Experienced Trial Attorney  

Drug Trafficking

DRUG TRAFFICKING:

If you have been arrested or accused of Drug Trafficking it is important that you contact an experienced and skilled defense attorney as soon as possible. Even though you have been arrested and accused of Trafficking by law enforcement, it is likely that the State or Federal Prosecutors have not reviewed your case and not immediately decided to pursue the charges against you. Attorney Anthony Rickman will work with you and the government in an effort to drop or reduce the charges against you before they are formally filed.  If the State or Federal Government has charged you with Drug Trafficking who better to represent you against these allegations in than a former prosecutors with experience in Federal and State Court.

Please visit one of our several websites to review our experience and case results or call us for a free consultation.

Drug Trafficking cases in Florida are punishable by very serious minimum mandatory penalties. A minimum mandatory sentence means that, if convicted, the Judge is required to sentence you to a specified term of prison even if you have no prior record or sentencing guidelines are far below the minimum mandatory sentence.

In Florida State Court, Florida statute 893.135 dictates the minimum mandatory sentences listed below:

Cannabis (Marijuana)

25+ pounds but less than 2,000 pounds (or 300 or more plants) = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence.

2,000+ pounds but less than 10,000 pounds (or 2,000 or more plants) = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence.

10,000+ pounds = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence.

Cocaine

28 grams to 200 grams = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence.

200 grams to 400 grams = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence.

400 grams to 150 kilograms = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence.

150+ kilograms = life sentence.

Oxycodone, Hydrocodine, Morphine, Opium and Hydromorphone

4 grams to 14 grams = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence.

14 grams to 28 grams = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence.

28 grams to 30 kilograms = 25 year minimum mandatory sentence.

30+ kilograms = life sentence.

Amphetamine and Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth)

14 grams to 28 grams = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence.

28 grams to 200 grams = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence.

200+ grams = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence.

The United States Government in Federal Courts also enforce minimum mandatory sentences for controlled substances, and are governed by United States Code (U.S.C.) 18 § 841. Please contact us to discuss the complex Federal Sentencing guidelines with your offense level, criminal history category, and minimum mandatory.

DEFENSES

Unlawful Search and Seizure:

In Trafficking cases, law enforcement gathers most evidence through “search and seizure” that is based often times usually on provable cause to search or a search warrant. The United states Constitution protects against unlawful and unreasonable searches and seizures. Therefore, any illegally obtained evidence gathered as a result of an unlawful search can not be used against you. These “search and seizure” challenges may raised as a result of an unlawful traffic stop of your vehicle, the illegal search of you your home or your vehicle without probable cause, an illegal or invalid warrant, and a search without a lawful consent. If you feel you were illegally stopped or searched an experienced criminal defense attorney must make a challenge in court and fight to have the evidence and/or your case thrown out.

Constructive Possession:

To prove Trafficking, the Government must first prove that you had either actual or constructive possession of the drug. To prove constructive possession the Government must show that you had knowledge that the drug was there, knowledge that the substance there was a drug and the ability to have “dominion and control” over the drug. What that means is that simply being around or near the drug when it was discovered does not mean that you possessed it. Often times when a person makes no admission in relation to the drug that was found or invokes their Miranda rights the Government cannot prove that you “possessed” the drug.

Violation of 5th Amendment (Client was not read his Miranda Rights):

If you were arrested or detained by law enforcement, prior to them questioning you they were required to read you “your rights”. If an officer failed to advise you of your Miranda Rights prior to questioning or threatened or coerced you into answering a question or consenting to a search it is possible to get that search or your statements thrown out.

Other Defenses:

Depending on the facts of your cased there may be other defenses to a charge of drug trafficking. Other defense to drug trafficking cases could be that you were set up by law enforcement and thus may raise a claim of entrapment, or that the confidential informant or the Government witnesses lack credibility and have a criminal records or a history of issues with trustworthiness and reliability.

Attorney Anthony Rickman will review your and use the skills that they learned as prosecutors and perfected as defense attorneys to look for and put forth all available defenses in an effort to have your charges dismissed.

