Cannabis Trafficking Charges
Cannabis is also known as marijuana, and it is a psychoactive drug from the cannabis plant that is intended for recreational or medicinal uses. The psychoactive portion of cannabis is THC. The drug can be used by smoking, vaporizing, or baking it into food. It is known for a physical and mental impact and a change in perception. If you are charged with cannabis trafficking, you should consult an experienced Clearwater cannabis trafficking lawyer. At Hanlon Law, we dedicate ourselves to fighting for the rights of the accused, whether they are charged with trafficking in cannabis, LSD, cocaine, meth, or another controlled substance.Facing a Cannabis Trafficking Charge
You can be charged in federal court for cannabis trafficking. Also, you may face charges in state court. State charges, like federal charges, can result in mandatory minimum sentences involving significant prison time and huge fines. Trafficking charges generally result in punishments that are harsher than those for growing, possessing with intent to deliver, or even actually delivering marijuana.
Under Florida Revised Statutes section 893.135, you can be charged with trafficking if you knowingly buy, sell, make, or deliver, or are knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, at least 25 pounds of cannabis or at least 300 cannabis plants. This is a first-degree felony. If you are caught with 25 pounds of cannabis or 300 or more marijuana plants, but less than 2,000 pounds and less than 2,000 cannabis plants, you can be sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison and a $25,000 fine. If you are caught with 2,000-10,000 pounds of cannabis or 2,000-10,000 cannabis plants, you can be sentenced to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of seven years and a fine of $50,000. If you are caught with 10,000 or more pounds of cannabis or 10,000 or more cannabis plants, you may face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 calendar years and a maximum fine of $200,000. These penalties are extremely serious, so consulting a cannabis trafficking attorney in Clearwater is essential in protecting your rights.
What is a cannabis plant? Under the statute, any part of the plant is cannabis, including a seedling or a cutting if it has easily seen root formation, including root hairs. The severed portion is considered a plant for the purposes of trafficking charges as long as you can see root hairs. Visible callous tissue does not count. Whether or not the plant is alive or dead is irrelevant to determining whether a plant is a cannabis plant under the trafficking statute.
You should not assume that a conviction for cannabis trafficking is assured. There are defenses that a Clearwater criminal defense lawyer may be able to raise, among them procedural or constitutional defenses. Substantive defenses can include providing substantial assistance or entrapment. There may be entrapment if you are able to show that it is more likely than not that a government agent induced you to perpetrate the crime, and you were not predisposed to do so. Under section 777.201, your attorney would need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that you were encouraged by the police or a confidential informant to engage in cannabis trafficking so that the police could get evidence that a crime was perpetrated, and you engaged in cannabis trafficking due to police inducement or encouragement. Also, your Clearwater cannabis trafficking attorney would need to show that the person who encouraged you was a law enforcement officer or a person involved in acting as a police agent, the person who induced or encouraged you used methods of persuasion or inducement in order to create a substantial risk that the crime would be perpetrated by someone other than a person ready to commit it, and you were not someone who was ready to perpetrate a crime.
The state must then show beyond a reasonable doubt that you were predisposed to perpetrate the trafficking crime. This test applies when the police conduct is not so egregious that it violates due process. There is also a different entrapment test in which the court will need to look at the totality of the circumstances in order to determine whether police behavior offended principles of fairness and decency. Any defense that we use will take into account any other criminal charges that are also brought, such as sex crimes or gun crimes.Hire an Experienced Cannabis Trafficking Lawyer in Clearwater
Charges related to cannabis trafficking may result in serious consequences. Depending on the quantity and activity at issue, you may face a significant term of imprisonment and a huge fine. Our founder, Will Hanlon, is dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused. He has represented clients charged with trafficking in substances such as cannabis, meth, cocaine, and heroin since 1994, and he is knowledgeable in all criminal defense strategies. Call Hanlon Law at 813.228.7095 or complete our online form.