Trafficking in Methamphetamine in Florida
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In Florida, trafficking in methamphetamine is committed when a person knowingly possesses, sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or transports fourteen (14) grams or more of any mixture containing methamphetamine.
Weight Determination of Methamphetamine in Defense Against Trafficking Methamphetamine in Florida
In Florida the amount of illegal substance is not a defense. Notice the language of the law states “any mixture”, meaning the aggregate weight is what is calculated, not solely the active ingredient. Thus, trafficking weight is determined by the total weight of the methamphetamine mixture (the cooked weight). This includes inactive materials in the crystal. As a result, a person could have fourteen (14) grams of crystal whose combined dosage is less than four (4) grams of methamphetamine, but because the crystal weighs more than fourteen (14) grams, the person would be charged with trafficking in methamphetamine instead of being charged with mere possession of methamphetamine. Depending on the methamphetamine’s method of manufacture, it may take possession of very little crystal to be charged with trafficking in methamphetamine in Florida.
Penalties for Florida Methamphetamine Trafficking
Florida drug trafficking penalties are harsh and include mandatory minimum sentences. Trafficking in methamphetamine is a first degree felony, assigned either a Level 8 or a Level 9 offense severity ranking under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code. If caught trafficking in methamphetamine the minimum penalties you face are determined by the Florida Methamphetamine trafficking thresholds:
- 14 to 28 grams of methamphetamine comes with a mandatory penalty of three (3) years in prison,a $50,000 fine, and up to thirty (30) years in prison.
- 28 to 200 grams of methamphetamine comes with a mandatory penalty of seven (7) years in prison, a $100,000 fine, and up to thirty (30) years in prison.
- 200 grams or more of methamphetamine comes with a mandatory penalty of fifteen (15) years in prison, a $500,000 fine, and up to thirty (30) years in prison.
Driver’s License Suspension
A person convicted of trafficking in methamphetamine will have their driver’s license and driving privileges revoked for one (1) year by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).
Professional License Suspension
A person convicted of trafficking in methamphetamine will be subject to the emergency suspension of any professional license issued by the State of Florida that authorizes the practicing of a profession or trade.
Pretrial defenses are critical.
Call us immediately, even before you’ve been arrested if possible.
Defenses to Trafficking in Methamphetamine Florida
Many of the defenses available in ordinary drug possession cases are available to your Florida drug trafficking defense lawyer, including constitutional legal defenses that challenge unlawful searches or seizures by law enforcement. Some common Fourth Amendment defenses available in drug trafficking cases include: absence of a warrant, defective warrant, unlawful execution of a search warrant, entrapment, absence of probable cause to obtain a warrant, stale information forming the basis of the warrant, exceeding the scope of the search authorized by the warrant, invalid consent to search, coercive “knock and talk”, constructive entry during knock and talk, exceeding the scope of a consensual search, unlawful arrest or detention, absence of exigent circumstances, controlled substances not in plain view, warrant-less search within the curtilage of a residence, Miranda violations, 5th and 6th amendment right to counsel violations, overly broad search incident to arrest, overly broad protective sweep, use of unlawful police tactics constituting a “search.”
Actual Possession vs. Constructive Possession
Actual possession means methamphetamine was found on your person or in your immediate control, such as in a glove compartment in a car. For example, if the methamphetamine found was in your pants pocket then the prosecutor would be charging you with actual possession of trafficking methamphetamine. On the other hand, if the methamphetamine was found in a place where more than one person had access and control, the prosecutor would need to prove that you had constructive possession.
To prove constructive possession the prosecutor must show:
- Knowledge the methamphetamine is present;
- Knowledge the substance was methamphetamine; and
- Dominion and control over the methamphetamine.
Substantial Assistance as a Defense to Methamphetamine Trafficking in Florida
While not technically a defense, nor a complete defense, reducing the charge to “providing substantial assistance” to drug trafficking is a method we will explore to avoid the mandatory minimum sentencing required for the crime of trafficking in methamphetamine in Florida.
Assistant state wide prosecutors are authorized by statute to ask the court to reduce or suspend a sentence of any person who is convicted of drug trafficking when the person provides substantial assistance in the identification, arrest, or conviction of any other person engaged in trafficking in controlled substances.
Entrapment Defense to Charge of Trafficking in Methamphetamine
Entrapment occurs when a person is induced to commit a criminal offense, that the person would otherwise have been unlikely to commit, by an undercover law enforcement officer or confidential informant induces. A successful entrapment defense often means that the court will dismiss the charge of trafficking in methamphetamine.
Early Negotiation is Critical in a Trafficking in Methamphetamine defense in Florida
Early contact in the criminal process communicates competence, resolve, and establishes a rapport that may be needed during future negotiations.
Call us even before you are charged if possible. We may be able to avoid charges being filed.
We will make early contact with the prosecutor to present factual defenses, legal issues, and mitigating circumstances that may have a dramatic impact on the State’s decision to move forward against you.
We also happen to be Florida criminal law attorneys.
We can help you.
Our Florida criminal lawyers serve clients charged in trafficking in methamphetamine cases in Palm Beach County, Broward County, Miami Dade County, and most other Florida cities and counties.
We handle criminal law cases, all drug trafficking cases, and trafficking in methamphetamine defense in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami Dade County and throughout Florida.
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