Under Florida Statute section 893.02(3), all of the parts of the plant of genus cannabis are considered cannabis for the purposes of bringing a criminal charge. The plant can be growing or not growing. Cannabis trafficking is a serious charge in Florida. If you are convicted, a mandatory minimum sentence will be imposed. At Hanlon Law, St. Petersburg cannabis trafficking lawyer Will Hanlon strongly believes in providing a vigorous defense to people accused of crimes related to cannabis, marijuana, and other controlled substances.Cannabis Trafficking
Under Florida Statute section 893.135, cannabis trafficking involves intentionally transporting, delivering, possessing, buying, or selling a threshold amount of cannabis. Trafficking occurs if you intentionally sell, buy, possess, deliver, or transport a specific amount of a drug over a threshold amount. Even if you simply possess the threshold amount of cannabis, you can be charged with cannabis trafficking. The minimum threshold for cannabis trafficking is 25 pounds of cannabis or 300 plants of it. There are different trafficking thresholds for cocaine and 1,4-butanediol, among other drugs.
If you have this minimum amount up to 2,000 pounds, you can be charged with a first-degree felony. You face the possibility of a mandatory minimum sentence of three years’ imprisonment and a $25,000 fine. This is also the mandatory minimum penalty for 300-2,000 cannabis plants. If you are caught with 2,000-10,000 pounds or 2,000-10,000 plants, you face a possible mandatory minimum sentence of seven years and a $50,000 fine. If you are caught with 10,000 pounds or more, or 10,000 plants or more, the mandatory minimum sentence is 15 years, and the fine is $200,000.
Mandatory minimum sentences are harsh. Ordinarily, a judge has an opportunity to use their discretion when imposing a sentence, but when a mandatory minimum sentence has been set by statute, it is rare that the judge will have any sort of discretion to impose a sentence that is less than the mandatory minimum.
It is important to retain a cannabis trafficking attorney in St. Petersburg who understands the different possible defenses and which might be applied to your situation. Sometimes cannabis trafficking is one of several charges, and in that case, the defense strategy employed should address all of the charges. St. Petersburg criminal lawyer Will Hanlon can evaluate the facts to determine whether the police violated your constitutional rights and whether there are other factors in your case that might make entrapment or substantial assistance appropriate defense strategies.
Law enforcement officers are not supposed to violate your constitutional rights when investigating you as a suspect. Sometimes there are inappropriate searches and seizures that result in evidence of cannabis trafficking. For example, a police officer who failed to obtain a warrant or who got a warrant improperly may have violated your Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. In these cases, it may be possible for a St. Petersburg cannabis trafficking attorney to get the evidence of trafficking or some of the evidence suppressed. In a trafficking case, the amount of the drug needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, so even getting some of the evidence of cannabis suppressed so that you are moved to a lower class of penalty could result in a lighter sentence. If all of the evidence of cannabis is suppressed, the prosecution will not be able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Sometimes, there are situations in which cannabis trafficking occurs because of police coercion. If a crime would not have occurred but for police coercion, it may be possible to prove entrapment and either get the charges dismissed or obtain an acquittal.
In still other situations, you may be able to enter into a formal deal with the prosecutor to give substantial assistance to identify, arrest, or convict someone else who is involved in cannabis trafficking. However, you should not try to make a deal with the prosecutor without the help of an experienced attorney.Consult an Experienced Cannabis Trafficking Lawyer in St. Petersburg
If you are seeking a tough and skillful lawyer to fight charges of cannabis trafficking or crimes related to other controlled substances, such as meth, Hanlon Law may be able to represent you. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing dedicated criminal defense representation since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at (727) 897-5413 or complete our online form.