In the State of Florida, drug trafficking is considered to be one of the most serious felony offenses.
Specifically, trafficking in cocaine can lead to mandatory prison time.
It is important to understand just how much prison time one can face, depending on the amount of the substance allegedly in that person's possession.
First and foremost, trafficking in cocaine in the State of Florida is based on the weight of the drug on your person. It has nothing to do with your intent, whether the drug was for sale or personal use, or whether you were transporting the drug or it was found inside of your home. Trafficking in Florida is based solely on the weight of the drug. Nothing more. Nothing less.
So if you are accused of trafficking in cocaine, it breaks down like this:
1. If you are in possession of 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams; you are facing a mandatory minimum prison term of 3 years with a maximum term of 30 years.
2.If you are in possession of 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams; you are facing a mandatory minimum prison term of 7 years with a maximum term of 30 years.
3. If you are in possession of 400 grams or more, but less than 150 kilograms; you are facing a mandatory minimum prison term of 15 years with a maximum term of 30 years.
If you are in possession of more than 150 kilograms, you are facing life in prison.
A mandatory minimum prison term means that you will serve every single day of your sentence. You will not be eligible for any type of gain time award, early release, or conditional release.
A mandatory prison term also means that if you go to trial and are found guilty, the Judge must impose at least the mandatory minimum term. The Judge cannot deviate from the mandatory minimum, even if you have no prior criminal history or the Judge personally feels that probation or a lesser jail or prison sentence is warranted. The Judge cannot ignore the mandatory minimum term. Only the prosecutor is empowered to do that. If the Judge ignores the mandatory minimum and sentences the accused as he or she sees fit, the sentence will be deemed illegal by the Appellate Court and the Judge will be ordered to re-sentence the
While trafficking in cocaine is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison, the mandatory minimum terms applied depend on the amount of the drug allegedly in your possession.
A good criminal defense attorney can oftentimes persuade prosecutors to waive, or eliminate, mandatory terms. I have had the good fortune of being able to negotiate resolutions for many clients charged with trafficking. While past results are never an indicator of how your unique case may be resolved, it is important to discuss past results with your attorney to gauge their effectiveness and experience, especially when you or your loved one is facing mandatory prison time.
If you or your loved one is facing trafficking in cocaine charges in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach, please feel free to contact me.