prescription drug bottle spilled out over money

Due to the alarming number of people addicted to prescription opioids and the increase in opioid-related deaths in Florida, opioid abuse was declared a public health emergency by former governor Rick Scott in 2017. This led to the creation of a bill approved by the Florida senate that created stronger penalties for those who illegally sell or possess opioids.

Laws in Florida exist to punish those convicted of trafficking illegal drugs, and the punishment is based on the type and amount of the drug being trafficked. This stricter law not only punishes those selling or making the drugs but also those who buy minimum amounts. It does not only apply to what you would consider a “big-time” dealer. The law is designed to help combat the opioid crisis and to cut down the use of illegal drugs. If you have been accused of trafficking in illegal drugs, contact a drug defense lawyer to discuss your case and protect your legal rights.

Morphine, Heroin, and Opioid Trafficking Laws

Florida Statute 893.195 subsection (c) makes trafficking opioids a crime that comes with penalties. “Trafficking in illegal drugs” is defined as intentionally selling, purchasing, making, delivering, or bringing opioids into the state of Florida or is in actual possession of four grams to 30 kilograms of the following:

  • Morphine
  • Opium
  • Hydromorphone
  • Any salt, derivative, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including heroin

Those who are found guilty of trafficking in illegal drugs face charges of a felony in the first degree. The possible mandatory sentence is based on the weight of the drug being trafficked. Prison terms and fines increase as the quantity of drugs goes up. The punishments for trafficking in illegal drugs are as follows:

  • Four to 14 grams: Three years in prison and a fine of $50,000
  • 14 to 28 grams: 15 years in prison and a fine of $100,000
  • 28 grams to 30 kg: 25 years in prison and a fine of $500,000

If the accused is convicted of trafficking over 30 kg of illegal drugs, this is considered a capital offense. The punishment for a capital offense is a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Those found guilty of trafficking in other illegal drugs such as fentanyl, oxycodone, and cocaine are also subject to penalties and consequences such as fines and a prison term based on the amount of the drug being trafficked.

How a Lawyer Can Help With Your Case

Trafficking in illegal drugs is a serious crime that comes with extreme penalties. If you have been charged, you will need the best drug defense lawyer you can afford. You may not understand your legal rights or the possible consequences of the crime, so hiring an experienced drug defense lawyer is the best way to make sure you are aware of the extent of the charges and that you fully understand the consequences. A lawyer will work to defend and protect your rights, help reduce or dismiss your charges, and make sure your case is handled fairly.

In addition, a drug defense lawyer can hire an expert to determine if the weight of the drugs was calculated properly and that the substance you have been accused of possessing was accurately tested. This evidence can often be used to throw out your charges so that you do not face time in prison or hefty fines.

If you have been arrested and are facing charges of opioid trafficking in Florida, you need an experienced Fort Lauderdale drug defense lawyer to help with your case. Robert David Malove has over 30 years of experience defending those accused of drug trafficking and other offenses. To set up a consultation to discuss your case, contact us online or by calling our office at 954-861-0384.