DRUG OFFENSES AND TRAFFICKING
Trial • Plea • Motion to Suppress • Drug Court • Pre-Trial Intervention • Pre-Trial Diversion • Drug Possession
• Possession of Cannabis • Possession of Cocaine / Heroin • Sale and Delivery • Drug Trafficking • Drug Offenses Statutes • What to do if confronted by a Law Officer
Orlando and Kissimmee Criminal Defense Attorney Don Waggoner may be able to assist you to avoid the following:
BESIDES JAIL OR PRISON, WHAT CAN A DRUG OFFENSE MEAN TO YOU?
Loss of driving privileges for 2 years, with a 6 month wait to get a business purposes only (BPO) license (this applies to all drug crimes);
Denial of employment;
Denial of school admission and school loans;
Denial of an apartment or other place to live;
Deportation or denial of re-entry if you are a non-citizen;
Call Attorney Don Waggoner and he will advise you of any defenses you may have.
Drug offenses can be particularly difficult to defend and often carry harsh penalties. Most drug possession crimes require the revocation of your driver’s license for up to two (2) years. Often your defense will depend upon your word against that of the cops. A competent, experienced criminal defense attorney, such as Don Waggoner, can help you with your defense and try to save your license and reputation. It is important that you make contact with Attorney Don Waggoner as soon as possible so as to preserve evidence such as witness testimony. If you have been accused of possession of Marijuana, K2, Cocaine, LSD, Ecstasy, Heroin, PCP, GHB, or any other unlawful drug, call Orlando and Kissimmee Criminal Attorney Don Waggoner to get your defense started.
Potential Solutions Include:
Pre-Trial Diversion – run by the State Attorney’s Office; for first time offenders; similar to probation; charges dropped upon successful completion
Pre-Trial Intervention – similar to Pre-Trial Diversion; run by the Court; spotless record not required; similar to probation; charges dropped upon successful completion;
See Fla. Stat. 948.08 Pretrial intervention program.
Two levels – 1st level is for first time drug offenders; run by the court; strict compliance required; must report to court every 2 weeks at first; charges dropped upon successful completion – 2nd level is for persons with prior drug offenses; requires plea be entered to the charges; has stricter supervision; court determines sentence upon completion, but usually releases you from further supervision; it may help keep you out of jail
Motion to Suppress
If the evidence against you was unlawfully obtained by the government, this motion is used to seek its suppression and keep it from being used against you at trial. If the evidence is suppressed, it sometimes results in the dismissal of the charges by the State. Not all cases have grounds for a motion to suppress. Your attorney can analyze you case and advice you about such a motion
Some cases are resolved by a plea of guilty or no contest. The terms of the sentence that results from the plea are usually negotiated by your attorney with the State. Pleas usually result in a better sentence than if you go to trial and lose and sometimes include reducing the charges. You give up the right to a trial and to appeal when you plead guilty or no contest.
If you have not done anything against the law or in some cases where it seems the facts are in your favor, you may want to go to trial. Not all people accused of drug offenses are guilty and sometimes a trial is the best method to resolve the issue of guilt or innocence.
Possession of Cannabis/Marijuana:
Less than 20 grams:
Up to one (1) year in jail, one (1) year probation, $1,000.00 fine, loss of D.L. for two (2) years. This is a 1st degree misdemeanor.
Greater than 20 grams:
Up to five (5) years in prison, five (5) year probation, $5,000.00 fine, loss of D.L. for two (2 years). This is a 3rd degree felony.<
Possession of Cocaine, Heroin, etc.:
Up to five (5) years in prison, five (5) years probation, $5,000.00 fine, loss of D.L. for 2 years. This is a 3rd degree felony.
Sale and Delivery:
Charges of sale or delivery include the sale or delivery of any drug the Legislature has listed as a prohibited drug or that requires a prescription to possess or sell and that is not of such a great quantity it puts the sale or delivery into a trafficking category. It means the transfer or sale of an unlawful drug to another person.
The sale or delivery of:
1. Marijuana/Cannabis - 3rd degree felony - punishable by up to 5 years in prison
2. Cocaine/Heroin/most other drugs - 2nd degree felony - punishable by up to 15 years in prison
Drug Distribution and Trafficking:
If you are responsible for the sale or distribution of drugs in Central Florida, you will be facing severe punishments such as minimum mandatory prison sentences of 3-25 years. The sale or distribution of illegal drugs is one of the most risky crimes and can be the hardest and most expensive to defend. If you have been accused of selling or distributing drugs, please contact Kissimmee and Orlando Criminal Attorney Don Waggoner immediately. It is important to begin your defense and work on your case at the earliest possible time in order to preserve evidence and testimony. Bonds for such cases are usually very high and a bond reduction hearing will usually save you money on your bond. After I talk about your case with you, I will immediately start preparing your defense.
Drug trafficking includes the mere or simple possession of any prohibited drug in a quantity greater than that listed in the statutes, as well as the sale or delivery of these amounts. It can be as little as 4 grams for most drugs. Cocaine trafficking starts at 28 grams.
The State takes these crimes very seriously. Maximum sentences for a conviction for trafficking, even if all you did was possess it, start at 30 years and go up to Life in prison. They also carry minimum mandatory prison sentences of 3, 7, and 15 years, depending on the amount trafficked in. It is difficult, but not impossible, to negotiate for probationary sentences for trafficking in drugs. Trafficking offenses also come with very large fines upon conviction.
Drug Offenses Statutes
Drug offenses are generally listed under Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes.
These statutes can be found here:
The primary Statutes you may want to access are listed below:
- Prohibited acts; penalties.893.13F.S.
- Trafficking; mandatory sentences; suspension or reduction of sentences; conspiracy to engage in trafficking.893.135F.S.
- Suspension, revocation, and reinstatement of business and professional licenses.893.11F.S.
- Listed chemicals.893.033F.S.
- Control of new substances; findings of fact; delegation of authority to Attorney General to control substances by rule.893.035F.S.
-Control of scheduled substances; delegation of authority to Attorney General to reschedule substance, or delete substance, by rule.893.0355F.S.
- Control of new substances; findings of fact; “controlled substance analog” defined.893.0356F.S.
- Burden of proof; photograph or video recording of evidence.893.10F.S.
- Legislative findings and intent.893.101F.S.
- Testing and destruction of seized substances.893.105F.S.
- Contraband; seizure, forfeiture, sale.893.12F.S.
- Ownership, lease, rental, or possession for trafficking in or manufacturing a controlled substance.893.1351F.S.
- Local administrative action to abate drug-related, prostitution-related, or stolen-property-related public nuisances and criminal gang activity.893.138F.S.
- “Drug paraphernalia” defined.893.145F.S.
- Determination of paraphernalia.893.146F.S.
- Use, possession, manufacture, delivery, transportation, or advertisement of drug paraphernalia.893.147F.S.
- Unlawful possession of listed chemical.893.149F.S.
- Retail sale of ephedrine and related compounds.893.1495F.S.
- County alcohol and other drug abuse treatment or education trust funds.893.165
893.20 - Continuing criminal enterprise.