Miami Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney
Drug trafficking is one of the most serious drug-related crimes under Florida law. If you’re facing a criminal drug trafficking charge, contact the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Valiente, Carollo, and McElligot PLLC. Defendants convicted of drug trafficking face significant prison time, fines, and a criminal record that will negatively affect job and housing opportunities. Hiring a lawyer who will fight hard to reduce your charges or have them dismissed is essential. If you’re facing a Miami drug trafficking charge, there is no time to lose. Contact our skilled lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation.
What Constitutes Drug Trafficking in Florida?
When people think of drug trafficking, they often picture large drug cartels moving massive amounts of drugs into the country. However, anyone who sells or delivers a controlled substance in Florida can face drug trafficking charges under state law. Drug trafficking includes any of the following activities with a controlled substance over a certain amount:
- Possessing with the intent to sell
Additionally, people who travel from another state or country into Florida while possessing a controlled substance may face drug trafficking charges.
Which Are Controlled Substances in Florida?
Drug trafficking requires that a person sells or deliver a controlled substance. Controlled substances can include prescription drugs, marijuana, and other hard drugs like heroin. The following drugs are most commonly associated with Miami drug trafficking charges:
- Marijuana or cannabis
- Methamphetamine (crystal meth)
- Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
- PCP (Phencyclidine)
- Mushrooms or psilocybin
- XTC, MDMA (Ecstasy)
- Oxycodone or OxyContin
Armed Trafficking Charges in Florida
Florida prosecutors can charge defendants with armed trafficking in addition to the initial charge of drug trafficking. Armed trafficking occurs when someone uses, exposes, possesses, or threatens another person with a firearm during the commission of the crime. Defendants convicted of armed drug trafficking must serve their initial sentence and an increased sentence.
Trafficking in Prescription Medicine in Florida
In many ways, Florida is at the heart of the opioid epidemic. Residents of Miami have seen a rise in the use of prescription medication on the streets and people’s homes. Drug addictions can lead to drug trafficking in prescription medicine charges. Florida law makes it illegal to possess prescription medication without a valid prescription.
When law enforcement discovers a large amount of prescription medications, and the defendant does not have a valid prescription, the defendant can face drug trafficking charges. Prescription drug trafficking refers to the illegal purchase, sale, manufacture, delivery, or knowing possession of prescription drugs in a large quantity. The amount of prescription drugs determines the severity of the punishment. For example, trafficking 7 grams or more of oxycodone is the first-degree felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Penalties for Florida Drug Trafficking Convictions
The severity of the drug trafficking sentence depends on the amount and type of controlled substance involved. For example, a defendant charged with trafficking cocaine can receive the following consequences:
- A minimum 3-year prison sentence and $50,000 fine for 28 to 200 grams
- A minimum 7-year prison sentence and $100,000 fine for between 200 and 400 grams
- A minimum 15-year sentence and $250,000 fine for 400 grams and 150 kilograms
- A sentence of life in prison without parole for amounts over 150 kilograms
First-degree felony drug trafficking convictions are incredibly serious. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, the penalties can include prison sentences of up to 30 years or life in prison and significant fines. The penalties increase as the amount of drugs increases. Capital drug trafficking convictions, such as possession of more than 150 kilograms of cocaine, carry a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison without parole and a $250,000 fine.
Defenses to Miami Drug Trafficking Charges
The key to succeeding against a Miami drug trafficking charge is a persuasive defense. To secure a conviction, prosecutors must prove every element of drug trafficking charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Skilled defense lawyers can argue that law enforcement officers improperly weighed the controlled substances. Small differences in weight can mean the difference between a simple possession drug charge and a trafficking charge.
In other cases, law enforcement makes constitutional violations. When law enforcement does not have the requisite probable cause or otherwise violates a suspect’s rights, a judge will throw out the evidence gathered. Sometimes undercover operatives conduct illegal wiretaps of the suspect that don’t meet strict wiretap requirements. Other times, law enforcement engages in unlawful entrapment.
Our Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyers Can Help
If you’re facing Miami drug trafficking charges, you’re not alone. The skilled criminal defense lawyers at Valiente, Carollo, and McElligot PLLC have significant experience fighting drug-related charges in state and federal court. We conduct a thorough investigation of our client’s case to offer a persuasive defense. Having a lawyer by your side while speaking to police, investigators, or federal drug agents can be incredibly helpful. Contact our Miami law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.