Many of the illegal drugs used and trafficked by Floridians are imported from other states and countries. Florida views drug trafficking as a major crime and has prioritized combating it in specific areas of the state, especially in Palm Beach and Broward counties. A felony conviction for drug trafficking in Florida can result in decades of jail time and penalties of up to $1 million. Depending on the severity of the trafficking charge, you may find yourself or your loved one in front of a federal judge, and federal drug punishments can be far worse.
A conviction may have an impact on almost every aspect of your life, including your prospects of finding work, housing, or obtaining a security clearance. It can have a significant effect on your ability to go to school, carry guns, or even vote in the state of Florida.
If you or a loved one is facing a drug trafficking charge in West Palm Beach, it's critical to choose a lawyer who has extensive expertise in defending drug cases and who understands not just the complicated framework of state and federal drug laws, but also the courts, prosecutors, and judges.
What Is Considered Drug Trafficking in Florida?
Many clients facing criminal charges related to drugs have the misconception that crimes related to drug trafficking include transporting significant quantities of illegal substances across international boundaries. Another common misconception many believe is that they must be caught in the act of selling narcotics to be charged with trafficking.
However, most drug trafficking charges do not occur in such extreme circumstances. In fact, nearly all cases of trafficking in Florida come from the simple act of possessing a significant number of illegal narcotics despite there being no intention to actually sell.
According to Section 893.135 of the Florida Statutes, drug trafficking is considered to have occurred when a person knowingly engages in the activities listed below with significant amounts of any prohibited substance(s):
- Brings into the state
- Knowingly in actual or constructive possession of illegal substances
Understanding Your Rights When Facing Drug Trafficking Charges in Florida
You should be fully aware of your rights both before and during an arrest. Understanding your rights will help you to avoid providing law enforcement authorities with any incriminating information that could be used against your case. Remember, you have the right to stay silent, and you should especially remain silent when arrested for drug possession or drug trafficking. During an arrest, you are not required to answer all of the police officers' questions and if you are intimidated by the questions, you will want to seek the help of a West Palm Beach drug defense attorney.
Law enforcement is also not permitted to conduct illegal searches. They are not allowed to search your property unless they have reasonable cause to think you are committing an infraction, according to Florida law. If they do so without cause, whatever evidence they discover may be ruled inadmissible in court.
Possible Defenses to a Florida Drug Trafficking Charge
If you have been charged with drug trafficking, there is still hope. Some of the defenses an experienced criminal defense attorney might employ can include:
- Cannot reach the burden of beyond reasonable doubt
- Unlawful or illegal search
- Faulty lab equipment
- Confidential informants
- Reduced charges
- Substantial assistance (offering law enforcement valuable information in exchange for a lesser sentence)
If you or a loved one is facing drug-related charges in South Florida, it is critical that you contact a West Palm Beach drug defense attorney promptly. An experienced attorney can investigate why you were arrested for drug trafficking, determine if an inappropriate investigation was conducted, or whether a confidential informant was used. As a small criminal defense firm, we are able to provide committed attention, timely responses to phone calls, emails, and other queries, and aggressively defend your case for the best possible outcome. To speak with a criminal defense attorney today, please contact us or call us at (561) 671-5995.