin | First-Degree Felony

  • Trafficking 4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams — 3 Years and $50,000 fine
  • Trafficking 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams — 15 Years and $100,000 fine
  • Trafficking 28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms — 25 Years and $500,000 fine

Trafficking in prescription medicine is a little different, but it still may result in years of jail, along with substantial fines and fees. If you only possessed five pills in your, you may be convicted of a drug trafficking charge. The prosecutor is not obligated to render evidence of illegal sales. The only requirement is proof of possession.


Back to top

Federal Trafficking Crimes

It is a federal crime to manufacture, import, distribute or traffic controlled substances with the intent to sell the controlled substances either across state borders, throughout the state or from a foreign country into another state, according to the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. §§ 807 et seq.).

This means any person who brings illegal substances from one state to another could face federal or state charges for the crime. Federal charges often are more severe and carry harsh punishments. The charges usually are different from state charges, but they still can be difficult to fight.

Drug/Schedule

Quantity

Penalties

Quantity

Penalties

Cocaine (Schedule II) 500 - 4999 gms mixture

First Offense:

Punishable by more than 5 years, no more than 40 years. Death or serious injury, not less than 20 years or more than life a life sentence. Individual fine of not more than $2 million, $5 million if not an individual.

Second Offense: Punishable by more than 10 years, and not more than a life sentence. Death or serious injury, punishment of life imprisonment. Individual fine of no more than $4 million, $10 million if not an individual.

 

5 kgs or more mixture

First Offense:

Punishable by more than 10 years, and no more than a life sentence. Death or serious injury, not less than 20 years or more than a life sentence. Individual fine of no more than $4 million, $10 million if not an individual.

Second Offense: Punishable by more than 20 years, and no more than a life sentence. Death or serious injury, life imprisonment. Individual fine of no more than $8 million, $20 million if not an individual.

2 or More Prior Offenses: Life imprisonment.

Cocaine Base (Schedule II) 5-49 gms mixture 50 gms or more mixture
Fentanyl (Schedule II) 40 - 399 grams 400 gms or more mixture
Fentanyl Analogue (Schedule I) 10 - 99 gms mixture 100 gms or more mixture
Heroin (Schedule I) 100 - 999 gms mixture 1 kg or more mixture
LSD (Schedule I) 1 - 9 gms mixture

10 gms or more mixture

Methamphetamine (Schedule II) 5 - 49 gms pure or 50 - 499 gms mixture 50 gms or more pure or 500 gms or more mixture
PCP (Schedule II) 10 - 99 gms pure or 100 - 999 gms mixture

100 gms or more pure or 1 kg or more mixture

Penalties
Other Schedule I & II drugs and any drug product containing Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid Any amount

 

First Offense: Punishable up to 20 years. Death or serious injury, punishable by more than 20 years, or more than a life sentence. Individual fine of $1 million, $5 million if not an individual.

Second Offense: Punishable up to 30 years. Death or serious injury, Punishable by more than a life sentence. Individual fine of $2 million, $10 million if not an individual.

Flunitrazepam
(Schedule IV)
1 gram or more

Other Schedule III drugs

Any amount

 

First Offense: Punishable up to 5 years. Fine not more than $250,000 if an individual, $1 million if not an individual.

Second Offense: Punishable up to 10 years. Fine not more than $500,000 if an individual, $2 million if not an individual.

Flunitrazepam (Schedule IV) 30 to 999 mgs

All other Schedule IV drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Punishable up to 3 years. Individual fine of no more than $250,000, $1 million if not an individual.

Second Offense: Punishable up to 6 years. Individual fine of no more than $500,000, $2 million if not an individual.

Flunitrazepam (Schedule IV) Less than 30 mgs

All Schedule V drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Punishable up to 1 year. Individual fine of no more than $100,000, $250,000 if not an individual.

Second Offense: Punishable up to 2 years. Individual fine of no more than $200,000, $500,000 if not an individual.

As with state laws, the charges for federal marijuana trafficking are different from other controlled substances. Often marijuana charges are not as harsh as other drugs, such as cocaine or heroin. Some possible marijuana and cannabis-related charges and their penalties are listed below.

DrugQuantity1st Offense2nd Offense
Marijuana 1,000 kg or more mixture; or 1,000 or more plants
  • Punishable by more than 10 years, no more than a life sentence.
  • If death or serious injury, not less than 20 years, not more than life.
  • Fine not more than $4 million if an individual, $10 million if other than an individual.
  • Punishable by more than 20 years, not more than life.
  • If death or serious injury, mandatory life sentence.
  • Fine not more than $8 million if an individual, $20 million if other than an individual.
Marijuana 100 kg to 999 kg mixture; or 100 to 999 plants
  • Punishable by more than 5 years, not more than 40 years.
  • If death or serious injury, not less than 20 years, not more than life.
  • Fine not more than $2 million if an individual, $5 million if other than an individual.
  • Punishable by more than 10 years, not more than life.
  • If death or serious injury, mandatory life sentence.
  • Fine not more than $4 million if an individual, $10 million if other than an individual.
Marijuana

more than 10 kgs hashish; 50 to 99 kg mixture

more than 1 kg of hashish oil; 50 to 99 plants

  • Punishable up to 20 years
  • If death or serious injury, no less than 20 years, no more than a life sentence.
  • Fine $1 million, $5 million if other than an individual.
  • Punishable up to 30 years.
  • If death or serious injury, mandatory life sentence.
  • Fine $2 million, $10 million if other than individual.
Marijuana 1 to 49 plants; less than 50 kg mixture
  • Punishable up to 5 years.
  • Fine not more than $250,000, $1 million other than individual.
 
  • Punishable up to 10 years.
  • Fine $500,000, $2 million if other than individual.
 
Hashish 10 kg or less
Hashish Oil 1 kg or less

Back to top

Finding A Pinellas County Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with trafficking a controlled substance, contact Morris Law Firm, P.A. to learn more about your options. Our skilled St. Petersburg drug trafficking defense attorney can help you understand the charges you are facing and help you build the best defense against them. We have years of experience, and we know what it takes to help you take on the legal system. Call (727) 388-4736 today.

Share Online: