Drug Trafficking: What Is It and What to Do If You’re Charged with It

In Florida, drug trafficking is a type of drug possession charge based on the amount of a particular type of drug found in your possession. Simple drug possession or intent to sell charges can quickly become more serious trafficking charges simply by possessing more than the state-regulated threshold. Here’s what you need to know about drug trafficking charges in Florida. 

What is Drug Trafficking?

Drug trafficking is described in Florida Statute 893.135. The statute defines drug trafficking as the selling, purchasing, manufacturing, transporting, delivering, or carrying a specific amount of a controlled substance. To be charged with drug trafficking, the amount of drug in your possession must exceed the thresholds of the “intent to sell” limits. Charges are solely based on the amount of drug found in your possession, not whether you intended to transport, smuggle, or deliver the drug. 

Drug Trafficking Thresholds

Often, it only takes a tiny amount of a controlled substance to be considered drug trafficking. Florida law details the amounts of specific drugs you’d need to have in your possession to be considered trafficking. Here are the drug trafficking thresholds for common street drugs: 

  • LSD—1 gram
  • Narcotics like morphine, opium, or heroin—4 grams 
  • Fentanyl—4 grams 
  • Hydrocodone—4 grams
  • Oxycodone—7 grams 
  • Amphetamine—14 grams 
  • Cannabis—25 pounds or 300 (or more) plants 
  • Cocaine or hydrocodone—28 grams

If you are caught with this amount of drugs or more, you could be charged with drug trafficking. A full list of drugs and their threshold amounts can be found in the Florida Statutes.

Penalties for Drug Trafficking 

Drug trafficking is the most serious drug possession offense in Florida. State and federal regulations that apply if you’re convicted of drug trafficking, enhancing penalties. Drug trafficking charges come with a mandatory minimum jail sentence, which varies based on the type of controlled substance and the quantity you possess. 

Here are the minimum mandatory penalties for some common drug trafficking charges:  

  • Cannabis 25—9,999 pounds: 3 years in prison, minimum $25,000 fine.
  • Cocaine 28—200 grams: 3 years in prison, minimum $50,000 fine. 
  • Hydrocodone or Oxycodone 4—14 grams: 3 years in prison, minimum $50,000 fine.
  • Morphine 4 —14 grams: 3 years in prison, minimum $50,000 fine.
  • Amphetamine 14—28 grams: 3 years in prison, minimum $50,000 fine. 
  • LSD 1—5 grams: 3 years in prison, minimum $50,000 fine.

Other penalties for being convicted of drug trafficking include community service and driver’s license suspension. There are also enhanced penalties if you were charged with drug trafficking within 1,000 feet of a church, school, park, or other designated drug-free zone. 

Defending Drug Trafficking Charges 

To be convicted of drug trafficking, the court must prove you knowingly possessed the drug, and it was a controlled substance as defined by federal law and listed within Schedules I-V of the controlled substance table. Next, you must prove that you possessed enough of the drug to be considered drug trafficking. Your criminal defense attorney will review your case to see whether law enforcement followed all necessary guidelines regarding the search and seizure of the drugs found in your possession. 

Drug Possession Defense in Osceola County, FL 

If you’re facing drug possession charges in Osceola County or anywhere in Central Florida, criminal defense attorney Alison M. Lopes can help you. Schedule a consultation with our legal team by calling 407-442-2724. We have a successful track record defending clients against drug charges and will work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.