A conviction for drug possession or drug trafficking is very serious, and the consequences on your life can be irreparable. A drug conviction detrimentally affects your family and friends, your reputation, your ability to find housing, and ability to keep or find employment. As a result, it is important to aggressively defend yourself from these charges with the help of a West Palm Beach drug lawyer. An experienced West Palm Beach criminal attorney can assist in advocating on your behalf and ensuring that your rights are protected.
Penalties for Drug Crimes
Because the state of Florida is one of the main locations for drug trafficking, the laws and penalties are among the strictest in the country. For example, possession of 20 grams of marijuana or under is a first-degree misdemeanor and has a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Possession of over 20 grams of marijuana, or possession of other illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy or meth, is considered a felony and has a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Also, possession of more than 10 grams of heroin is considered a first-degree felony and is punishable by a sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
In addition, if a defendant is found with drug-related paraphernalia (e.g., syringes, needles, pipes, bongs, or scales), or chemicals used to manufacture drugs, a West Palm Beach drug lawyer should be contacted as this is an additional offense punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail and a fine of $1,000. If a defendant has more questions about drug penalties, our knowledgeable West Palm Beach attorneys could elaborate during a consultation.
What is Drug Trafficking?
As a drug attorney in West Palm Beach can explain, drug trafficking is the intentional sale, manufacture, purchase, possession with intent to distribute, or importation of drugs above a certain amount. Florida also has very severe punishments for drug trafficking. For one, trafficking more than 25 pounds of marijuana (or more than 28 grams of cocaine) comes with a minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and a fine of $25,000. The possession of 25 or more cannabis plants is evidence of intent to traffic marijuana – a felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail and a fine of $10,000. Trafficking 200-400 grams of cocaine is punishable by up to 7 years imprisonment and a fine of $100,000.
When Would a Drug Charge Become Federal?
There are several ways in which a drug offense could be charged at the Federal level. For example, if a drug offense was committed in a school zone or involved individuals under the age of 21, the drug charge could become Federal. In addition, if a drug offense crossed state lines, the offense would likely be charged at the Federal level as well.
There are specific drug offenses that are typically charged at the Federal level, such as drug trafficking and drug distribution. It is not uncommon for these types of offenses to be investigated by Federal agents such as the FBI or DEA. When that is the case, the individual in question would likely be charged with a Federal drug offense.
Contacting a West Palm Beach Drug Attorney
A conviction for drug possession or trafficking has severe consequences for your life and your future. If you need legal assistance related to drug possession and/or drug trafficking, it is imperative to have an experienced West Palm Beach drug lawyer representing you. Our team is highly experienced in handling drug possession and drug trafficking cases in the Palm Beach County area as well as throughout Florida. We are former prosecutors who know the ins and outs of the criminal justice system and are familiar with handling drug cases. At Leifert & Leifert, we will work tirelessly to get your sentence reduced, or your charges dismissed. We may even be able to get a disposition removed through record sealing and expunging. Contact us today to learn more about these options.