Drug Trafficking Crimes in Pasco
Drug trafficking crimes are prosecuted aggressively in Pasco County, FL, at the courthouse in Dade City and New Port Richey, FL. Without an aggressive defense, the penalties for these offenses can be particularly harsh.
The crime of “drug trafficking” occurs when a person knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into the state, or is in actual or constructive possession of, a specified quantity of a controlled substance. Section 893.135, F.S., explains the substances which are included in Florida’s drug trafficking statute.
The controlled substance involved in the trafficking must meet a specified weight or quantity threshold specified under Florida law.
As a general rule, drug trafficking crimes are classified as first degree felonies, punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment.
All drug trafficking convictions are subject to mandatory minimum sentences and heightened fines, which are determined by the threshold amounts of drugs involved in the crime. Without a waiver by the prosecutor, the judge is not permitted impose a sentence below the statutory mandatory minimum sentence.
Attorney for Drug Trafficking in Pasco County, FL
Our criminal defense attorneys fight drug trafficking cases throughout the greater Tampa Bay area, including Pasco County, FL.
If you were charged with any form of drug trafficking or armed drug trafficking in Pasco County, FL, then your case will be prosecuted at the courthouse in Dade City or New Port Richey.
Our main office is located in downtown Tampa, FL. We have a second office located in Pasco County in New Port Richey, directly across from the courthouse at the West County Judicial Center.
Contact us to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney for Pasco County, FL, at Sammis Law Firm.
Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Florida
Most drug trafficking offenses are classified as first degree felonies, subject to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and a mandatory fine. For example, a first degree felony is generally punishable by up to 30 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Some first degree felony offenses are punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment under Sections 775.082 and 775.083, F.S.
The drug-trafficking statute imposes a mandatory life sentence for trafficking in especially large amounts of certain substances. The threshold that triggers a mandatory life sentence, however, is never described as a “mandatory minimum” sentence like the other mandatory minimum sentences imposed by various threshold amounts covered by the statute.
The way the drug trafficking offense in Florida are classified is determined by the weight or quantity range applicable to the weight or quantity of the substance involved in the trafficking.
Florida law currently provides for 56 mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment in s. 893.135, F.S., which range from 3 years to life imprisonment. For example, trafficking in 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams, of cocaine, is classified as a first degree felony, is punishable by a 3-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and a mandatory fine of $50,000 under Section 893.135(1)(b)1.a., F.S.
Trafficking in 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams, of cocaine, a first degree felony, is punishable by a 15-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and a mandatory fine of $100,000 under Section 893.135(1)(b)1.b., F.S.
Section 893.135, F.S., punishes crimes for drug trafficking for knowingly selling specified quantities of some Schedule I, II, and III controlled substances.
For example, under Section 893.135, F.S., most drug trafficking offenses are charged as first degree felonies and subject to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and a mandatory fine. The statutory maximum and minimum for the fine is determined by the weight or quantity of the substance.
Special Investigations Division on Drug Trafficking in Pasco – Visit the website of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to learn more about the Vice and Narcotics Unit for the Special Investigations Division and the way the division investigates narcotics investigations. With three detective squads, the law enforcement officers with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Unit engage in overt and overt investigations.
Florida Laws Prohibiting Trafficking in Drugs – Visit the website of the Florida Senate to find the statutory language in Section 893.135 including the mandatory sentences, suspension or reduction of sentences, and penalties for conspiracy to engage in trafficking under the Chapter 893 provisions for Drug Abuse Prevention and Control in Title XLVI.
Drug Trafficking and the Illegal Drug Trade – Visit the website of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to learn more about examples o drug trafficking crimes involving the international illicit trade involving the sale of substances, distribution, manufacture, and cultivation. Find the answers to frequently asked questions such as how much jail time a person might get for drug trafficking in different counties. The website also provides information comparing a variety of different types of prohibition strategies used in different countries throughout the world to address the cause and effect of trafficking narcotics.
Lawyers for Felony Drug Crimes in Pasco County
Contact the attorneys at Sammis Law Firm if you were arrested for a felony drug crime including simple possession, delivery, sale, distribution, or trafficking. We understand the tactics used the Vice and Narcotics Unit of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
In Pasco County, FL, narcotic officers often manufacture crimes by creating elaborate sting operations involving a confidential informant or undercover officer. Officers rarely arrest those in control of drug trafficking organizations. Instead, they often focus on the least culpable and lower level participants including the street level dealer.
Over the years, we’ve learned how narcotics detectives participate in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (aka HIDTA), Homeland Security Task Force, and multiple DEA Task Forces. These officers focus on RICO investigations and money laundering operations with the goal of seizing money and other valuable property in civil asset forfeiture proceedings.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, December 22, 2020.