The Gray Area of Drug Trafficking Laws

The process that law enforcement undergoes to enforce a penalty for a drug-related crime is pretty straight forward. Honestly, most penalties for drug crimes come down to obtaining a controlled substance from the suspect or their property and the total weight of the illicit substance. To be charged with drug trafficking, the accused is required to have a specific amount of a controlled substance. For example, at least 28 grams of cocaine, 25 pounds of marijuana, or one gram of LSD are the minimum amounts required for a drug trafficking charge. Of course, the penalty only increases as larger amounts of a controlled substance are discovered. 

Although drug trafficking laws are pretty black and white, they don’t account for the gray areas. In this brief article, a drug trafficking defense lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm will discuss three instances in which a person may be wrongfully charged with a drug trafficking crime. If you have been accused of a drug crime, reach out to Anthony Rickman for a free consultation. 

No Knowledge Defense

In many cases, a person can be accused of a drug crime when they had no idea that drugs were allegedly in their possession. For example, if law enforcement conducts a search and seizure of an apartment unit, each tenant in that unit could be charged with a drug crime, even though the drugs found only belonged to one person living there. Similarly, a person could be driving a friend’s car and have no idea that illegal substances are located in the trunk of the vehicle. In any of these scenarios, a prosecutor will have the burden of proving that the defendant was fully aware of the location of the drugs in order to convict the defendant of a drug crime. 

Related: The Misperception of Drug Trafficking Laws

Illegal Search and Seizure Defense

Law enforcement will often go to great lengths to get their man, including bending or even breaking the law in some cases. United States citizens have the right to be free from illegal searches and seizures. In many cases, law enforcement illegally enters a home or property (like a car) to obtain evidence. If law enforcement’s actions were unconstitutional, this evidence should never see the light of day in court. With an experienced drug trafficking defense attorney in Tampa on your side, we will do everything in our power to suppress evidence that was unlawfully obtained by law enforcement. 

Related: Defenses Against Drug Trafficking Charges

The Entrapment Defense

As we said above, law enforcement may obtain evidence using an unconstitutional means in order to nab a suspect. The police will go to great lengths to charge an individual with a drug crime, including running sting operations and using informants. In some cases, a defendant is coerced into breaking the law when law enforcement employs unlawful tactics, such as forcing the defendant to be involved in a crime. 

For a free consultation with a drug trafficking defense lawyer 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. 


Schedule Consultation

Case Results


The Client was arrested for Trespassing after allegedly causing a disturbance at a bar and attempting reentry upon being escorted out by law enforcement. Attorney Anthony Rickman immediately contacted the State to show
Show More


The Client was charged with False Information to Law Enforcement Officer and Making False Official Statements after reporting his vehicle stolen when his vehicle was repossessed. Attorney Anthony Rickman proactively identified that there was a
Show More

DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving

The Defendant was charged with a DUI, which the Defense was able to get dropped to a reckless driving.
Show More