Trafficking in Methamphetamine (Meth, Crystal Meth)
Classified as a Schedule II drug in Florida, methamphetamine or "meth," "crystal meth," "crank," or other names it is referred to is a substance that has a high risk or potential for abuse or addiction. If you are under investigation or have been arrested for trafficking in methamphetamine, it is vital to consult with an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney immediately. The punishment for this first-degree felony drug crime is harsh for those found guilty; not only could you lose your freedom, you could face huge fines, loss of your reputation and more. It is important to protect your legal rights and freedom as soon as you have been arrested or suspect you are being investigated.
Meth trafficking is defined under Florida Statute 893.135(1)(f)(1) as knowingly selling, possessing manufacturing, purchasing, delivering or transporting methamphetamine or any mixture containing the substance in amounts of 14 grams or more. It is important to note that weight used in trafficking charges is not determined by the amount of pure methamphetamine the mixture contains, but the total weight of the mixture containing meth.Florida Methamphetamine Trafficking Penalties
Possessing crystal meth or meth in amounts of more than 14 grams constitutes trafficking, regardless of whether you sold, manufactured or distributed the drug. When large amounts are involved, law enforcement officers automatically suspect the person is trafficking in methamphetamine. The punishment for those found guilty is extremely harsh and includes:
Over 14 grams but less than 28 grams - Mandatory minimum 3 year prison sentence, $50,000 fine. The judge has the discretion of imposing a 30 year maximum prison term.
Over 28 grams but less than 200 grams - Mandatory minimum 7 year prison sentence, $100,000 fine. The judge has the discretion of imposing a 30 year maximum prison term.
200 grams or more - Mandatory minimum 15 year prison sentence, $250,000 fine. The judge has the discretion of imposing a 30 year maximum prison term.
In addition to these severe penalties, your driver's license will be suspended for one year by the Florida DHSMV. The State of Florida may also immediately suspend any professional license authorizing the practice of your trade or profession pursuant to Florida Statute 893.11.Common Defenses to Trafficking in Methamphetamine
While it is the hope of every drug defense lawyer to have charges dismissed when possible, this is not always possible. A defendant may want to accept a plea deal offered by the prosecution in some circumstances, which essentially means the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for reduced penalties. In the event the defendant pleads "not guilty" and goes to trial, there are several useful defenses that may prove effective. These include but are not limited to:
- Illegal search and seizure
- Insufficient evidence
- Substantial assistance
It is not unusual for law enforcement officers to perform an illegal search; in some instances police may coerce a suspect into agreeing to have his or her home, vehicle, or body searched. Search warrants may be obtained in bad faith, or an individual may be arrested without probable cause. If any of these scenarios occur, it may be possible to suppress evidence that has been obtain unlawfully by filing a Motion to Suppress. In some cases it may result in the case being dismissed.
Proving possession of meth or crystal meth is not always easy, but it must be proven if a person is to be charged with trafficking in meth. You must have had actual or constructive possession, which means it was either found on your person (such as in a pocket or purse), or in a place where people other than you had access but you had knowledge of its presence, knew that it was methamphetamine, and had control/dominion over the drug.
The defense strategy developed to fight allegations of trafficking in methamphetamine depend largely on the facts of your individual case.Contact Adams & Luka Now
When you are accused of meth trafficking it is extremely serious; you must take action immediately not only to protect your legal rights, but your freedom, career and future. At Adams & Luka our Orlando drug crimes defense attorney have the experience, skill and dedicated approach essential to reach the best possible outcome in your case. We urge you to contact us now for a free consultation regarding your case at 407-872-0307.