Orlando Trafficking in Heroin Criminal Defense Attorney
Any drug charge should prompt you to contact a knowledgeable attorney immediately. Even the allegation that you are involved in a drug charge can have an impact on your future and your reputation, but this is even more serious when you are accused of trafficking in heroin.
Any type of trafficking charge carries serious penalties. Possessing any weight or amount of heroin in Florida is categorized as a felony. This is true whether or not it’s a foil or pipe containing residue, a spoon or a pipe containing 10 grams or less of heroin. If you’re facing charges for selling or possessing heroin, it is essential that you contact a reputable Orlando criminal defense attorney to understand the criminal justice system as well as Florida’s heroin laws. Having someone to come with you to court is also strongly recommended.
If the police made errors in your arrest or search, this should be shared with your lawyer right away. This information could be used by your attorney to get the charges dismissed or to raise doubts about the proper management of the evidence used to charge you. Knowing this information as a defendant can make a big difference in your ability to cope with the charges in addition to fight them off. This is one area in which your lawyer should have experience so that you can feel confident about whoever is handling your legal case. Given that the outcome of your case can include ramifications following you for many years to come, the right attorney is an asset you should not overlook.
If you’re already under investigation or facing charges for heroin possession or drug trafficking, you cannot afford to wait too long to get help from a lawyer who knows how these charges are handled in Orlando and surrounding areas.
Defining Drug Trafficking in Florida
The criminal act of drug trafficking is often referred to as a federal crime across the state borders in the majority of cases. However, this is not to say that trafficking charges are not considered by the state laws. Florida statutes 893.135 outline that it is a criminal act to traffic drugs or to be involved in any conspiracy to commit a drug crime. Heroin is a schedule one drug and if you are caught for trafficking between 100 and 999 gm, the criminal penalties are a minimum of 10 years in prison and no more than a life sentence.
However, the fines can be up to $8 million for individuals arrested. Schedule one drugs are those with the highest potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Some other examples of schedule one drugs include ecstasy and peyote. The consequences for your future go beyond the jail time. In fact, if you are accused of trafficking heroin or a similar drug, you may never be able to fully recover from the consequences of a conviction. Your best opportunity to fight off these charges is to retain a criminal defense attorney immediately after you have been accused.
If you think it’s a good idea to defend yourself in a case like this, you might only realize the potential consequences of your action after it’s too late. Waiting too long before talking to a lawyer could cost you significantly.
What You Need to Know About Possession Charges in Florida for Heroin
There is a distinction in Florida between heroin possession and heroin trafficking rules. Understanding the difference between constructive and actual possession is important. In situations in which you have been accused of trafficking heroin, the more appropriate charge may be possession and your criminal defense attorney in Orlando should know this and be prepared with coming up with a strategy to help protect you in this situation.
Constructive possession refers to situations in which the heroin was not taken from your pockets or on your hands or within your close reach, but rather in a location that you would have had access to. It is extremely difficult for a prosecutor to accuse and convict you for constructive possession when compared with actual possession.
Actual possession is much more difficult to refute and is the more straightforward and common type of illegal heroin possession in Florida.
This occurs when the heroin was found in your wallet, hands, pockets, bag or within your reach. Depending on the volume of heroin in question, you could be looking at up to 5 or up to 30 years in prison. Heroin trafficking charges are different. Drug trafficking in Florida is referred to as purchasing, selling, delivering, knowingly possessing or manufacturing 4 grams or more of heroin. The most serious penalties are associated with trafficking charges and each of these has a mandatory minimum prison sentence and a fine associated with the amount of heroin in question. For example:
- For between 4 and 14 grams of heroin; a three-year prison sentence in addition to up to $50,000 worth of fines may apply.
- For between 14 and 28 grams of heroin; a $100,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison may apply.
- Between 28 grams and 30 kilograms of heroin may lead to up to $500,000 in fines and 25 years in prison.
Penalties may also include drug counseling, a driver’s license suspension, community service and supervised probation. There are many different allegations that you could raise in terms of defending yourself from a heroin trafficking or possession charge in Florida.
Possible Defenses For Trafficking in Heroin Charges
One possible defense is lack of knowledge. If the drugs were found near you but you had no awareness of their existence or that the materials were heroin, your Orlando criminal defense lawyer can raise these concerns right away.
Another possible defense is an overdose. Laws do not recognize the severe impact that addiction can have on someone, but if the materials can show that evidence in the case was obtained for a person relying on them for medical support for an overdose can be raised in your defense.
Another very common defense for heroin trafficking charges is illegal search and seizure. The law enforcement officers in your case may overstep their authority when conducting searches. If your lawyer can show that these instances occurred as a result of the officer overstepping their bounds and violating your constitutional rights, however, you may be eligible to use this in your criminal defense. These concerns should be raised immediately and only by an Orlando lawyer with a background in drug possession allegations.
One of the most troubling aspects of heroin and other drug charges is that minimum penalties may apply if you’re convicted. Whereas with other crimes you may be at the discretion of the judge, minimum sentences mean that if convicted, you will be facing a stipulated sentence behind bars. With minimum sentences, there’s no leeway for someone convicted of a crime. Furthermore, the actual penalty may be much worse when discretion is applied beyond the minimum sentences.
Convictions, however, are just one potential penalty for a drug crime in Florida. Fines, probation, and the impact of a criminal record should not be ignored, either. It can take years to recover from the serious impacts of a heroin trafficking conviction.
You may not even know how much your criminal record affects you at all, but employers may find this information in a background check. Landlords, too, may discover drug trafficking charges on your record and choose not to rent to you. The impacts of a drug trafficking conviction may follow you for years to come, so you should approach these charges with serious concern and guidance provided by an experienced Orlando heroin drug trafficking lawyer.
Contact an Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Who Knows How to Handle the Prosecution
The right lawyer can help walk you through your case and identify any evidence that may have been obtained illegally or other actions that officers and authorities made that violated your rights. Identifying this quickly empowers your attorney to do everything necessary to protect you and your rights going forward.
If you fail to take action or make the mistake of thinking that you can represent yourself or hire a public defender, these mistakes made early on in your case may make it all that much easier for the prosecution to obtain a conviction. Given that there is so much on the line for your future, your life and your family, you cannot afford to wait to make a phone call to an experienced criminal defense attorney for heroin trafficking charges in Florida. The damage to your reputation can be life lasting and the serious prison sentences that apply may make it more difficult for you to live your life afterwards, see your family members or obtain meaningful employment opportunities. For these reasons and more, the right criminal defense attorney in Orlando should be contacted right away before the police attempt to intimidate you into providing further information or submitting to a search without knowing your rights. Talk to an attorney now to get clarity on the charges you are facing as well as the options you have to fight them.
At Frost Law, we are committed to defending you on your Trafficking in Heroin case. As a former prosecutor, Chad Frost prosecuted hundreds of trafficking cases. He knows how the prosecution works and will help defend you to the fullest extent possible.
Call today for your Free Consultation. You can reach us 24/7 at (407) 670-5669.