While Florida is known for its beautiful weather, gorgeous beaches, delicious citrus fruit, and great retirement communities, but the State of Florida is also a target for drug traffickers to bring illegal substances into the country or across state lines. The expansive coastline that spreads from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, along with the Florida Keys island chain that dips close to the Bahamas and Cuba, means that it is an easy target for boats and airplanes to smuggle all kinds of illegal substances into the state, especially such dangerous drugs as cocaine.
Crack cocaine, also known as rock or crack, is manufactured using cocaine. The drug is smoked using a mini-torch lighter and pipe. User smoke crack because of its intense, short high. According to the Manual of Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment, crack is the most addictive type of cocaine-based drug.
Trafficking in crack cocaine in Florida is a crime where those who are convicted face serious and potentially life-altering repercussions. Specifically, when one is convicted of crack cocaine trafficking in Florida, there are mandatory minimum prison terms that are imposed, as well as hefty monetary fines.
Florida Statutes Section 893.135(1)(b) Trafficking; Conspiracy to Engage in Drug Trafficking
Under Florida Statutes Section 893.135(1)(b), it defines the offense of trafficking as an individual who knowingly possesses, sells, purchases, delivers, manufactures, or transports cocaine (including any mixture that contains the drug) in amounts of 28 grams or greater.
Pursuant to Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code, cocaine trafficking within the state is given a severity ranking of level 8 or 9, which is contingent upon the amount of the substance at issue. It is also considered a first-degree felony. The consequences of a conviction are daunting, and may include jail time, monetary fines, effects on your freedom, and damage to your professional and personal life. There are defenses that may be available however, which are discussed further below.
Florida Statutes Section 893.135(1)(b)
Under Florida Statutes Section 893.135(1)(b), “[a]ny person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 28 grams or more of cocaine, as described in [Section] 893.03(2)(a)4, or of any mixture containing cocaine, but less than 150 kilograms of cocaine or any such mixture, commits a felony of the first degree…”
Mandatory Minimum Penalties for Trafficking Cocaine in Florida
When issuing a sentence, a judge in Florida is bound by the mandatory minimum penalties associated with a cocaine trafficking conviction.
These are as follows:
- If you face a conviction for trafficking in cocaine in the amount of 28 grams or greater, but less than 200 grams, you will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of three years in prison, and will also be subject to a $50,000 fine. You will also lose your driving privileges for a period of one year.
- If you face a conviction for trafficking in cocaine in the amount of 200 grams or greater, but less than 400 grams, you will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison, and will also be subject to a $100,000 fine. You will also lose your driving privileges for a period of one year.
- If you face a conviction for trafficking in cocaine in the amount of 400 grams or greater, but less than 150 kilograms, you will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison, and be subject to a $250,000 fine. You will also lose your driving privileges for a period of one year.
Maximum Penalties for Being Convicted of Cocaine Trafficking as a First-Degree Felony in Florida
The above-listed penalties are associated solely with mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines. As a first-degree felony offense in Florida, a person could face a potential 30-year prison term, depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case, such as the existence of aggravating factors. Keep in mind that if a person is convicted of trafficking 150 kilograms or greater of cocaine, he or she will face a life prison term, and will not be eligible for early release other than through a pardon, conditional medical release, or executive clemency.
If one of the above offenses is committed (in terms of the amount of cocaine at issue), and a person is intentionally killed or is caused to be killed during the process, the offender will be charged with a capital felony, which could mean life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
If a person faces a conviction of knowingly bringing 300 kilograms or greater of cocaine into Florida with knowledge that such activities would result in the death of another individual, it is charged as a capital felony, which is associated with a term of life imprisonment without parole or the death penalty.
Fighting Crack Cocaine Trafficking Charges in Florida
If you are facing cocaine trafficking charges in Florida, it is critical that you contact a skilled Florida Crack Cocaine Trafficking Defense Attorney today to learn more about the defenses that may be available in your case. When you speak with a skilled legal advocate, you will learn that such commonly-raised defenses may include the following:
- You were a victim of entrapment (the act of luring an individual into a crime for the sole purpose of prosecuting him or her) conducted by law enforcement;
- You were the subject of an illegal search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution;
- There is not enough evidence to support the charges brought against you; or
- You are substantially assisting law enforcement in bringing other drug traffickers to justice and as such, you are being spared the mandatory minimum sentence for your offense or your sentence is being suspended.
Have you been charged with trafficking cocaine in Florida?
If you are facing crack cocaine drug trafficking charges in Florida, you will face serious penalties in the event of a conviction. As such, you must work with an experienced and knowledgeable legal advocate as soon as you are arrested. Only an attorney is in the best position to develop the strongest defense strategy on your behalf.
Why Choose Musca Law?
Don’t wait, as your freedom and livelihood are at stake. Musca Law prides itself on its many years of skilled criminal defense representation in the state of Florida. Our experienced team of legal advocates has over 150 collective years of legal experience representing those charged with drug trafficking crimes throughout the state of Florida. We are available 24/7 to talk with you about your case in an initial case consultation. Contact (888) 484-5057 today to learn more about your legal rights and options. Don’t wait, as your freedom and livelihood depend upon it.