Being convicted of drug trafficking has serious consequences. Not only will a conviction affect your driver’s license and future employment, but drug trafficking has a minimum mandatory prison sentence. Drug trafficking is a particularly confusing area of law, which is why it’s imperative to have a legal professional to guide you through this process.
If you or a loved one are potentially facing drug trafficking charges, read on to learn what you need to know.
Drug Trafficking Penalties
Drug trafficking charges are very serious and individuals convicted of drug trafficking can expect to serve time in prison. Although the severity of drug trafficking penalties varies on a state-by-state basis, here is loosely what you can expect:
Fines — There are fines associated with drug trafficking. Depending on the severity of the charges, drug trafficking can result in anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 or more for state trafficking, to in excess of $10 million for federal drug trafficking.
Prison — Drug trafficking convictions can result in serious jail time, even for first-time offenders. First-time offenders may expect a minimum of three years in prison or more than 10-years depending on the conviction. In certain states, life sentences are possible for drug trafficking convictions.
Probation — Although certain situations may result in probation, this is typically only as part of a plea bargain. Individuals sentenced to probation are required to meet specific conditions set forth by the court. This can include monitoring by a probation officer and staying out of legal trouble.
Mandatory Minimum Sentences — A mandatory minimum sentence is imposed for drug trafficking convictions, which means a person convicted must serve a specified amount of time. This means the individual cannot be released on parole until the sentence has been served. For example, if an individual is sentenced to 10-years in prison for trafficking drugs and the state has a five-year mandatory minimum, the individual will not be eligible for parole until then.
Hiring an Attorney for Drug Trafficking Charges
Hiring an experienced drug crime attorney is absolutely necessary if you have been charged with drug trafficking. There’s a common misconception that drug trafficking includes selling or distributing drugs. However, that is not always the case. Trafficking has to do with the weight of the illicit drugs, not illegally possessing drugs, and not the sale or distribution.
In Florida, possession of a relatively small amount of drugs such as oxycodone or OxyContin can be considered trafficking. As stated, trafficking charges have a mandatory minimum prison sentence, which means that a judge has no discretion and must sentence the defendant to a minimum amount of time in prison.
Drug Crime Lawyer in Pasco
Contact us immediately so we can present witnesses and/or your side of the case before the State decides to file charges. PLM Attorneys offer free consultations for all drug possession and trafficking cases at our office in Port Richey, Florida.