How to Avoid a Prison Sentence When Charged with a Serious Drug Crime

Drug trafficking laws can be highly complex. For example, drug crimes can be prosecuted on either the state or federal level. If a person is caught with illegal drugs and the crime was committed in only one state, the state laws apply; however, for drug trafficking cases that involve transporting drugs across state lines, federal laws apply. Fortunately, there’s a knowledgeable federal criminal defense attorney in Tampa that has experience defending clients on both the federal and state level in high-profile cases.

In this brief article, a criminal defense attorney will discuss the penalties for drug trafficking crimes. We will also discuss ways to effectively have charges reduced so that you can avoid a prison sentence.

What’s at Stake When Accused of a Drug Crime?

There are a lot of misperceptions pertaining to drug trafficking crimes. To be clear, if the police discover illegal drugs on your person and believe that you have “intent to distribute,” you’re facing a minimum three year prison sentence and $50,000 fine. There are many other potential penalties if convicted of a drug crime, including potential seizure of property and assets and the loss of your basic civil rights. Defendants have a great deal at stake when they are accused of a drug crime.

What are the Options to Avoid Prison Time?

If you have been accused of a drug crime, here are several ways that a federal criminal defense lawyer in Tampa can help:

  • Get the Charges Dropped: The best option is to have the charges dropped or dismissed entirely. For example, an attorney can argue that evidence was collected through an unlawful search and seizure and should be invalid. If proven, this could result in the case being thrown out.
  • Have the Charges Reduced: If you have no prior arrests, the charges could be reduced to a lesser penalty. Alternatively, a prison sentence can be negotiated into a probationary period or diversion program.
  • Hire a Lawyer to Defend Your Rights: If your charges cannot be reduced or dropped entirely, an experienced attorney will aggressively defend you in court. Many drug cases involve defenses of entrapment, constructive possession, or rights violations.

A drug sentencing involves many factors, and the final penalty can be influenced by elements like the defendant’s criminal history, additional charges they have experienced, the types of drugs they are in possession of, and the total weight of the drugs. With imprisonment, significant fines, a probationary period, and other penalties on the line, it’s critical when accused of a drug crime that you consult a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.

For a free consultation with a federal criminal defense attorney in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Case Results


The Client was arrested and charged with Possession of Cannabis, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance (THC Oil) after being stopped by law enforcement on his way home from work.
Show More


A Domestic Violence Injunction was in place against the client. Attorney Anthony Rickman filed a Motion to Dismiss the DV Injunction which presented evidence displaying the Petitioner frequently contacted the client and convinced the Court
Show More


The Client was arrested for Grand Theft after allegedly stealing funds from WAWA while the Client was employed with the company. Although the Client had a prior criminal history, Attorney Anthony Rickman negotiated
Show More