Morphine is a drug used lawfully in hospitals but also recreationally and illegally on the street. It carries a risk of abuse and addiction, and it can trigger severe and sometimes fatal breathing problems. If you have a threshold amount of morphine, you may be charged with morphine trafficking, even if you have no connections to a larger criminal conspiracy or network. At Hanlon Law, St. Petersburg morphine trafficking lawyer Will Hanlon strongly believes in protecting the rights of people facing drug charges.Offenses Related to Morphine Trafficking
You can be charged with morphine trafficking if you knowingly buy, sell, make, deliver, bring into Florida, or are in actual or constructive possession of at least four grams of morphine. Four grams is considered the threshold amount to be charged with trafficking, but steeper penalties are imposed if a greater amount of morphine is involved.
If 4-14 grams are involved, you face a potential mandatory minimum sentence of three years and a $50,000 fine. If the quantity involved is 14-28 grams, you face a potential mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a $100,000 fine. If 28 grams-30 kilograms are involved, you face a potential mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Since these penalties are so significant, you should not hesitate to contact a morphine trafficking attorney in St. Petersburg who can fight for your rights.
If you are caught with 30 kg or more of morphine or a derivative, you may face first-degree felony charges. You can be charged with this crime whether you are possessing, selling, buying, delivering, making, or bringing this amount into Florida. You can be charged even if you are in possession of a mixture that contains morphine when the pure morphine is not 30 kg or more. The issue is whether the mixture is 30 kg or more. The potential punishment for trafficking in 30 kg or more of morphine is life imprisonment. You will not be eligible for any kind of discretionary release other than pardon, executive clemency, or conditional medical release, which is when you have a permanently incapacitating medical or physical condition or one that makes you terminally ill while you are an inmate.
The situation is even more serious if trafficking in morphine results in your killing someone, whether you did it directly or you acted in such a way that you indirectly caused a death. In that case, you may face a capital felony charge, which is punishable by life imprisonment as well as an enormous fine.
As soon as you realize that you are being investigated for morphine trafficking, you should consult an experienced St. Petersburg criminal attorney. The earlier that we get involved, the more likely it is that we will be able to have some influence over how the investigation is conducted and on the charges.
Defenses that may be available include constitutional or procedural defenses, such as a failure to provide Miranda warnings, an illegal search and seizure, or a failure to obtain a warrant when searching the home where the morphine at issue was found. Constitutional case law is complex and nuanced, which makes it important to disclose all aspects of what happened to your St. Petersburg morphine trafficking attorney. If we are able to prove that a violation of your constitutional rights resulted in the morphine being found, we may be able to get the evidence of the morphine suppressed. However, if you have been charged with other crimes like a gun crime, this may affect the defense strategy.
Other defenses that we may be able to raise include substantial assistance, entrapment, or a valid prescription. Whether these are appropriate defenses depends on the factual circumstances surrounding your involvement with the drugs. For example, if you have no knowledge to provide the police during an investigation of trafficking, or if you are too afraid of the potential consequences of "snitching," it would not be appropriate to try to use the substantial assistance defense. In other cases, it may be possible to raise some reasonable doubt with the jury about an aspect of the prosecution's case.Retain an Experienced Morphine Trafficking Lawyer in St. Petersburg
You should hire an aggressive and skillful attorney if you are being investigated for morphine trafficking. When sentencing in a drug trafficking case, the judge must sentence you to the mandatory minimum, except in limited circumstances involving youthful offenders, so it is important to hire an attorney who will mount a strong defense at the earliest possible stage. Will Hanlon has been providing tough criminal defense representation since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at (727) 897-5413 or use our online form.