A person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into Florida, or is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of a certain amount of drugs can be charged with drug trafficking. Many drug trafficking offenses are first-degree felonies, but certain amounts can be life felonies and cases involving the death of another person may be capital felonies.
Much like federal drug laws, Florida divides controlled substances into five schedules with Schedule I having the highest potential for abuse and Schedule V having the lowest. Many drug trafficking convictions involve mandatory minimum prison sentences in addition to heavy fines. The following mandatory minimum sentences apply for the accompanying drug charges:
- Mandatory minimum three years in prison –
- Mandatory minimum seven years in prison –
- Mandatory minimum 15 years in prison –
- Mandatory minimum 25 years in prison –
Any drug trafficking charge is extremely serious, but there are multiple ways in which an alleged offender can avoid a mandatory minimum sentence. Providing information to the prosecuting attorney can result in a substantial assistance or safety valve provision that reduces a person’s sentence, but constitutional rights violations like illegal search and seizure or other police errors may result in the charges being dismissed altogether.
Steven Bell has more than a decade of legal experience as a criminal defense lawyer. He is a founding partner at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. in West Palm Beach, and the firm represents clients against drug charges in Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and surrounding areas.