Methaqualone, also known as Quaalude, is a hypnotic and sedative that depresses the central nervous system. It was prescribed to treat insomnia and for use as a muscle relaxant, but it quickly became a popular recreational drug. If you are charged with methaqualone trafficking in Tampa, you should take the charges seriously and consult a drug trafficking attorney. At Hanlon Law, Tampa methaqualone trafficking lawyer Will Hanlon provides skillful and experienced legal representation to people faced with these accusations and charges. He works hard to protect the rights of the accused.Methaqualone Trafficking
You can be convicted for trafficking if the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly sold, bought, made, delivered, or brought into Florida (or that you were knowingly in actual or constructive possession of) 200 grams or more of methaqualone or any mixture including methaqualone. This is a felony in the first degree, and it is punished based on the quantity of methaqualone or a methaqualone-containing mixture that is possessed. However, "beyond a reasonable doubt" is a high standard to meet. In some cases, it may be possible to persuade the prosecutor that the case is not very strong for the purposes of obtaining a dismissal or negotiating a plea deal. In other cases, it may be possible for a methaqualone trafficking attorney in the Tampa area to provide a strong defense at trial to prevent a conviction.Methaqualone Trafficking Mandatory Minimums
Many people associate "drug trafficking" with very large-scale drug dealing operations. However, in Florida, you can be charged with trafficking if the drugs involved meet a minimum weight. With methaqualone, you need only actually or constructively possess 200 grams of methaqualone or 200 grams of a mixture that contains methaqualone to be convicted of trafficking.
When there is a mandatory minimum for a particular charge, it means that the judge is not permitted to sentence the defendant to anything less than the minimum mandatory sentence if the defendant is convicted. Mandatory minimum sentences are often quite harsh, and they can be imposed for trafficking in a relatively small quantity of pills.
|Amount of Methaqualone||Imprisonment||Fine|
|200 grams - 5 kg||3 year minimum||$50,000|
|5 kg - 25 kg||7 year minimum||$100,000|
|25 kg or more||15 years minimum||$250,000|
If you knowingly bring into Florida 50 kg or more of methaqualone or a mixture that includes methaqualone, and you know that the probable result of importing the substance will be the death of someone, you can be convicted of capital importation of methaqualone, which is a capital felony. A capital felony can result in life imprisonment without parole or a death sentence.
There are defenses available for charges of methaqualone trafficking, and the appropriate strategy to use depends on your specific circumstances. For example, in some cases, it may be possible to assert a constitutional defense, such as an argument arising from a violation of your Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendment rights. You have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. If the police conducted a search for methaqualone in your car without having probable cause to do the search, it may be possible to suppress the evidence as obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Other defenses could include arguing that the police did not obtain a warrant before searching or casting doubt on an element of the crime, such as showing that you did not have control or dominion over where the drugs were seized or that you did not know that they were there.Consult an Experienced Methaqualone Trafficking Lawyer in Tampa or Surrounding Cities
In Florida, methaqualone trafficking is a serious crime, but there are many different defense strategies that may be appropriate to your case. If you have representation from an experienced and knowledgeable drug crime attorney, a conviction is not assured. Will Hanlon is committed to defending the rights of the accused and has represented criminal defendants since 1994. The earlier that we get involved, the greater is the likelihood that we may influence the outcome. Call Hanlon Law at 813-228-7095 or use our online form to set up an appointment with a Tampa methaqualone trafficking attorney.