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Drug Trafficking

Selling, distributing, delivering or in any way trafficking a controlled substance is illegal in the state of Florida. The penalties for the crime are incredibly serious and can mean time in prison. What’s worse is that Florida has mandatory minimum imprisonment sentences if you are convicted of drug trafficking. That means you will automatically be sent to prison and not be able to have your sentence deferred or suspended.

In many cases, a person accused of drug trafficking had no intention to sell a controlled substance but simply had a large quantity of the illegal substance on them. To avoid being labeled as a “drug dealer” for years we suggest you hire legal representation. An experienced criminal drug defense attorney can build you a strong defense to fight your charges.

Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney in St. Lucie County, FL

Have you been charged with a drug trafficking or related crime in the Treasure Coast Florida area? If so, it’s within your best interest to gain legal counsel at Meltzer & Bell. We want to use our 20 years of collective experience to defend you and your rights. Let us be your guide and get in touch with us at Meltzer & Bell to start setting up your defense today.

Meltzer & Bell has clients throughout the greater St. Lucie County and Martin County area including Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Saint Lucie, Palm City, Stuart and Jensen Beach. Call us at (772) 291-2534 and we will schedule an appointment for you as soon as we can.

Overview of Drug Trafficking in FL


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What Constitutes as Drug Trafficking in Florida?

The phrase drug trafficking can conjure up images of elaborate secretive illicit trade or commercial deals that involve illegal drugs or unauthorized prescription drugs. In reality, any sale, delivery, or distribution of a controlled substance can be considered drug trafficking. What constitutes a drug trafficking charge is the quantity of drugs found on the offender.

Florida Statutes Section 893.135 states the sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, or brining into the state a controlled substance above a certain limit, or knowingly being in actual or constructive possession of drugs beyond a limit specified by the statute. Some common controlled substances people are charged with trafficking include:

  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Methaqualone
  • Amphetamine
  • Percocet
  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Flunitrazepam
  • 1,4-Butanediol
  • Phenethylamines
  • Synthetic drugs
  • Valium
  • Psilocybin mushrooms
  • Phencyclidine
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
  • Xanax
  • Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)
  • Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL)

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Quantity Thresholds that Can Lead to Drug Trafficking Charges

Florida determines a drug crime to be trafficking if the offender possesses a quantity of drugs that surpasses the threshold listed Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. The higher the quantity of drugs the more serious the penalties upon conviction will be.

These thresholds include the following:

  • Trafficking MDMA or Ecstasy requires ten (10) grams;
  • Trafficking Cocaine requires twenty-eight (28) grams; and
  • Trafficking GHB requires one (1) kilogram.
  • Trafficking Heroin requires four (4) grams;
  • Trafficking Hydrocodone requires fourteen (14) grams;
  • Trafficking LSD requires one (1) gram;
  • Trafficking MDMA or Ecstasy requires ten (10) grams; or
  • Trafficking Oxycodone requires seven (7) grams

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Mandatory Minimum Prison Sentences for Drug Trafficking in Florida

Florida is known for having some of the harshest penalties for drug crimes in the United States. One reason why the consequences are so severe is the fact that most drug trafficking crimes will result in a mandatory minimum prison sentence. This means you cannot receive probation have your adjudication withheld or have your sentence suspended or deferred in any way. You must complete this minimum prison sentence no matter what if you’re convicted.

A conviction for trafficking cannabis will include a mandatory minimum prison sentence of:

  • 10,000 lbs. or more; or 10,000 or more cannabis plants
    • 15 years prison and a $200,000 fine
  • 2,000 lbs. to 10,000 lbs.; or 2,000 to 10,000 cannabis plants
    • 7 years prison and a $50,000 fine
  • 25 lbs. to 2,000 lbs.; or 300 to 2,000 cannabis plants
    • 3 years prison and a $25,000 fine

A conviction for trafficking methamphetamines will include a mandatory minimum prison sentence of:

  • 200 grams or more
    • 15 years prison and a $250,000 fine
  • 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams
    • 7 years prison and a $100,000 fine
  • 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams
    • 3 years prison and a $50,000 fine

A conviction for trafficking cocaine will include a mandatory minimum prison sentence of:

  • 400 grams or more, but less than 150 kilograms
    • 15 years prison and a $250,000 fine
  • 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams
    • 7 years prison and a $100,000 fine
  • 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams
    • 3 years prison and a $50,000 fine

A conviction for trafficking ecstasy will include a mandatory minimum prison sentence of:

  • 400 grams or more
    • 15 years prison and a $250,000 fine
  • 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams
    • 7 years prison and a $100,000 fine
  • 10 grams or more, but less than 200 grams
    • 3 years prison and a $50,000 fine

A conviction for trafficking Oxycodone will include a mandatory minimum prison sentence of:

  • 100 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms
    • 25 years prison and a $750,000 fine
  • 25 grams or more, but less than 100 grams
    • 15 years prison and a $500,000 fine
  • 14 grams or more, but less than 25 grams
    • 7 years prison and a $100,000 fine
  • 7 grams or more, but less than 14 grams
    • 3 years prison and a $50,000 fine

A conviction for trafficking LSD will include a mandatory minimum prison sentence of:

  • 7 grams or more
    • 15 years prison and a $500,000 fine
  • 5 grams or more, but less than 7 grams
    • 7 years prison and a $100,000 fine
  • 1 gram or more, but less than 5 grams
    • 3 years prison and a $50,000 fine

A conviction for trafficking heroin will include a mandatory minimum prison sentence of:

  • 10 kilograms or more
    • Life in Prison and a $500,000 fine
  • 28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms
    • 25 years prison and a $500,000 fine
  • 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams
    • 15 years prison and a $100,000 fine
  • 4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams
    • 3 years prison and a $50,000 fine

A conviction for trafficking hydrocodone will include a mandatory minimum prison sentence of:

  • 200 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms
    • 25 years prison and a $750,000 fine
  • 50 grams or more, but less than 200 grams
    • 15 years prison and a $500,000 fine
  • 28 grams or more, but less than 50 grams
    • 7 years prison and a $100,000 fine
  • 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams
    • 3 years prison and a $50,000 fine

A conviction for trafficking GHB will include a mandatory minimum prison sentence of:

  • 10 kilograms or more
    • 15 years prison and a $250,000 fine
  • 5 kilograms or more, but less than 10 kilograms
    • 7 years prison and a $100,000 fine
  • 1 kilogram or more, but less than 5 kilograms
    • 3 years prison and a $50,000 fine

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Additional Resources

Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties – Visit the official website of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to learn more information about the federal penalties for drug trafficking. If you didn’t know, if the court discovers your trafficking crossed state lines you could be tried on a federal jurisdiction. Download the chart on penalties for Marijuana, Hashish, Hashish Oil and other types of cannabis.

UNODC on the Drug Trafficking – Visit the official website of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to learn more about facts related to drug trafficking, and the illicit commercial and international trade of drugs as well as laws to prohibit the manufacture and trafficking of it. Find information on the legal framework and how UNODC maintains international treaties involving drugs.


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Port St. Lucie Lawyer for Drug Trafficking in Florida

If you or someone you know has been charged with drug trafficking or other controlled substance related crime, then get in touch with Meltzer & Bell. Our firm has extensive experience with drug trafficking charges. We will thoroughly examine your charges and create an effective and efficient defense for your case.

Get in touch with us at (772) 291-2534 to set up your first consultation. We will work day and night to create a defense that will protect your rights and future. Meltzer & Bell accepts clients throughout the greater St. Lucie County and Martin County area including Fort Pierce, Stuart, Saint Lucie and Port St. Lucie.


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