As a previous post here mentioned, Florida is not currently taking the somewhat lenient approach to illegal drugs, particularly marijuana, that some other states are trying. In Florida, drug charges from possession to manufacturing to distribution can all lead to serious problems for an arrestee, not the least of which is the prospect of a potential prison sentence. Drug trafficking is probably considered the most severe of drug charges. So, what can you expect if you are facing drug trafficking charges in Florida?
Well, for starters, it is important to understand what the prosecution must prove in order to secure a conviction in a drug trafficking case. “Intent” is one key word in these types of cases. The prosecution must show that the defendant “knowingly” intended to distribute illegal drugs. Thus, the prosecution must have some evidence that goes to show the defendant’s state of mind at the time of the alleged crime.
And, of course, one of the most important pieces of evidence in any type of drug case is the illegal drugs themselves. Typically, this evidence is secured in a search and seizure operation, oftentimes of a person’s home, vehicle or business. However, if the search includes potential violations of constitutional rights, any evidence seized in the search may be “suppressed” – which means it could not be used in court against the defendant.
Lastly, it is important for a defendant who is facing drug trafficking charges to understand the potential severity of the sentence, if convicted. Drug trafficking charges are felony offenses, and will likely result in a minimum prison sentence and then years of probation supervision. As a result, Florida residents who are facing these charges will want to fully explore their criminal defense options.