When someone sells drugs to an undercover officer things are pretty bad, but there are many ways seasoned lawyers can try to have the charges against you reduced or dropped altogether.
Two Florida residents were sentenced last week to 25 years in jail after being found guilty of drug trafficking. According to the office of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, the two men, Carlos Rodriguez and Antonio Izquierdo sold more than 28 grams of Fentanyl to an undercover cop.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, similar to morphine, but 50 – 100 times more potent. Under Florida statutes, trafficking more than 28 grams of fentanyl is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 years and a $500,000 fine.
While it is certainly true that America is facing an opioid crisis and controlled substances like fentanyl kill thousands of people, the police can be overzealous and the mandatory imprisonment terms can be seen as excessively high.
One thing is clear – the authorities in Florida are very serious when it comes to drug crimes. If you’re ever charged with a drug offense, don’t waste any time and contact a seasoned Florida criminal defense lawyer. Your future is at stake.
What to do when charged with a drug offense?
When someone is charged with a drug offense, things can seem quite hopeless. They’re not. No matter what charges they bring against you, you still have rights and the police must follow the law.
A good Florida criminal defense lawyer will examine the proof the police have against you. Don’t give any statement until you’ve spoken to a knowledgeable lawyer. Remember that cops are very good at bluffing. They may tell you in all seriousness you’re going to jail for a very long time. Their purpose is to intimidate you and make you confess to anything they want.
Don’t fall for such tricks. Keep calm and wait for your lawyer to examine the case.
Possible defense strategies in drug trafficking cases
The DA will have to prove that you were in possession of a certain type of drug with the intent to sell it. When someone sells drugs to an undercover officer things are pretty bad, but there are many ways seasoned lawyers can try to have the charges against you reduced or dropped altogether.
Here are a few examples:
- The prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence to prove the elements of the crime of drug trafficking beyond a reasonable doubt. A skilled attorney will use any uncertainty to seed doubt in the jury’s mind.
- The evidence against you was obtained as a result of an illegal search and seizure. People are protected against illegal searches and seizures under the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution. The police cannot search a person or their property without a warrant or probable cause. For instance, if you are stopped for a traffic offense, like speeding, the police don’t have the right to search your car. Any evidence obtained this way can be thrown out.
- You weren’t aware of the drugs. There’s always the possibility that someone else placed the drugs in your house or car or you believed the substance was legal.
- You had no intent to sell or distribute the drugs
- You were the victim of entrapment. Entrapment is defined as a practice in which a law enforcement agent induces someone to commit a crime that the person would have otherwise been unlikely or unwilling to commit.
If the evidence against you is inadmissible, your attorneys may be able to have all the charges dropped. On the other hand, if the evidence against you is pretty strong, your lawyers can negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf, so you get a lesser sentence.
Source: The 2022 Florida Statutes – Drug abuse prevention and control