Methamphetamine is a stimulant that is often consumed either in pill form or as a white powder. One form of the drug is crystal meth, which appears to be shiny rocks or pieces of glass. Other names for meth include chalk, crank, speed, ice, and crystal, and it may be consumed by smoking, snorting, swallowing, or injecting it. Sometimes people binge on meth and give up food and sleep for days at a stretch. The drug increases the amount of dopamine in the brain, which results in a rush of euphoria in the reward centers of the brain. Methamphetamine trafficking is punished harshly, and it is important to consult an experienced St. Petersburg methamphetamine trafficking lawyer if you are being investigated for it. At Hanlon Law, we strongly believe in protecting the rights of the accused.Crimes Related to Methamphetamine Trafficking
Under Florida Statute section 893.135(1)(f)(1), you can be convicted of methamphetamine trafficking, a first-degree felony, if the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly bought, sold, made, delivered, imported into the state, or actually or constructively possessed at least 14 grams of methamphetamine or a mixture containing methamphetamine. Trafficking is among the most serious drug crimes.
If you are caught with 14-28 grams, you face a potential mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison and a $50,000 fine. If you are caught with 28-200 grams, you face a potential mandatory minimum prison term of seven years and a $50,000 fine. If you are caught with 200 grams or more of meth, you face a potential mandatory minimum prison term of 15 calendar years and a $250,000 fine. If you bring into Florida or make 400 grams of meth or a meth-containing mixture, and you know that the probable result of your manufacturing or importing is the death of somebody, you can be charged with capital felony manufacturing or importation. In addition to being imprisoned and fined, your driver's license may be revoked, and a professional license issued by the state may be suspended. However, prompt representation by a methamphetamine trafficking attorney in St. Petersburg can help avert or minimize these consequences.
A mandatory minimum sentence is a sentence that a judge must impose if the prosecution secures a guilty verdict. In many cases not involving drug trafficking, a judge has some discretion to impose a lighter sentence due to the presence of mitigating factors. A statute that creates mandatory minimum sentences does not allow this freedom and discretion.
However, a conviction is never assured. The prosecutor must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high standard. In some cases, all that is needed is to raise doubt about one or more elements. For example, perhaps the prosecution is not able to establish that your behavior was "knowing." The evidence may point to the contrary conclusion.
Other possible defenses that a St. Petersburg methamphetamine trafficking attorney might raise include substantial assistance, entrapment, and constitutional defenses. Entrapment is a court-created defense that prevents the government from convicting you when a government action was coercive and responsible for your conduct. Entrapment can be subjective or objective. To show subjective entrapment, you will need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that you were induced to commit methamphetamine trafficking when you were not predisposed to do so. You might not be able to show this if, for example, you are on probation for other drug crimes. If you are able to establish it, however, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were actually predisposed to commit the offense.
There is also objective entrapment, which applies to cases involving egregious law enforcement conduct. This requires reviewing the totality of the circumstances to determine whether police conduct offended principles of decency and fairness.Get Assistance from a Methamphetamine Trafficking Lawyer in St. Petersburg
You should consult an aggressive St. Petersburg criminal attorney right away if you are being investigated for methamphetamine trafficking. When imposing a sentence in a methamphetamine trafficking case, the judge is required to sentence you to the mandatory minimum, except in limited circumstances involving youthful offenders. Therefore, it is critical to hire an attorney who will mount a solid defense at the earliest possible stage, potentially even before formal charges are filed. Will Hanlon has offered tough criminal defense representation to the accused since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at (727) 897-5413 or use our online form.