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The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) 2019 National Drug Threat Assessment describes a changing landscape as illicit drugs like opioids and cocaine continue to affect large portions of the population while states continue to legalize recreational and medical marijuana. Here in Florida, medical marijuana has been legalized, but the penalties for marijuana trafficking remain as strict as ever. The penalties for trafficking other illicit drugs are even more severe.
In this article, we will discuss the varying penalties for drug trafficking in the state of Florida. If you or someone you know has been accused of this serious crime, it is imperative that you consult a drug trafficking defense lawyer in Tampa as soon as possible.
Under Florida law, “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 found guilty, a defendant faces a minimum prison sentence of three years and a fine of $25,000. Penalties only increase as the amount of marijuana found increases — a minimum seven-year prison sentence and $50,000 fine for 2,000 pounds or 2,000 plants, and a minimum 15-year prison sentence and $200,000 fine for 10,000 pounds or 10,000 cannabis plants.
Related: Fighting a Drug Trafficking Charge
“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 … commits a felony of the first degree.” If found guilty, a defendant faces a minimum prison sentence of three years and a $50,000 fine. Again, the penalties sharply increase with larger amounts of the illicit substance. 200 grams of cocaine can result in a minimum seven-year prison sentence and $100,000 fine, and 400 grams can result in a minimum 15-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine. Although it would take a large amount of marijuana to justify a drug trafficking charge, it takes less than a pound of cocaine to justify a charge of “trafficking in cocaine.”
This drug charge pertains to morphine, opium, hydromorphone, heroin, and other illicit substances detailed in 893.03(1)(b), (2)(a), (3)(c)3., or (3)(c)4. Only four grams of one of these substances can result in a three-year mandatory prison sentence and a fine of $50,000. 14 grams can result in a 15-year mandatory prison sentence and a fine of $100,000. And 28 grams can result in a 25-year mandatory prison sentence and a fine of $500,000. Considering that Florida, along with the rest of the country, is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, it’s no wonder that these laws are so severe. This only further argues why the services of a drug trafficking defense attorney in Tampa are so important in drug trafficking cases.
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.