Gamma-butyrolactone is also known as GBL. It is a common solvent but also a synthetic depressant that creates a powerful euphoria and effects similar to being buzzed or drunk. It dissolves most kinds of plastic and is sometimes known as coma in a bottle. Gamma-butyrolactone trafficking is illegal and punished harshly in Florida. For that reason, it is crucial to consult an experienced St. Petersburg GBL trafficking lawyer as soon as you are aware that you are being investigated. At Hanlon Law, we understand how serious drug charges are and strongly believe in the rights of the accused.Fighting Gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL) Trafficking Charges
You do not need to be a part of organized crime to be convicted of GBL trafficking in Florida. Trafficking is charged if you are caught with a certain threshold of drugs. The threshold is based on the weight of the GBL or the GBL-containing mixture. If you are convicted of GBL trafficking, you face a mandatory minimum sentence. This means that the judge will not have discretion to consider mitigating factors and provide a lighter sentence even if, for example, this is your first offense, and you have an otherwise spotless record. The judge will need to sentence you to prison. There is also a possibility that any professional license that you possess will be suspended or revoked, and the government will take any of your property that is associated with trafficking, even your home or car.
If you knowingly possess, buy, make, sell, deliver, or bring into Florida a kilogram of GBL or a GBL-containing mixture, you can be charged with GBL trafficking. This is a first-degree felony. If the amount at issue is 1-5 kg, you face a potential three-year mandatory minimum prison term and a $50,000 fine. If the amount at issue is 5-10 kg, you face a potential seven-year mandatory minimum prison term and a $100,000 fine. If the amount at issue is 10 kg or more, you face a potential mandatory minimum prison term of 15 calendar years and a $250,000 fine. However, a GBL trafficking attorney in the St. Petersburg area may be able to help you avert these consequences.
You can be charged with capital manufacturing or importation of GBL if you knowingly manufacture or import 150 kg or more of GBL or a GBL-containing mixture when you know that the probable result of your actions is somebody's death. As a capital felony, you may face life imprisonment with no possibility or parole, as well as a maximum fine.
Often, constitutional and procedural defenses are employed in drug trafficking cases. The prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a very high standard. If the GBL was found and seized through illegal means, it may be possible for a St. Petersburg criminal lawyer to get the evidence suppressed. This can ruin the prosecutor's case and result in a dismissal or reduction in charges.
The Fourth Amendment jurisprudence governing illegal searches and seizures is complicated. Often, the police have a valid warrant to search and find evidence that way. In such a case, a St. Petersburg GBL trafficking attorney will not be able to establish an illegal search and seizure or get the evidence suppressed. Moreover, not all searches and seizures need to be results of valid and lawfully executed warrants. There are several exceptions to the general warrant requirement under the rationale that the time that it takes the police to secure a warrant could result in evidence being destroyed or witnesses disappearing. For example, no warrant is needed for searches incident to a lawful arrest. If you are pulled over for drunk driving, and the police can tell from your breath and failure to pass field sobriety tests that you are extremely drunk, and then they find enough GBL for you to be charged with trafficking, it probably would not be possible to get that evidence suppressed.
However, this is a nuanced area of law, and it is important to relay all of the details of your arrest to your attorney so that a strong defense may be put forward. In some cases, other crimes, such as sex crimes, may also be associated with the trafficking charge, so it is crucial to hire an attorney who understands multiple areas of criminal defense.Contact a GBL Trafficking Lawyer in the St. Petersburg Area
You should hire an aggressive criminal defense attorney if you are being investigated for gamma-butyrolactone trafficking. Since the judge does not have the discretion to sentence you to less than the mandatory minimum, except in some cases involving minors, you will want to get an attorney who will mount a strong defense at the earliest possible stage. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing aggressive and knowledgeable criminal defense representation since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at 727.289.0222 or complete our online form.