Drugs Listed in Subsection (k) of 893.135 (Mandatory Minimums)
Phenethylamine is a controlled substance in Florida. It stimulates the body to make particular chemicals that play a role in various psychiatric conditions and cause side effects. Phenylethylamine, along with several related drugs, is forbidden under subsection (k) of 893.135. If you are caught with a certain minimum threshold amount of any of these listed drugs, you can be charged with a drug crime and will face the possibility of a mandatory minimum sentence. You need an experienced St. Petersburg drug trafficking attorney to advocate on your behalf. At Hanlon Law, we strongly believe in guarding the rights of the accused.Mandatory Minimums Under Subsection (k) of 893.135
A prosecutor charging a crime under subsection (k) of 893.135 must show that you knowingly were in actual or constructive possession, sold, bought, made, delivered, or brought into Florida 10 grams or more of any of the substances described in section 893.03(1)(c)4., 5., 10., 11., 15., 17., 21.-27., 29., 39., 40.-45., 58., 72.-80., 81.-86., 90.-102., 104.-108., 110.-113., 143.-145., 148.-150., 160.-163., 165., or 187.-189., a substituted cathinone, as described in s. 893.03(1)(c)191., a substituted phenethylamine, or a mixture containing any of these substances. The other substances prohibited under this section include DOB (4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine), 2C-B (4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine), 2,5-Dimethoxyamphetamine, DOET (4-Ethyl-2,5-Dimethoxyamphetamine), N-Ethylamphetamine, 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-hydroxyamphetamine, Methcathinone, 5-Methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, PMA (4-Methoxyamphetamine), PMMA (4-Methoxymethamphetamine), N,N-Dimethylamphetamine, 3,4,5-Trimethoxyamphetamine, Methylone (3,4-Methylenedioxymethcathinone), MDPV (3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone), and Methylmethcathinone, among others.
The minimum threshold amount for trafficking in phenethylamines or another listed substance is 10 grams. It is charged as first-degree felony trafficking. If the amount involved is 10 grams to 200 grams, the mandatory minimum sentence is three years’ incarceration and a $50,000 fine. If the amount involved is 200 grams to 400 grams, the mandatory minimum sentence is seven years and a $100,000 fine. If the amount is 400 or more grams, the mandatory minimum sentence is 15 years and a $250,000 fine. Mandatory minimum sentences are especially harsh because a judge cannot use their discretion to reduce the sentence based on mitigating factors.
Although it can be overwhelming to be charged with drug trafficking, there are potential defenses. Often, drug crimes can be defended by a St. Petersburg criminal lawyer based on violations of Fourth Amendment rights. In order to conduct a traffic stop, the police must usually have a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been perpetrated or is about to be perpetrated. A reasonable suspicion must be more than a hunch. In most cases, they must have probable cause to conduct a search of your vehicle or home. Often, they need a warrant, which is secured by showing a judge probable cause.
Probable cause exists when the facts and circumstances within an officer's knowledge would cause someone reasonable to believe that someone has perpetrated or is about to perpetrate a crime at the place to be searched, or that there is evidence of the crime in that place. The search warrant is supposed to specify the place that is going to be searched, as well as which items will be seized. However, there are situations in which a warrant is not necessary, such as when the police have consent from someone at the premises, when the type of search is connected to a lawful arrest, and in emergency situations that threaten public safety. No warrant is needed to seize contraband that is in plain view when the officer is authorized to be present. For example, if the officer has a lawful warrant to search a house for evidence of a theft, and they see 11 grams of phenethylamines in plain view in the house's living room, that evidence would be lawfully seized.
However, when evidence is from an illegal search, it is subject to the exclusionary rule. This means that it can be suppressed, such that you cannot be charged with trafficking. Other common violations of suspects’ rights include Fifth Amendment violations or other procedural violations. In other cases, we may be able to successfully raise entrapment or substantial assistance as a defense. Sometimes it is possible to plead guilty to a lesser offense, such as a drug crime that does not involve mandatory minimum sentences, when the prosecution's evidence on trafficking is shaky.Seek Guidance from a Drug Trafficking Lawyer in the St. Petersburg Area
If you are seeking a tough and skillful lawyer to fight charges of trafficking in drugs covered by subsection (k) of 893.135 in St. Petersburg, Hanlon Law may be able to represent you. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing dedicated criminal defense representation since 1994, including during the pre-filing stages of a criminal investigation. You can call Hanlon Law at 727.289.0222 or use our online form.