Arrested for Drug Trafficking! What Happens Next?

St. Petersburg Drug Crimes Lawyer – Library

Arrested for Drug Trafficking! What Happens Next?

Florida Statutes specifically define controlled substances and mixtures in the context of drug trafficking. Because the law is so specific, there is not much room for error by law enforcement in making an arrest. In other words, if the police are making an arrest for drug trafficking, it is likely that the physical evidence is present and they are determined they have what they need to prove their case in court.

Once a drug trafficking arrest occurs, the Office of the State Attorney steps up to take over the case. The Office of the State Attorney must determine what the appropriate charges are. If the amount of drugs falls under the statutory requirement, it may be categorized as a mere drug possession charge, with much fewer implications. If the drugs are over a certain weight, then the more serious charge of drug trafficking may apply.

To determine which drug crime to charge the defendant with, the drugs seized at the scene of the crime are sent to a state laboratory for the proper analysis. The state laboratory will determine whether the substance seized from the arrest is, in fact, illegal in Florida, and will report back the exact weight of the drugs.

Assuming the drugs fall within the amount necessary for a drug trafficking charge and the Office of the State Attorney files drug trafficking charges, prosecutors now possess enormous power. Under the current version of Florida Statute ยง 893.135, only the Office of the State Attorney has the authority to waive the drug trafficking mandatory minimum prison sentence! Few other laws in Florida provide the Office of the State Attorney with this amount of discretion. These are facts you may not know, which is why having a St. Petersburg drug crimes lawyer on your side will make a vast difference in the outcome of your case.

There are currently bills pending before the Florida House and Senate challenging this very issue, and it remains to be seen whether the present law will be upheld. In the meantime, it is of utmost importance that if you find yourself arrested for drug trafficking, you hire an experienced drug crime attorney. Especially because the Office of the State Attorney has so much say in what happens in your case, it would be beneficial to hire a criminal defense attorney who is a former prosecutor. A former Assistant State Attorney will understand how the prosecutors’ office works and what it will take to get the drug trafficking charges reduced. A St. Petersburg drug crimes lawyer can go a long way in helping you to defend your case.

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