Being accused of any crime is a serious matter in the State of Florida but if a police officer has accused you of committing a drug crime, then you need the experience of a West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney.
Drug charges are serious, and can range from possession, to drug trafficking, and even drug dealing. But what is the difference between the three charges?
Read on to learn more about the key differences to drug charges in Florida, and why having a West Palm Beach drug crimes lawyer might be the best decision you make for your case.
The Basics of Drug Trafficking
Drug trafficking is an extremely serious charge in Florida, and one that is pursued zealously by the law enforcement officials across the state. For this reason, trafficking can often be over-charged, meaning that prosecutors are more aggressive in trying to get drug convictions and it is the individuals who are charged to end up paying the price.
If you believe that you have been over charged with drug trafficking or drug dealing in the state of Florida, hire an attorney you can trust to represent you.
Florida’s Trafficking Laws
Under Florida criminal drug laws, trafficking refers to any individual who knowingly commits the following:
- Brings into the state of Florida a possession of a certain amount of a controlled substance or an illegal drug
If you have been accused of drug trafficking, then you may be eligible to beat these charges with a comprehensive defense. This means that you need to challenge the prosecution’s arguments and present that there is a reasonable doubt as to whether or not you could be guilty of these charges.
What Are Some Examples of Defenses to Trafficking Charges?
Some of the most common defenses to drug charges revolve around whether or not the drugs were yours or if you were knowingly involved in drug trafficking.
For example, if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time or if you were purchasing a small amount of drugs, you may want to consider pursuing a reduced drug possession charge. Other possible defenses could include any illegal search and seizures carried out by the authorities as you always maintain rights to due process.
Your West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney will help you walk through the aspects of the seizure of evidence.
What Are the Penalties for Conviction?
The penalties associated for trafficking depend primarily on the type of drug and the amount of the drug you have on your person. Three of the most common terms in Florida related to drug charges are trafficking, intent to distribute, and smuggling.
Trafficking refers to specific quantities of drugs that must be held by the person accused in order to pursue a trafficking charge. Bear in mind, however, that these circumstances can be open to interpretation.
Intent to Distribute
Intent to distribute is a broad term that can increase the severity of penalties associated with the conviction. You could be charged with intent to distribute if the police officers found drugs in smaller quantities or other evidence that indicates that you were intending to sell the drugs such as baggies, phone numbers or even scales.
If you are being accused of intent to distribute or dealing drugs, there are a few common defenses, which include:
- Entrapment or being set up by the police
- Possessing the substance for personal use versus the intent to distribute
- Illegal search and seizure
In some circumstances, more than one of these may apply.
In Florida, possessing the drug with the intent to sell could be a minor offense classified as a misdemeanor, but it could potentially lead to felony charges with stiff penalties. It all depends on the dynamics of your case, so you should retain an experienced West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney to help you.
Read more about search and seizure here.
Finally, you might also be accused of attempted smuggling. This refers to bringing the drugs into the United States and is usually pursued as a federal charge as opposed to a criminal charge in the Florida courts.
Any time that you have been accused of any drug crime in Florida, you need the experience drug crimes attorney West Palm Beach. Having an attorney who is willing to explore all possible avenues for your case resolution can give you a lot of peace of mind about your future.
Make the Right Move with a West Palm Beach Drug Crimes Attorney
With so much on the line in terms of penalties, you need to work with a West Palm Beach drug crime attorney who is committed to carrying your case from start to finish. This could involve even negotiating with the prosecutors on the case to have your charges reduced to less serious crimes.
Given that high amounts of drugs on your person, especially if it is heroin or cocaine, can lead to 15 to 25 years in prison, you need a knowledgeable lawyer who is willing to explore all possible avenues in your defense.
Hiring a West Palm Beach drug crime lawyer might be the best move you make for your case. Don’t wait. Visit here to get started with a Florida drug crimes attorney as soon as possible. Your future depends on it.