DRUG TRAFFICKING LAWS

TRAFFICKING IN CANNABIS

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, in excess of 25 pounds of CANNABIS, or 300 or more CANNABIS plants, commits a felony of the first degree. If the quantity of CANNABIS involved:

  1. Is in excess of 25 pounds, but less than 2,000 pounds, or is 300 or more CANNABIS plants, but not more than 2,000 CANNABIS plants, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $25,000.
  2. Is 2,000 pounds or more, but less than 10,000 pounds, or is 2,000 or more CANNABIS plants, but not more than 10,000 CANNABIS plants, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.
  3. Is 10,000 pounds or more, or is 10,000 or more CANNABIS plants, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and pay a fine of $200,000.

For the purpose of this paragraph, a plant, including, but not limited to, a seedling or cutting, is a “CANNABIS plant” if it has some readily observable evidence of root formation, such as root hairs. To determine if a piece or part of a CANNABIS plant severed from the CANNABIS plant is itself a CANNABIS plant, the severed piece or part must have some readily observable evidence of root formation, such as root hairs. Callous tissue is not readily observable evidence of root formation. The viability and sex of a plant and the fact that the plant may or may not be a dead harvested plant are not relevant in determining if the plant is a “CANNABIS plant” or in the charging of an offense under this paragraph. Upon conviction, the court shall impose the longest term of imprisonment provided for in this paragraph.

TRAFFICKING IN HEROIN

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 4 grams or more of any MORPHINE, OPIUM, OXYCODONE, HYDROCODONE, HYDROMORPHONE, or any salt, derivative, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including HERION, or 4 grams or more of any mixture containing any such substance, but less than 30 kilograms of such substance or mixture, commits a felony of the first degree. If the quantity involved:

  1. Is 4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.
  2. Is 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.
  3. Is 28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 calendar years and pay a fine of $500,000.

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 30 kilograms or more of any MORPHINE, OPIUM, OXYCODONE, HYDROCODONE, HYDROMORPHONE, or any salt, derivative, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including heroin, or 30 kilograms or more of any mixture containing any such substance, commits the first degree felony of trafficking in illegal drugs. A person who has been convicted of the first degree felony of trafficking in illegal drugs under this subparagraph shall be punished by life imprisonment and is ineligible for any form of discretionary early release except pardon or executive clemency or conditional medical release. However, if the court determines that, in addition to committing any act specified in this paragraph:

  1. The person intentionally killed an individual or counseled, commanded, induced, procured, or caused the intentional killing of an individual and such killing was the result; or
  2. The person’s conduct in committing that act led to a natural, though not inevitable, lethal result, such person commits the capital felony of trafficking in illegal drugs. Any person sentenced for a capital felony under this paragraph shall also be sentenced to pay the maximum fine provided under subparagraph 1.

Any person who knowingly brings into this state 60 kilograms or more of any MORPHINE, OPIUM, OXYCODONE, HYDROCODONE, HYDROMORPHONE, or any salt, derivative, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including HEROIN, or 60 kilograms or more of any mixture containing any such substance, and who knows that the probable result of such importation would be the death of any person, commits capital importation of illegal drugs, a capital felony. Any person sentenced for a capital felony under this paragraph shall also be sentenced to pay the maximum fine provided under subparagraph 1.

FLUNITRAZEPAM (ROHYPNOL- “RUFFIES”)

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 4 grams or more of flunitrazepam or any mixture containing flunitrazepam commits a felony of the first degree. If the quantity involved:

  1. Is 4 grams or more but less than 14 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.
  2. Is 14 grams or more but less than 28 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.
  3. Is 28 grams or more but less than 30 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 calendar years and pay a fine of $500,000.

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of 30 kilograms or more of flunitrazepam or any mixture containing flunitrazepam commits the first degree felony of trafficking in flunitrazepam. A person who has been convicted of the first degree felony of trafficking in flunitrazepam under this subparagraph shall be punished by life imprisonment and is ineligible for any form of discretionary early release except pardon or executive clemency or conditional medical release. However, if the court determines that, in addition to committing any act specified in this paragraph:

  1. The person intentionally killed an individual or counseled, commanded, induced, procured, or caused the intentional killing of an individual and such killing was the result; or
  2. The person’s conduct in committing that act led to a natural, though not inevitable, lethal result, such person commits the capital felony of trafficking in flunitrazepam. Any person sentenced for a capital felony under this paragraph shall also be sentenced to pay the maximum fine provided under subparagraph 1.

