With drug crimes, either federal or state agencies may be involved in the criminal investigation process. However, regardless of whom you must answer to, the consequences of a conviction for a drug crime in Florida are extremely harsh if you are convicted. If you are charged with a drug-related offense, you need serious criminal representation from a Federal drug crime lawyer to guide you through the Florida justice system.
Whether you are charged with trafficking marijuana, manufacturing methamphetamine, or distributing cocaine, criminal defense lawyer Nayib Hassan is ready to advocate for your rights.
Call (305) 403-7323 or contact us online.
What constitutes a felony drug charge in Florida?
Certain drug crimes get flagged to federal agencies and may be investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In fact, nearly any type of drug charge can become federal depending on the circumstances.
For instance, federal drug charges may be filed against you for:
- Crossing state lines with a large quantity of an illegal substance (trafficking)
- Drug conspiracy
- Drug possession with intent to distribute
- Drug manufacturing
- Drug importation
Sometimes, federal charges may even follow based upon the status of the arresting officer. For example, if you are arrested by a DEA agent, joint-task force office from a Municipality and/or County, or other federal law enforcement agent for possession in Florida, your case will likely be handled at the federal level.
Similarly, if you are accused of a drug crime on federal property, such as mailing drugs through the United States Post Office, you can expect your case to be prosecuted in federal court.
The penalties for federal drug offenses are harsh, including hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences.
Trusted Federal Drug Crime Attorney Protects Your Rights
A federal drug crime charge is a serious matter. You can expect costly fines and a lengthy prison sentence if you are convicted. At the Law Office of Nayib Hassan, P.A., we waste no time in developing a defense strategy to safeguard your future and freedom. Whether you are charged with trafficking marijuana, manufacturing methamphetamine, or distributing cocaine, federal drug lawyer Nayib Hassan is ready to advocate for your rights.
Types of federal drug crimes
Crossing state lines with a large quantity of an illegal substance is a federal offense. If you are stopped while in the commission of such a crime, you may be charged with drug trafficking. Generally, three factors affect the severity of your punishment: the type of substance, the amount, and whether you have a history of drug crimes.
We have the skill and experience to defend clients accused of all types of drug trafficking offenses, including:
- Marijuana — If you are arrested for trafficking between 1-49 marijuana plants, you face up to 5 years in prison, and up to $250,000 in fines. However, if you are stopped with 100-999 plants, you face a mandatory 5 years in federal prison but no more than 40. Additionally, the fine jumps up to $2 million.
- Cocaine — Trafficking 500 – 4999 grams mixture of cocaine carries a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison but no more than 40. If it is your second offense, the stakes are raised to 10-life. If more than 5 kilograms, your sentence is punishable by life.
- Methamphetamine — Methamphetamine trafficking of 5 – 49 grams pure or 50 – 499 grams mixture is punishable by a minimum of 5 years in a federal prison. If you are caught with 50 grams or more pure or 500 grams or more mixture, the minimum jumps to 10 years.
- Fentanyl — Also a Schedule II drug, fentanyl trafficking carries a 5 year minimum for trafficking 10 – 99 grams mixture.
Without proper counsel, you could face several years behind bars. Our federal drug crime lawyers will aggressively protect your rights and work tirelessly to reduce or eliminate the charges against you.
Possession with the intent to distribute
You may be convicted of possession with intent to distribute if the prosecution can prove that you knowingly possessed the drug, had the intent to distribute it, and the quantity of the drugs was sufficient to be charged (which varies according to the drug type). Possession with Intent to Distribute can be charged both in Federal and State courts. In Federal Court, this charge is typically charged along with a Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute the Controlled Substance.
The laws apply even if no money exchanges hands. Sentences for convictions vary from five years to life mandatory imprisonment, depending on the type and quantity of drug and your past criminal history.
Drug cultivation or manufacturing penalties are also harsh and are usually prosecuted as second-degree felonies.
Most such offenses in Florida involve the manufacture of methamphetamines, opiates, flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) or phencyclidine (PCP)
The offense is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Growing marijuana is generally a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If you have a grow house or more than 25 marijuana plants, the crime may be upgraded to a first-degree felony which involves a three (3) year minimum mandatory.
Florida is easily accessible by drug-producing and transporting entities with a well-developed transportation infrastructure that attracts smugglers.
Marine vessels, aircraft, commercial trucks and package delivery services are all channels through which illicit drugs can be smuggled into and out of Florida by criminal groups or individuals.
Drug-related gang activity is widespread in Florida and many criminal groups use the state as a transportation hub for their activities.
Federal drug charges are likely to follow if you are caught smuggling drugs in Florida. Without legal representation from an experienced Federal drug crime lawyer, you can expect the full extent of the law to be thrown at you.
A drug conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a drug-related offense.
Federal drug conspiracy charges may be filed against you if the conspiracy to commit a drug crime violates a federal drug law. For instance, conspiring to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, conspiring to manufacture a controlled substance or conspiring to smuggle or import a controlled substance.
Drug conspiracy is a common federal drug charge, largely because it is often easier for federal prosecutors to prove that a defendant conspired to commit a drug crime than to prove that they actually committed it. The elements of the charge to prove in court are much less and a conviction is more likely.
Frequently asked questions about federal drug crime charges
What are the penalties for federal drug crimes?
Penalties for federal drug crimes vary widely depending on three main factors:
- The type of illicit substance(s) involved
- The quantity of illicit substance(s) involved
- Whether you have a criminal history
If injury or death resulted from your actions or firearms offenses were committed, it will also affect your sentence.
Prison time, probation, fines, and deportation are common with federal drug crimes. Minimum prison sentences range from one year to life. Some minimum penalties can only be waived by the government’s attorney.
Which drugs carry the highest criminal penalties?
The federal statute classifies drugs into five “schedules” based on their potential for abuse and their medical benefits to society:
- I — Includes ecstasy, LSD, heroin, and marijuana
- II — Includes cocaine and morphine
- III — Includes anabolic steroids, Vicodin, and Marinol
- IV — Includes Ambien, Xanax, and Valium
- V — Includes Lyrica and cough suppressant
Generally speaking, Schedule I and II drugs carry the most severe penalties but other factors are involved in sentencing as well as the type of drug.
Can you get drug charges dropped?
If there is a lack of evidence or your constitutional rights were breached during the investigation or your arrest, there is a chance that the charges against you can be dropped.
Your drug crime lawyer will assess the evidence against you and prepare a defense strategy based on how strong the evidence against you is.
What is the difference between state and federal drug charges?
Federal drug laws generally focus on the movement of drugs across state borders (drug trafficking). State laws generally focus on possession and manufacturing.
If you are caught selling drugs on government property, using a federal carrier (such as the United States Post Office) or manufacturing/distributing large quantities of certain drugs, federal investigators may also be involved.
Federal and state laws sometimes conflict. For instance, while many states have decriminalized marijuana possession, it remains illegal under federal law. Read more about state vs. federal drug charges on our blog.
Contact The Law Office of Nayib Hassan for aggressive defense against federal drug charges
If you are charged with a federal drug crime in Florida, you could face years behind bars.
At the Law Office of Nayib Hassan, P.A., we aggressively protect your rights and work tirelessly to reduce or eliminate the charges against you.
Start your defense by speaking with an experienced federal drug crime lawyer. Book a consultation here.