Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid is a psychoactive drug, also known as GHB or the date rape drug. It is also a neurotransmitter that occurs naturally, and it has been used in hospitals as a general anesthetic and treatment for alcoholism, narcolepsy, and cataplexy. However, when it is used recreationally, it is used as intoxicants are used. If you are caught trafficking in gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, you should be aware that you may be sentenced to a mandatory minimum. It is crucial to consult an experienced St. Petersburg GHB trafficking lawyer. At Hanlon Law, we understand the stakes and strongly believe in protecting the rights of the accused.Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid Trafficking
GHB trafficking is not the exclusive province of drug kingpins. You can be charged with drug trafficking if you knowingly sell, buy, actually or constructively possess, manufacture, deliver, or bring into the state the threshold amount of 1 kg of GHB or a GHB-containing mixture, or more than that. Often, GHB trafficking is charged in a constructive possession situation. When 1 kg of GHB is found on your person, a prosecutor may be able to prove actual possession, but more often the prosecutor will need to establish that you constructively possessed GHB.
Constructive possession occurs when somebody knows that GHB is present and is able to exercise control or dominion over it. For example, if your spouse has a stash of GHB under the bed, and they ask you to take it to the corner and hand it to somebody in a car waiting there, you would be considered in constructive possession of it from the moment that you know that it is there because you have control and dominion over the area under your bed. A GHB trafficking attorney can explain to St. Petersburg residents how this rule may apply to them.
If you are caught with 1-5 kg of GHB, you face a potential mandatory minimum sentence of three years and a $50,000 fine. If you are caught with 5-10 kg, you face a potential mandatory minimum sentence of seven years and a $100,000 fine. If you are caught with at least 10 kg of GHB, you face a potential mandatory minimum sentence of 15 calendar years and a $250,000 fine. If you knowingly manufacture or import into the state a minimum of 150 kg, and you know that the probable result of this action is a death, you have committed capital manufacture or importation of GHB, which can be punished by life imprisonment without possibility of parole, plus the maximum fine.
Defenses may be available, and you should not assume that you will be convicted. Our St. Petersburg GHB trafficking attorney can review all of the facts of your situation to determine whether there are any constitutional or procedural defenses. For example, if the police found GHB while conducting an illegal search and seizure, we might be able to get the evidence of GHB suppressed. A prosecutor would not be able to establish GHB trafficking without the GHB. If you were subjected to a custodial interrogation in which you made key admissions about the GHB, but you were not given Miranda warnings ahead of time, a St. Petersburg criminal lawyer may be able to get those admissions suppressed, also reducing the prosecution's ability to secure a conviction.
In other cases, there may be a way of providing substantial assistance in exchange for a reduction or suspension of a mandatory minimum sentence. A prosecutor is authorized to request that the court suspend or reduce your sentence if you provide substantial assistance in identifying, arresting, or securing a conviction of someone else engaged in GHB trafficking. You will need to sign a contract setting forth the deal, and it will limit your assistance to a certain time period. However, if you are not able to deliver the number of people whom you promise, you will still face the mandatory minimum prison sentence that applies based on the quantity of drugs at issue. Additionally, there may be other complicating factors, such as additional charges involving a sex crime or a different drug. This makes it critical to retain an attorney rather than trying to strike such a deal by yourself.Contact an Experienced GHB Trafficking Lawyer in St. Petersburg
You should hire an aggressive criminal defense attorney if you are being investigated for gamma-hydroxybutyric acid trafficking. Since the judge does not have the discretion to sentence you to less than the mandatory minimum, 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 727.897.5413 or submit our online form.