TRAFFICKING GAMMA-HYDROXYBUTYRIC ACID (GHB)

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 1 kilogram or more of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), or any mixture containing gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), commits a felony of the first degree. If the quantity involved:

  1. Is 1 kilogram or more but less than 5 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.
  2. Is 5 kilograms or more but less than 10 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.
  3. Is 10 kilograms or more, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and pay a fine of $250,000.

Any person who knowingly manufactures or brings into this state 150 kilograms or more of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), or any mixture containing gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), and who knows that the probable result of such manufacture or importation would be the death of any person commits capital manufacture or importation of gamma- hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), a capital felony. Any person sentenced for a capital felony under this paragraph shall also be sentenced to pay the maximum fine provided under subparagraph 1.

METHYLENEDIOXYMETHAMPHETAMINE (MDMA- “METH”)

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 10 grams or more of any of the following substances:

  1. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA);
  2. 4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine;
  3. 4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine;
  4. 2,5-Dimethoxyamphetamine;
  5. 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-ethylamphetamine (DOET);
  6. N-ethylamphetamine;
  7. N-Hydroxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine;
  8. 5-Methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine;
  9. 4-methoxyamphetamine;
  10. 4-methoxymethamphetamine;
  11. 4-Methyl-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine;
  12. 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine;
  13. 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine;
  14. N,N-dimethylamphetamine; or
  15. 3,4,5-Trimethoxyamphetamine,

individually or in any combination of or any mixture containing any substance listed in sub-subparagraphs a.-o., commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as “trafficking in Phenethylamines”.

If the quantity involved:

  1. Is 10 grams or more but less than 200 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.
  2. Is 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.
  3. Is 400 grams or more, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and pay a fine of $250,000.
  4. Any person who knowingly manufactures or brings into this state 30 kilograms or more of any of the following substances:
  5. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA);
  6. 4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine;
  7. 4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine;
  8. 2,5-Dimethoxyamphetamine;
  9. 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-ethylamphetamine (DOET);
  10. N-ethylamphetamine;
  11. N-Hydroxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine;
  12. 5-Methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine;
  13. 4-methoxyamphetamine;
  14. 4-methoxymethamphetamine;
  15. 4-Methyl-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine;
  16. 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine;
  17. 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine;
  18. N,N-dimethylamphetamine; or
  19. 3,4,5-Trimethoxyamphetamine,

individually or in any combination of or any mixture containing any substance listed in sub-subparagraphs a.-o., and who knows that the probable result of such manufacture or importation would be the death of any person commits capital manufacture or importation of Phenethylamines, a capital felony. Any person sentenced for a capital felony under this paragraph shall also be sentenced to pay the maximum fine provided under subparagraph 1.

TRAFFICKING IN COCAINE

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 28 grams or more of COCAINE, or of any mixture containing COCAINE, but less than 150 kilograms of COCAINE or any such mixture, commits a felony of the first degree. If the quantity involved:

  1. Is 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.
  2. Is 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.
  3. Is 400 grams or more, but less than 150 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and pay a fine of $250,000.

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 150 kilograms or more of COCAINE, commits the first degree felony of trafficking in COCAINE. A person who has been convicted of the first degree felony of trafficking in COCAINE shall be punished by life imprisonment and is ineligible for any form of discretionary early release except pardon or executive clemency or conditional medical release. However, if the court determines that, in addition to committing any act specified in this paragraph:

  1. The person intentionally killed an individual or counseled, commanded, induced, procured, or caused the intentional killing of an individual and such killing was the result; or
  2. The person’s conduct in committing that act led to a natural, though not inevitable, lethal result,

such person commits the capital felony of trafficking in COCAINE. Any person sentenced for a capital felony under this paragraph shall also be sentenced to pay the maximum fine provided under subparagraph 1.

