TAMPA ATTORNEY HELPING DEFENDANTS FACING NARCOTICS CHARGES
In Florida, prosecutors take cannabis trafficking quite seriously. If you are convicted of cannabis trafficking, harsh mandatory minimum penalties may apply. When there is a mandatory minimum sentence, it is the lowest sentence that a judge can impose. Even if the sentencing guidelines would allow for a much lower sentence, and the mandatory minimum seems unduly harsh given the circumstances surrounding the case, the judge needs to impose the mandatory minimum. It is critical to retain an experienced drug trafficking attorney. At Hanlon Law, Tampa cannabis trafficking lawyer Will Hanlon understands how serious these charges are, and he has the knowledge and skill to develop a strong defense for his clients.
Even if you simply possess a certain amount of cannabis as set forth in Florida Statute §893.135, you can be charged with cannabis trafficking. Trafficking is the intentional sale, purchase, possession, delivery, or transportation of a set amount of a drug. The minimum amount of an illegal drug that you can possess before being charged with trafficking varies depending on the drug. The weight of the drug is usually critical. For example, you can be charged with cannabis trafficking if you have 25 pounds or 300 cannabis plants.
Trafficking in cannabis is a felony of the first degree.
CANNABIS MINIMUM MANDATORY SENTENCES
|Amount of Cannabis||Imprisonment||Fine|
|25 pounds – 2,000 pounds|
(300 – 2,000 plants)
|3 year min./man.||$25,000|
|2,000 – 10,000 pounds|
(2,000 – 10,000 plants)
|7 year min./man.||$50,000|
|10,000 pounds or more|
(10,000 or more plants)
|15 years min./man.||$200,000|
Since the judge has no discretion in the minimum sentence imposed, it is especially vital to retain an experienced cannabis trafficking attorney in the Tampa area who can try to poke holes in the prosecution’s case and fight aggressively for you. A conviction is not assured. We can evaluate the possible defenses and pursue the most viable arguments.
Among other things, we can look at whether law enforcement officers followed proper procedures and whether there were any violations of your constitutional rights. In drug trafficking cases, we can look especially closely at whether there was an unreasonable search or seizure. When law enforcement officers fail to abide by your constitutional rights in obtaining evidence against you, it may be possible to get the evidence suppressed by filing a motion to suppress. The prosecution’s burden of proof is very high in criminal cases. A cannabis trafficking charge, like other criminal charges, must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. When evidence has been suppressed due to an illegal search or seizure, it will be difficult for the prosecutor to meet that high burden of proof. For example, if the cannabis that you allegedly trafficked was seized illegally, the prosecution will not be able to present it in court.
Another possible defense in a cannabis trafficking case may involve a sting operation or a confidential informant. Sometimes, someone is pushed into committing a crime that they would not have committed without coercion from the police. In such cases, it may be possible to establish entrapment. When entrapment is shown, it may be possible to secure a dismissal of the charges or an acquittal by means of a trial.
Moreover, if you are willing to give substantial assistance to a police officer, it may be possible for the judge to sentence you without imposing the mandatory minimum sentence. The State’s attorney can move the sentencing court to suspend or reduce your sentence in connection with cannabis trafficking if you have given substantial assistance to identify, arrest, or convict any of your accomplices, co-conspirators, principals, or accessories, or anyone who is engaged in trafficking in cannabis or other illegal drugs.
If you are interested in providing substantial assistance to police, it is important to work with a cannabis trafficking lawyer in Tampa to proffer the information that you can provide. You should not simply try to work with the police on your own, and you need to be willing to live up to your side of the deal because if you do not, you will face mandatory prison time, and the judge probably will not allow you to take back your plea.
CONSULT AN EXPERIENCED DRUG CRIME ATTORNEY
Getting a drug crime lawyer on your side can be crucial as to whether you are charged at all and what the prosecutor thinks of your case. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing assistance to the accused in the Tampa Bay area since 1994. He is committed to offering personal and knowledgeable counsel. Call Hanlon Law at 813-228-7095 or use our online form to set up an appointment with a Tampa cannabis trafficking attorney.