Drug Trafficking, Sale & Possession Defense Attorney
Being charged with the trafficking, sale, or possession of drugs in Florida can result in severe consequences. This is why it is crucial to have experienced criminal defense counsel by your side. Donald C. Barrett, Attorney at Law, is a former state prosecutor and will help you understand the rights you have under the law, as well as your options on how to best handle the charges against you. Mr. Barrett consistently provides his clients with an aggressive defense so that they receive the best outcome possible.
Trafficking vs. Sale vs. Possession
While trafficking drugs, selling drugs, and possessing drugs are all illegal, how they are treated by the legal system varies greatly.
Drug trafficking, a first-degree felony, is the most serious of the three offenses. It is distinguished from the sale of drugs, or possession with the intent to sell, by the sheer amount of drugs involved. Proof of intent to sell is not required as the presumption is that anyone in possession of such an amount of drugs is engaged in trafficking. Florida Statute §893.135 defines the amount needed for each type of drug for a charge of trafficking. It also clarifies the punishments involved according to the type and amount of drug in question. The amount required for trafficking some types of narcotics is only a few grams.
Sale of Drugs
While not as severe a charge as trafficking, possession with intent to sell drugs is still a felony with substantial penalties. Often, law enforcement officers will charge a person with possession with intent to sell when in fact they should have charged them with simple possession. This is significant as the two charges are treated very differently. Possession with intent to sell can qualify as a second degree felony. While an officer can easily charge someone with possession with intent to sell, the prosecutor must show several elements to be successful at trial. They are:
- The defendant had knowledge of the illicit nature of the substance
- The defendant possessed a certain substance and had the intention of selling, manufacturing, or selling the substance
- The substance in possession of the defendant is defined as a controlled substance in Florida Statute Ann §893.03.
The prosecutor must prove the existence of all three elements “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Possession of Drugs
Simple possession of drugs is the least severe of all three charges. Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes lists drugs that are considered to be controlled substances, as well as their “schedule” rating. With the exception of marijana, possession of any of the controlled substances on this list is a felony. Penalties, including fines, are determined according to the type and amount of the drug possessed.
Speak With Experienced Drug Defense Counsel
If you or a loved one has been charged with the trafficking, sale, or possession of drugs, contact Donald C. Barrett, Attorney at Law. As a former felony prosecutor for the state attorney’s office in Key West, Mr. Barrett knows how the prosecution builds and prosecutes cases. He is the experienced litigator that you want by your side when you are facing criminal charges.