Drug trafficking is one of the most serious drug-related offenses in the state of Florida. The penalties are considerable, including decades of prison time and massive fines.
If you or your loved one has recently been arrested for drug trafficking, or if you suspect you are under investigation, contact the drug trafficking lawyers in Pinellas County at Goldman Wetzel straightaway. We can help you exercise your rights, develop a strong defense strategy, and fight for a dismissal, acquittal, or reduced charges/penalties. Call us today at 727-828-3900 to discuss your case with our team.
How Does Florida Define Drug Trafficking?
The difference between drug possession and trafficking is the amount of the controlled substance in question. Whether you intended to sell the substance or keep it for personal use does not impact the category of the offense. If the amount exceeds a certain threshold, the charges will automatically escalate to drug trafficking.
Below are the thresholds for five of the most common types of drug cases in Florida:
- Marijuana: 25 pounds or 300 cannabis plants or more
- Cocaine: 28 grams or more
- Oxycodone: 7 grams or more
- Hydrocodone: 14 grams or more
- Meth: 14 grams or more
What Types of Drug Cases Does Goldman Wetzel Handle?
Drug crime defense attorneys Summer Goldman and Maribeth Wetzel can facilitate any type of drug-related case, in both state or federal court jurisdiction. We take a team approach to all our cases, maximizing our legal experience and providing our clients with the best defense possible. Examples of drug cases we accept include:
- Trafficking in cocaine, marijuana, meth, hydrocodone, etc.
- Drug possession charges
- Possession of paraphernalia
- Drug possession or trafficking in a school zone or next to a community park
What Are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking is a first-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. The mandatory minimum sentences and fines for drug trafficking depend on the type and amount of the substance. After reviewing your case, we will explain exactly what you are up against and what types of consequences you may be facing.
Below are a few examples of statutory penalties for drug trafficking:
|At least 25 but less than 2,000 pounds||At least 2,000 but less than 10,000 pounds||More than 10,000 pounds|
|Three-year minimum prison sentence and a $25,000 fine||Seven-year minimum and a $50,000 fine||15-year minimum and a $200,000 fine|
|At least 28 but less than 200 grams||At least 200 but less than 400 grams||More than 400 grams|
|Three-year minimum and a $50,000 fine||Seven-year minimum and a $100,000 fine||15-year minimum and a $250,000 fine|
|At least 14 but less than 28 grams||At least 28 but less than 50 grams||More than 50 grams|
|Three-year minimum and a $50,000 fine||Seven-year minimum and a $100,000 fine||15-year minimum and a $500,000 fine|
How Can I Fight Drug Trafficking Charges in Pinellas County?
A defense attorney can be your best weapon with which to fight drug trafficking charges. When you retain our lawyers at Goldman Wetzel, we will intervene right away and begin taking the appropriate steps to obtain a dismissal, reduce your bond, negotiate a plea deal, or prepare for trial. Our goal will be to protect your rights during the process, create a comprehensive defense strategy, and resolve the case successfully.
Maribeth Wetzel is a career criminal defense lawyer and Summer Goldman worked as a prosecutor prior to becoming a defense attorney, so our team understands how both sides operate. We know the intricacies of drug laws and have developed strong negotiation and courtroom skills. We can provide you with the counsel and defense you desire when facing serious charges like drug trafficking.
The defense strategy we use depends on the circumstances of your case; however, we might argue anything from mistaken identity to your lack of knowledge that any activities took place.
What Happens After an Arrest for Drug Trafficking?
- Booking: Upon arrest, the officers will escort you to the local detention facility and book you.
- Call a Defense Attorney: Do not agree to undergo questioning without having an attorney present. If the investigators try to ask you questions, inform them you want to call your attorney. (If you do not have a lawyer yet, call 727-828-3900 and one of our team members will patch you through to attorney Goldman or Wetzel.)
- First Appearance: Within 24 to 48 hours after your arrest, you will appear before a judge. The judge will determine whether there is enough cause to hold you and if there is, decide on the details of your bond. We can attend this hearing with you and either present evidence to try to get the case dropped or ensure you get a fair bond.
- Arraignment: The next hearing is called the arraignment where you enter your formal plea of guilty or not guilty. We will instruct you on the best way to proceed and may even be able to enter your plea without your presence.
- Pre-Trial: We then begin working on dozens of tasks before trial, such as negotiating with the prosecutor (plea deal), collecting evidence, obtaining character witnesses, working with experts, filing motions, etc. We will keep you abreast of the status of your case during the entire process.
- Trial: If the case has not settled prior to trial, we will thoroughly prepare your case before the hearing, present your case to the court in an articulate and constructive manner, and fight for an outcome in your favor.
Get a Free Consultation with Drug Trafficking Lawyers in Pinellas County.
If you or a loved one has been accused of drug trafficking in Pinellas County, contact us at 727-828-3900 for a free meeting with our attorneys today.