Orlando Trafficking in Cocaine Defense Attorney
Being accused of trafficking in cocaine is a serious matter and you should strongly consider exercising your right to remain silent and to speak to an attorney right away. Your lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process that often follows criminal charges.
Bear in mind that there is a strong chance that you do not know all of your rights and responsibilities when you have been accused of a crime, but an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney who has helped many other people in this situation is much more familiar with how the laws affect you and what you need to do to protect yourself. Trafficking and cocaine is a serious charge in Florida that can be assessed when an individual knowingly sells, purchases, possesses, delivers, manufactures or transports at least 28 grams or more of any mixture that also contains cocaine.
At the inception of any drug trafficking case, including those involving cocaine, you and your family will face the daunting responsibility to try to get you out of jail as the case is pending. Not being familiar with the law could lead to many mistakes made early on that compromise your freedom as well as the potential outcome of your case. Don’t fall for the myth that you can represent yourself or that you should work with a public defender when you’ve just been arrested. While there are many reputable public defenders, serious charges like cocaine trafficking require the insight of someone who knows the law and has worked extensively with those accused of cocaine trafficking.
Many people arrested on trafficking charges in Orlando and surrounding areas will be held without bond at first. In other cases, the bond amount is set so high that it’s impossible for you or your loved ones to pay it. When bond is determined in your case, however, it must be reasonable. One of the first things you should do after being arrested is to work with an Orlando cocaine trafficking defense lawyer who can help fight for reasonable bond or your release. You’re very unlikely to accomplish this on your own and could spend more time in jail than necessary as a result.
Find an Orlando Cocaine Trafficking Lawyer Immediately to Protect You
Immediately after your arrest, there are a few key issues you should be aware of that influence your case. Sharing these issues with your Orlando cocaine trafficking defense lawyer gives him or her the necessary information to start preparing your defense. In addition to fighting for a reasonable bond, as mentioned above, your lawyer should find out the exact details of the charges against you.
If mistakes were made in your arrest or in the way in which the materials were weighed, this could prove critical for your defense. Without a lawyer at your side, you wouldn’t be familiar with how to proceed and could miss the opportunity to identify these crucial details.
An experienced criminal defender, however, knows what to do next. He or she will explore every necessary issue immediately following your arrest and begin preparing the materials for your defense strategy. Since there’s so much on the line with regards to issues outside a conviction, such as the determination of bond, the value of a talented lawyer cannot be overstated.
Weight Determination and Classification
You cannot argue a defense based on the weight of the materials collected. The legal language of the statute includes the words ‘any mixture’, meaning that the aggregate weight is what is ultimately calculated to determine whether or not you can be accused of trafficking in cocaine.
Trafficking weight is clarified by the total cocaine mixture weight, whether it is stepped on, mixed or cut. This includes any non-active materials in the cocaine. For example, due to this, a person could have 14 grams of cocaine, where the actual combined dosage includes less than 4 grams of cocaine, but because the cocaine weighs in higher than 14 grams total in the mixture, an individual could be charged with trafficking in cocaine, rather being charged with cocaine possession.
This crucial issue influences many people, who do not realize the serious penalties associated with this type of crime. Depending on the method that was used to manufacture the substance, it can actually take very little cocaine possession in order for trafficking charges to apply in Florida.
You are most likely to be unaware of this if you have never been arrested for a drug charge before and may minimize the potential consequences of such a conviction as a result. This can be a catastrophic mistake that can affect your freedom and more. Identifying an Orlando criminal defense attorney who has extensive experience in this field is your best defense to protecting yourself.
Don’t wait to exercise your constitutional rights- although the situation of being arrested and questioned can be filled with pressure, a lawyer at your side helps to diffuse that so that you can stay focused on your defense and working towards a positive outcome for your future. Your lawyer must be prepared to navigate the complex criminal justice system with drug charges, and you have to place your confidence in someone you can trust.
Penalties for Cocaine Trafficking
The penalties include mandatory and harsh minimum sentences. In Florida, trafficking in cocaine is categorized as a first degree felony. It may also be stipulated as a level 9 or level 8 offense severity under the Florida criminal punishment code. If you are caught trafficking in cocaine and convicted, the minimum penalties that you will face are based on the following thresholds. These include:
- Between 28 grams to 199 grams of cocaine comes with a minimum mandatory penalty of $50,000 in fines, up to 30 years in prison and at least 3 years in prison.
- Between 200 grams and 399 grams of cocaine comes with a minimum penalty of 7 years in prison, which can be extended up to 30 years, in addition to $100,000 in fines.
- For between 400 grams and 149 kilograms of cocaine, this is a mandatory penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison in conjunction with a $250,000 fine.
Time in prison is not the only type of penalty that you may have to face, if convicted of trafficking in cocaine. You will have your driver’s license and all driving privileges revoked for a year by the Florida DHSMV. This can make it much more difficult for you to gain employment or to get where you need to go. If you have a professional license that has been issued in Florida that authorizes practicing a profession or a trade, if you are convicted of trafficking in cocaine, you will lose this.
Many people depend on these licenses of their livelihood and this is why it is just as important to consider these administrative penalties in addition to those associated with jail.
A pre-trial defense is crucial for your ability to avoid these harsh charges. Many of the defenses that are typically available in an ordinary drug possession case may also be available to your Orlando criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer is your asset when you have been accused. One of the most common defenses used in these types of cases are related to the fourth amendment. This includes:
- Illegal execution of a search warrant.
- No warrant.
- Defective warrant.
- No probable cause to obtain a warrant.
- Exceeding the scope authorized by the warrant.
- No consent to search
- Stale information forming the warrant’s basis.
- Going beyond the scope of a consensual search.
- No exigent circumstances.
- Constructive entry during knock and talk.
- Unlawful detention or arrest.
- Warrantless search.
- Miranda violations.
- The substances in question were not in plain view of the officer.
- The pre-arrest search being too broad
- Use of unlawful police tactics.
- Protective sweep extending scope.
Constructive Versus Actual Possession of Cocaine
If you have been accused of any cocaine charge in Florida, it is important to realize there is a clear difference between actual and constructive possession of cocaine. Actual possession means that cocaine was identified in your immediate control or on your person. If the cocaine was found in a situation in which more than one individual had control or access, the prosecutor must illustrate that you have constructive possession by showing:
- Knowledge that cocaine was present.
- Knowledge that the substance was cocaine.
- Control and dominion over the cocaine.
Contact An Experienced Orlando Drug Trafficking In Cocaine Attorney
An experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney can assist you when you have been accused of drug trafficking involving cocaine. The serious consequences associated with a cocaine trafficking charge should prompt you to schedule a consultation immediately after being accused.
When the police press you to provide more information in your case, ask for your lawyer. Make sure you have an attorney who is willing to look into your case and provide you with detailed information about the possible impact on your future.
Attorney Chad Frost puts his experience as a former drug crimes Prosecutor to work for you. Contact Frost Law at (407) 670-5569 today for a FREE consultation and review of your case by an experienced criminal defense attorney.