At the Law Offices of Edwards & Jones, our drug crime attorneys represent people in many North-Central Florida communities, such as Bronson and Ocala, who have been charged with drug trafficking and related crimes. Drug offenses often carry significant potential penalties in Florida. This makes it imperative that a person charged with the trafficking of illegal substances seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. Our Gainesville drug trafficking lawyers have more than 40 years of combined legal experience and a history of many successful results in fighting for the rights of defendants. We can develop a strategy to seek the dismissal or reduction of the charges against you.Fighting Drug Trafficking Charges in North-Central Florida
Drug trafficking is covered by both federal and state laws, which impose separate sets of penalties and contain different legal elements. Federal trafficking charges are based on the intent to sell or distribute a controlled substance, which goes beyond simply possessing it. In Florida state court, by contrast, intent is not required to support a charge. Instead, the mere knowing possession of drugs over certain amounts, even without the intent to sell, may result in a trafficking conviction under Florida Statutes 893.135. Our attorneys can help people navigate the differences between federal and state laws in their specific situation.
Penalties are generally determined by the quantity and type of the specific drug involved. Even the sale or distribution of marijuana, the use of which has been legalized in some Florida cities, may result in several years in prison as well as substantial fines. It is important to be aware that Florida state drug trafficking laws impose extremely harsh minimum mandatory sentences if a defendant is convicted, which makes it important to seek legal counsel without delay.
Given the very serious consequences of a drug trafficking conviction, it is important to fight these charges aggressively. Some of the potential defenses in these cases are based on arguing that the police were not properly authorized to search for and seize the drugs or other tangible evidence. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution places certain restrictions on law enforcement in this context, and a court generally will exclude evidence that was obtained in violation of the constitutional requirements. In other cases, a defendant may have been the victim of “entrapment,” which happens when the police create a situation that induces a citizen to engage in illegal conduct when they would not have done so otherwise.
The intent element of a federal drug trafficking charge also may be hard for the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high standard that the prosecution must meet with regard to every element of the alleged offense to obtain a conviction. Defendants may argue that, while they possessed the substance in question, they intended to use it for their own benefit rather than distributing it. This may result in having a charge reduced from trafficking to possession, which carries lesser penalties.Seek Guidance from a Drug Trafficking Lawyer in Gainesville
Facing a drug trafficking charge under Florida or federal law is a serious situation that can change your life. The Gainesville drug trafficking attorneys at the Law Offices of Edwards & Jones understand the importance of taking swift, aggressive action. We are committed to guiding clients through the criminal justice process and helping them try to get their lives back to normal as soon as possible. We represent defendants in many areas of North-Central Florida, including in Bronson, Ocala, Alachua, Archer, Hawthorne, High Springs, Newberry, Macclenny, Starke, Green Cove Springs, Lake City, Trenton, Williston, Palatka, Bushnell, Live Oak, and Lake Butler. Call us at 352.377.7800 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney. A member of our firm is available 24 hours a day seven days a week to address any emergencies that may arise.