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.
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.
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.
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.
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.