Any drug violation may have harsh consequences, but if authorities believe you are guilty of drug trafficking or distribution, your case has the potential to become much worse. The prosecution in your case may seek to prove that you knowingly delivered a controlled substance to someone else. Law enforcement may look for other elements that could exacerbate your charges further.
The outcome of your case may depend on a number of factors.
If you have more of a controlled substance than you should reasonably have for personal use, law enforcement may assume that you intend to sell at least some of it. Several different substances, prescription drugs without prescriptions, large amounts of cash, weapons and packaging materials are all signs of trafficking that officers look for.
The drug type can affect the penalties, as well. Florida divides these into five main penalty groups, with the first group having the highest penalties:
- Schedule I drugs include opioids, cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamines
- Schedule II drugs include methadone, Percocet, codeine, and certain amphetamines such as Adderall
- Schedule III drugs include anabolic steroids, Suboxone and Tylenol containing codeine
- Schedule IV drugs include Valium, Xanax and LSD
- Schedule V drugs include compounds containing controlled substances in certain amounts, such as cough syrups
When the amount is over 400 grams, the penalties may include a life sentence if its use or transfer resulted in serious injury or death, if the substance is a Schedule I or II drug.
In most trafficking cases, defendants rely on strategies that depend on proving that there was no intent to distribute a drug. This could stem from not knowing the drug was there or thinking it was something else, or that you did have the substance but did not intend it for human consumption. You may also receive lesser or dropped charges if you can prove that your participation in the trafficking was due to threats of violence against you or your family or other duress.