Methaqualone is also known as quaaludes. These are synthetic depressants and sedative-hypnotic drugs. Although they were initially put forward as safe substitutes for barbiturates, they were addictive nervous system depressants. Methaqualone is an anxiolytic and a sedative-hypnotic drug. Quaaludes were introduced as a safe barbiturate substitute, but later it was shown that the possibility of addiction and the experience of withdrawal was similar to that of barbiturates. If you are being investigated for methaqualone trafficking or a related drug crime, you should consult an experienced St. Petersburg methaqualone trafficking lawyer. At Hanlon Law, we strongly believe in protecting the rights of the accused.Methaqualone Trafficking Charges and Penalties
You may face charges for methaqualone trafficking if you were involved with at least 200 grams of quaaludes or a mixture containing methaqualone. This is the threshold amount for trafficking. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly were in actual or constructive possession of 200 grams or more of methaqualone or a mixture of it, or you sold, bought, made, brought into Florida, or delivered this amount of methaqualone or a methaqualone-containing mixture. If the prosecution is successful, you could be convicted of a first-degree felony that comes with very serious penalties, which are harsher when more methaqualone was involved.
If you are convicted, the judge will need to impose a mandatory minimum sentence. This means that the judge cannot sentence you to any less than what the statute requires. Often, judges do have discretion over sentencing. For example, they are empowered in most cases to impose a lighter sentence when the defendant has been convicted of a first offense or has other mitigating factors. This is not so when methaqualone trafficking charges or other trafficking charges, such as cocaine trafficking, are involved. For this reason, you should consult a methaqualone trafficking attorney in the St. Petersburg area if you are being investigated for this crime.
If you are caught with 200 grams-5 kg of methaqualone, you face the possibility of a mandatory minimum prison term of three years and a $50,000 fine. If you are caught with 5-25 kg, you face the possibility of a mandatory minimum prison term of seven years with a $100,000 fine. If you are caught with 25 kg or more of methaqualone, you face the possibility of a 15-year prison term and a $250,000 fine.
When you knowingly bring into the state a minimum of 50 kg of methaqualone or a methaqualone-containing substance, and you knew that the probable consequence of this importation would be somebody's death, you may be convicted of capital importation of methaqualone. A capital felony conviction may result in life imprisonment without eligibility for parole, in addition to a substantial fine.
You should not be distraught by an investigation into whether you were involved in methaqualone trafficking, but nor should you be complacent. There are some strong defenses that a St. Petersburg methaqualone trafficking attorney might use, depending on your situation. For example, under the Fourth Amendment, you have the right to be free from illegal searches and seizures, and if the quaaludes at issue in your trafficking charge were obtained in an illegal search and seizure, we may be able to get that evidence suppressed. Whether an illegal search and seizure took place is a complex question, the answer to which is dependent on the circumstances surrounding it. For example, if the police pull you over without a reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime like DUI but simply on a "hunch," and then they insist on searching and find quaaludes in your vehicle, the court is likely to consider this a search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment. It may be possible to get any of the evidence that was found through this police encounter suppressed.Consult an Experienced Methaqualone Trafficking Lawyer in St. Petersburg
You should discuss your case with a St. Petersburg criminal attorney if you are being investigated for methaqualone trafficking. When imposing a sentence in a drug trafficking case, the judge is required to sentence you to the mandatory minimum, except in limited circumstances. Therefore, you should hire an attorney who will fight for your rights at every step of the way. Will Hanlon has provided aggressive representation to criminal defendants in the St. Petersburg area since 1994. You can contact Hanlon Law at 727.897.5413 or complete our online form.