Any person who knowingly brings into this state 300 kilograms or more of COCAINE, and who knows that the probable result of such importation would be the death of any person, commits capital importation of COCAINE, a capital felony. Any person sentenced for a capital felony under this paragraph shall also be sentenced to pay the maximum fine provided under subparagraph 1.

TRAFFICKING IN MORPHINE, OPIUM, OXYCODONE, HYDROCODONE, HYDROMORPHONE

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 4 grams or more of any MORPHINE, OPIUM, OXYCODONE, HYDROCODONE, HYDROMORPHONE, or any salt, derivative, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including HERION, or 4 grams or more of any mixture containing any such substance, but less than 30 kilograms of such substance or mixture, commits a felony of the first degree. If the quantity involved:

  1. Is 4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.
  2. Is 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.
  3. Is 28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 calendar years and pay a fine of $500,000.

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 30 kilograms or more of any MORPHINE, OPIUM, OXYCODONE, HYDROCODONE, HYDROMORPHONE, or any salt, derivative, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including heroin, or 30 kilograms or more of any mixture containing any such substance, commits the first degree felony of trafficking in illegal drugs. A person who has been convicted of the first degree felony of trafficking in illegal drugs under this subparagraph shall be punished by life imprisonment and is ineligible for any form of discretionary early release except pardon or executive clemency or conditional medical release. However, if the court determines that, in addition to committing any act specified in this paragraph:

  1. The person intentionally killed an individual or counseled, commanded, induced, procured, or caused the intentional killing of an individual and such killing was the result; or
  2. The person’s conduct in committing that act led to a natural, though not inevitable, lethal result,

such person commits the capital felony of trafficking in illegal drugs. Any person sentenced for a capital felony under this paragraph shall also be sentenced to pay the maximum fine provided under subparagraph 1.

Any person who knowingly brings into this state 60 kilograms or more of any MORPHINE, OPIUM, OXYCODONE, HYDROCODONE, HYDROMORPHONE, or any salt, derivative, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including HEROIN, or 60 kilograms or more of any mixture containing any such substance, and who knows that the probable result of such importation would be the death of any person, commits capital importation of illegal drugs, a capital felony. Any person sentenced for a capital felony under this paragraph shall also be sentenced to pay the maximum fine provided under subparagraph 1.

TRAFFICKING IN AMPHETAMINES AND METHAMPHETAMINES

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 14 grams or more of amphetamine, or methamphetamine, or of any mixture containing amphetamine or methamphetamine, or phenylacetone, phenylacetic acid, pseudoephedrine, or ephedrine in conjunction with other chemicals and equipment utilized in the manufacture of amphetamine or methamphetamine, commits a felony of the first degree. If the quantity involved:

  1. Is 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.
  2. Is 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.
  3. Is 200 grams or more, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and pay a fine of $250,000.

Any person who knowingly manufactures or brings into this state 400 grams or more of amphetamine, or methamphetamine, or of any mixture containing amphetamine or methamphetamine, or phenylacetone, phenylacetic acid, pseudoephedrine, or ephedrine in conjunction with other chemicals and equipment used in the manufacture of amphetamine or methamphetamine, and who knows that the probable result of such manufacture or importation would be the death of any person commits capital manufacture or importation of amphetamine, a capital felony. Any person sentenced for a capital felony under this paragraph shall also be sentenced to pay the maximum fine provided under subparagraph 1.

CRIMINAL AND CIVIL FORFEITURES

When a person has been arrested for drug trafficking, the government may initiate a forfeiture action against the person or property. Criminal forfeiture is a punitive measure taken against a defendant after a conviction, where, as a part of the sentence, the government seizes property that more likely than not was obtained as a result of the crime. By contrast, civil forfeiture actions allow property to be seized, even without a criminal conviction, if the government proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the property was obtained from unlawful activity. Not surprisingly, the majority of forfeitures pursued by the government are civil. You usually only have 15 DAYS to challenge the seizure or forfeiture of cash or property.