Police found a lab used to cook methamphetamine in a Fort Lauderdale hotel room.
One of the suspects was charged only with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. The other suspect could face charges as serious as trafficking in methamphetamine if the weight meets the trafficking threshold.
In Florida, trafficking in methamphetamine is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in state prison. As a Broward methamphetamine trafficking lawyer, I have represented clients charged with this offense and understand the stiff mandatory prison terms that are required depending on the amounts alleged.
For 14 grams up to 28 grams, there is a mandatory 3-year prison term.
For 28 grams up to 200 grams, there is a mandatory 7-year prison term.
For over 200 grams, there is a mandatory 15-year prison term.
Police arrived at the hotel after responding to a call regarding a domestic violence incident. Upon arriving, police discovered items used to cook methamphetamine, including a quantity of the drug itself. If the quantity of methamphetamine exceeds 14 grams, the suspects could face trafficking charges.
If the trafficking weight was not met, the suspects could face charges related to the manufacturing of a controlled substance.
In Broward County, where this offense occurred, mandatory minimum sentences are rarely waived by the prosecutors without strong reasons. Mandatory sentences, which are attached to every drug trafficking charge in Florida, can only be waived by the prosecutor. The judge does not have the legal authority to sentence a defendant below a mandatory minimum term without a waiver from the State Attorney’s Office.
Mandatory minimum sentences for trafficking charges must be served day-for-day. Gain time is not permitted for mandatory minimum sentences.
Eric Matheny is Miami trafficking attorney and Broward trafficking attorney representing clients charged with trafficking in methamphetamine in Miami-Dade and Broward.