Florida law takes a harsh stance on drug trafficking.
In the state of Florida, drug trafficking is a felony charge with the potential to seriously affect your life, your family and your freedom. It is important to understand the facts surrounding these charges and avoid these common misconceptions.
1. You have to sell or transport drugs to get a trafficking charge
Many people assume “trafficking” means transporting drugs across state lines in order to sell them. However, Florida law defines drug trafficking differently.
While selling, manufacturing and transporting drugs all fall under the umbrella of drug trafficking, you can face a drug trafficking charge without doing any of these things. Simply possessing a specified amount of illegal drugs can get you charged with trafficking. The law does not consider your intentions or what you do with the drugs.
2. Marijuana charges are not that serious
With many states decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis, it is all too easy to take a casual attitude toward this common recreational drug.
Florida residents must remember that cannabis is still illegal in Florida. If you bring cannabis into Florida, sell it, possess more than 25 pounds of it or possess more than 300 mature plants, you are committing felony cannabis trafficking under Florida law.
3. A judge can reduce your sentence for a first offense
For many crimes, the law leaves room for judges to exercise discretion in sentencing. For example, a judge might order a reduced sentence for a first offense or suggest rehabilitation as an alternative to prison.
Drug trafficking, however, comes with mandatory minimum penalties. This removes the judge’s ability to reduce or modify your sentence.
When it comes to drug trafficking, it is important to understand the severity of the charge and the penalties you can face.