Miami-Dade County Drug Distribution Lawyer
Miami Drug Trafficking Attorney
In Florida, the distribution or sale of drugs is a violation of state and federal law and a conviction can have serious consequences. While drug distribution or drug trafficking may involve selling, transporting or manufacturing controlled substances or marijuana, the crime is actually based on the amount of drugs in your possession. This means that you can face charges regardless of whether you had the intention of selling, moving or making drugs. Given the severe penalties a drug crime conviction may bring, it is crucial to have aggressive criminal defense representation.
Located in Miami, Valiente, Carollo, and McElligot PLLC has considerable experience defending clients against drug trafficking charges in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and throughout the state of Florida. Well-versed in the applicable state and federal narcotics laws, we know what to do to keep you out of jail. Whether you’ve been charged with possessing small amounts of a controlled substance or trafficking significant amounts of illegal narcotics, we can help.
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Drug Trafficking in Florida
Drug trafficking typically involves a wide range of controlled substances and prescription medications, including:
- Cannabis (marijuana)
- Phencyclidine (PCP or Angel Dust)
- Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
- Psilocybin or mushrooms
- MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
- Ritalin, Adderall, methylphenidate or amphetamine
Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Florida
Generally, the penalties for drug trafficking depend on the schedule of the drug, the amount, and where it is being transported. The possession of a controlled substance with an intent to sell, for example, can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the type of drug, the amount, and the defendant’s activities. The penalties significantly increase if children are involved or targeted or if the crime occurs within 1,000 feet of a school or church.
Additionally, drug trafficking charges carry mandatory minimum sentences in Florida, and state law provides enhanced sentencing for defendants with prior felony convictions, so called “habitual felony offenders.” Examples of drug trafficking charges and penalties include:
- Trafficking in Marijuana — May be considered a first-degree felony. Trafficking more than 25 but less than 2,000 pounds of marijuana or 300 or more cannabis plants, punishable by 3 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000; penalties increase for trafficking higher amounts or more cannabis plants, to as much as 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
- Trafficking in Cocaine — Trafficking between 28 grams and 200 grams of cocaine is a first-degree felony, punishable by 3 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000, penalties increase for trafficking higher amounts, up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
- Trafficking in Heroin — Trafficking more than 10 grams of heroin, a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000, penalties increase for trafficking higher amounts (more than 200 grams), up to 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Federal Drug Trafficking Charges
Drug trafficking may also be charged as a federal crime when it involves moving controlled substances across state borders, throughout the state, or into the state from a foreign country. Federal charges are typically more severe and carry penalties that include significant fines and the possibility of life in prison for certain high-level drug trafficking schemes.
Drug Mixtures and Drug Trafficking Charges
Illegal drugs are rarely sold in their pure form. Instead, they are often mixed or “cut” with other substances to increase the weight and street value. Nonetheless, under Florida law, the penalty is based on the weight of the entire mixture, not the purity of the drug. Additionally, in drug trafficking cases involving prescription medication, the weight of the capsules is used to determine the penalty, not the active amount of the substance in each pill.
How to Fight Drug Trafficking Charges
At Valiente, Carollo, and McElligot PLLC, our legal team will work diligently to build the best line of defense against your drug trafficking charges. We will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the facts of the case and assess the strength of the evidence against you. Because the state must be able to prove all elements of its case beyond a reasonable doubt, we will aggressively attack each element that prosecutors present.
As an example, we can argue that the amount of controlled substances in your possession did not meet the threshold for drug trafficking drugs. On the other hand, it may be possible to show that law enforcement gathered evidence improperly or illegally and have that evidence suppressed. Because drug trafficking cases also involve confidential informants, we will question their credibility, as well as the validity of other witnesses and evidence produced by the state.
In addition, drug trafficking investigations often involve undercover law enforcement operations such as “buy and bust.” As such, it may possible to raise an entrapment defense, provided that we can show you were induced to commit a crime you might not otherwise have committed. Our objective is to have the case dismissed, or to win an acquittal, and to make sure that you are treated fairly.
What is substantial assistance?
The state may agree to reduce or suspend the sentence of individuals who have been convicted of drug trafficking if they provide “substantial assistance” in the identification, arrest or conviction of accomplices, accessories, principals or any other person involved in drug crimes. In other words, this means tipping off law enforcement about drug deals, identifying drug dealers, or even wearing a wire to assist in a sting operation. While you may be able avoid going to jail by providing substantial assistance, there are serious drawbacks, not the least of which is placing yourself or loved ones in danger. An experienced drug crimes attorney can help determine if this is something even worth considering.
Why You Should Call Valiente, Carollo, and McElligot PLLC for Your Drug Trafficking Charges
Guided by a principal that anyone accused of a drug crime is innocent until proven guilty, we are fully prepared to defend your drug trafficking charges. Our legal team will work tirelessly to secure your freedom and advise you of all your options. Depending on the weight of the evidence against you, we may recommend seeking a reduction of the charges. The drug crimes attorneys at Valiente, Carollo, and McElligot PLLC will always put your best interests first and vigorously fight for your rights.
Call our office today or complete the convenient online contact form to set up a free consultation.
Mr. Valiente provided excellent service, very professional and courteous. I felt like he actually cared about me and my family. It was a year-long case and he was on top of everything from the get go. Constant updates, was readily available to speak to me whenever I called. I was looking at substantial jail time, and Mr. Valiente got me off with next to nothing. Highly recommend this attorney for anyone needing of his services.
Miami Drug Distribution Attorney