Drug trafficking is one the most serious drug-related offenses in Florida and carries a minimum prison sentence. Unfortunately, the way the laws are currently written means anyone found with a certain amount of controlled substance can be slapped with drug trafficking charges in St. Petersburg or Tampa — even if they didn’t have intent to sell the drug.
Florida’s Definition of Drug Trafficking
When you are found with drugs in your possession, there is only one factor that determines whether you are charged with possession or trafficking: the amount/weight of the substance. This is a very important distinction because of the potential ramifications; possession charges do not carry a minimum prison sentence, but trafficking charges do.
If the confiscated drugs are higher than the following thresholds, the charge is upgraded from possession to drug trafficking.
- Marijuana: 25 pounds (25-2,000 pounds=three-year minimum prison sentence; 2,000-10,000 pounds=seven-year minimum sentence; and more than 10,000 pounds=15-year minimum sentence)
- Cocaine: 28 grams (28-200 grams=three-year minimum; 200-400 grams=seven-year minimum; and more than 400 grams=15-year minimum)
- Hydrocodone: 14 grams (14-28 grams=three-year minimum sentence; 28-50=seven-year minimum; and more than 50=15-year minimum)
The plain language of the law provides that many people may be charged with trafficking, even without proof that they were out to make a profit. Some individuals may have substance abuse problems and were found with a large quantity of drugs and were charged with trafficking, even though they only intended to use the drugs themselves. In these types of cases, we point this fact out to the prosecution and try to get the charges reduced to a lesser offense.
Common Types of Drugs Trafficking Cases in St. Petersburg
Our team at Goldman Wetzel can assist with any drug trafficking charge. Below are some of the most common substances cited in these cases.
- Cannabis (Marijuana)
- Ecstasy or Molly
- Prescription drugs
Steep Bond in Drug Trafficking Cases
Judges sometimes will set bond for the accused offender so that he or she can be released while the case is pending. Unfortunately, the bond for drug trafficking cases tends to be exceptionally high. Bonds of $500,000 to $1 million are not uncommon, and family members simply are unable to acquire the funds.
Florida law mandates that the bond set is reasonable. We know how important your freedom is. When you work with us, we will file a motion to seek to have the bond reduced to a reasonable level so that you do not need to remain in custody while your case is pending.
Goldman Wetzel Can Intervene for You
If you’ve been charged with drug trafficking in St. Petersburg, the defense team at Goldman Wetzel can help. We can intervene right away and file a motion to reduce your bond within 24 to 48 hours. We also can immediately begin speaking with the prosecutor to get your charges reduced. There are several viable defenses we may use to get charges dropped or to reduce penalties. Below are a few examples of defenses that might pertain to a trafficking charge.
- The offender has an addiction issue, was not willing to part with the drug and wasn’t motivated to earn a profit.
- The warrant was unlawful.
- We can challenge the admissibility of the state’s evidence.
- Entrapment was a factor.
We’ll discuss the options and work together to pursue the best possible outcome for your case. Call our office today at 727-828-3900 to schedule a call with one of our drug trafficking defense attorneys so that we can get a move on your case.