Trafficking in a statutorily specified amount of certain controlled substances, including marijuana, can carry minimum mandatory sentencing. Trafficking is not necessary proved by the actions of the accused, but by the amount in the accused person’s possession. Because this is the case, prosecutors have quite a bit of leverage in these cases and can use the threat of minimum mandatory sanctions to force codefendants to testify against one another, or to obtain large sentences by plea agreement. An aggressive drug crime attorney can review your case and determine whether you have applicable defenses, whether there are constitutional challenges to the procedures used by law enforcement, and can discuss and explain the elements the state must prove as well as any possible defenses you have.
Trafficking is not necessary proved by the actions of the accused, but by the amount in the accused person’s possession.
Sale Manufacture Deliver
Sale of controlled substance cases often involve an undercover police officer or a confidential informant who has given information or was involved in the transaction itself. In cases such as these, law enforcement may have captured the transaction on audio or video. If that is the case, an accused still retains constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure as well as other defenses which may apply.
Possession with Intent to Sell
Possession with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver is a charge often used by law enforcement to increase the penalty when an accused person possesses a large amount or variety of controlled substance(s). Often the Possession with Intent charge is proved by the State’s witnesses testifying as experts as to the amount of drug, or variety of drugs in possession of the accused. Law enforcement, if qualified as an expert in street level narcotics based on training and experience, may testify that a certain type of drug when packaged in a certain way is consistent with the manner in which the product is sold on the street. The problem with this logic is that the form drugs are sold on the street is the same form drugs are purchased on the street. Often these witnesses attempt to use experience and testimony which, when subject to sufficient cross examination, amounts to little more than opinion and assumption. An experienced drug crime attorney can prepare your case for trial, cross examine witnesses, conduct depositions of necessary witnesses and attack the state’s testing methods.
In recent years Florida has cracked down on pill mills and prescription drug abuse. The State has created the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), which is used by law enforcement to identify doctors and patients who are prescribing or obtaining prescription drugs in amounts which are deemed by law enforcement to be excessive. The State and the federal government also target pharmacists who fill these prescriptions. While the State and federal government are applauded for taking a tough stance on prescription drug abuse, the individual who is located and prosecuted for being in possession of controlled substance may have had a valid prescription. Likewise, a pharmacist or doctor prescribing or filling the prescription may have done so with no ill intent. An aggressive controlled substance defense attorney can review your case and determine whether you have legal defenses, or whether there has been a violation of your constitutional rights. In many cases, the state’s evidence can be attacked pretrial or at trial to the benefit of the accused.