If you’re accused of drug trafficking, one of the things you want to look at when hiring a lawyer is, whether or not that person has the level of experience that you’re going to need to represent you in a case that carries with it a potential minimum mandatory prison sentence.
One of the things you want to look at is, what kind of cases has this person handled before? What’s their history and experience in general in the legal system?
The third thing that I would look at if I were you, is what kind of caseload does this person carry? One of the things you want to do is ask that person, what’s your average caseload? If somebody is inundated with cases, similar to the public defender’s office, you’re probably not going to get the same kind of individualized attention that you’re looking for when you hire a lawyer to represent you in such a serious matter.
Drug trafficking is the possession of a certain quantity of illegal drugs. Pursuant to the statute, depending on what drug it is, whether it’s cocaine, an opiod, what have you, they’re going to have a certain quantity that at that quantity it becomes drug trafficking, which subjects the person that’s charged to a certain minimum mandatory prison sentence.
If you have a prescription for the drugs that you’re charged with trafficking, you need to bring that to your lawyer’s attention, who will bring that, in turn, to the prosecuting agency’s attention, and more than likely, your charges will be dropped. At worst, they could charge you with a misdemeanor for carrying a controlled substance in a container that doesn’t have the prescription label on it. Otherwise, those charges should go away, unless there’s something more going on with the case.
Evidence can be both direct evidence or circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence is that somebody actually looked at you and found you in possession of a certain qualifying amount of drugs, which is indicative or an indicator that you were in fact going to distribute or traffic in those drugs. It could also be circumstantial evidence, the way the drugs were packaged. If the drugs were packaged in small plastic baggies that are indicative of distribution, the quantity of drugs that you possess, the location where those drugs were, can all be indicative that somebody was not using the drugs for personal use, but instead was going to distribute those drugs.
If you’re accused of drug trafficking, one of the first things that you should do is start looking for a qualified lawyer. One of the ways that you do that is going on the internet, not just looking at somebody’s website, but in addition to looking at somebody’s website, I would look at the Florida bar under attorneys. I would also take a look at the local newspaper and research a particular lawyer’s name in the archives because that will tell you the kind of cases that that attorney has handled. Drug trafficking cases involve serious minimum mandatory prison sentences and should be taken by you to be very serious cases.
The penalties for drug trafficking depend upon the kind of drug that you’re accused of trafficking in, and the quantity of drugs that you’re accused of trafficking in. Bottom line is, the range is, the minimum mandatory prison sentence on any drug trafficking charge is three years. But, depending on the quantity and the drug, that can be a three year minimum mandatory, seven year minimum mandatory, a 15 year minimum mandatory, or a 25 year minimum mandatory prison sentence. The maximum you can get is the statutory max for a drug trafficking case, which is 30 years. So it can go anywhere from the minimum mandatory all the way up to the 30 year prison sentence.
You should never speak to the police if you are arrested on a drug trafficking charge. You should never speak to the police, period, without an attorney present or without your attorney having advised you first as to the pros and cons of speaking with the police. Nothing good will come to you out of speaking to the police without being represented by a qualified lawyer.
Prison time for drug trafficking depends upon the quantity of drugs that you’re charged with possessing or trafficking in, and/or the kinds of drugs that you’re charged with drug trafficking or drug possession in. That will vary, depending on the drugs and the quantity, will cause your minimum mandatories to either be lower or higher in the State of Florida.
The reason why you want to hire an attorney to represent you in a drug trafficking case is because an experienced qualified lawyer can help you in that they can review the discovery on the case. They can determine whether or not there’s an appropriate wait to actually have you qualify for drug trafficking. They can help you review the discovery and see whether or not you have any motions that might be able to get the case dismissed. They can also assist you in the overall preparation of your defense in a case. For those reasons you want to have a qualified attorney represent you on a drug trafficking case.
The penalties depending on the drug can differ. For instance, on cocaine, the maximum penalty that you can get under Florida’s, as far as a minimum mandatory penalty, is 15 years for the possession of 400 grams or more of cocaine. However, with an opioid, if you possess 28 grams of an opioid or more, you can be looking at a 25 year minimum mandatory, so yes, depending on the drug that you get charged with, and the quantity of that drug, you can be looking at different minimum mandatory prison sentences.