Phencyclidine is an illegal drug and dissociative anesthetic, known as PCP or angel dust on the street. It can cause distorted thinking, violent behavior, and hallucinations. It can trigger seizures or comas. It is addictive and has a risk of suicide. If you are caught with the threshold quantity of PCP, you can be charged with trafficking. These are charges that come with a mandatory minimum sentence if you are convicted. Florida prosecutors take phencyclidine trafficking seriously. If you are charged, you should consult knowledgeable Clearwater PCP trafficking lawyer Will Hanlon at Hanlon Law. He fights aggressively for the rights of people who have been accused of many serious drug trafficking crimes involving PCP, GBL, GHB, oxycodone, and other substances.Charges Arising from Phencyclidine Trafficking
Phencyclidine trafficking is charged under Florida Statute section 893.135(1)(d) when someone actually or constructively possesses, sells, buys, manufactures, imports into the state, or delivers at least 28 grams of phencyclidine or a PCP-containing mixture. The penalties are increasingly harsh, depending on the quantity over the threshold that is involved.
If you are caught with 28-200 grams of PCP, the mandatory minimum sentence that a judge must impose is 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. If you are caught with 200-400 grams of PCP, the mandatory minimum sentence that a judge must impose is 7 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. If you are caught with 400 grams-150 kg. of PCP, the mandatory minimum sentence that a judge must impose is 15 calendar years in prison and a $250,000 fine. When the trafficking involves at least 800 grams of PCP, and you know that the probable consequence would be someone's death, you may be charged with a capital felony. You could face life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Sometimes, if a PCP trafficking attorney in the Clearwater area gets involved early in the investigation, they may be able to negotiate a plea for a lesser offense that is not attached to a mandatory minimum sentence. For example, if you were charged with third-degree felony possession of PCP, rather than trafficking in PCP, you could be sentenced to a maximum of 5 years in prison or probation and a $5,000 fine.
In other situations, a different defense strategy may be appropriate. For example, a Clearwater criminal attorney may be able to file a motion to suppress the evidence of PCP, based on a constitutional or procedural violation. For example, if the police needed a warrant to search your home but did not have a warrant when they found the PCP, it may be possible to file a motion to suppress. Without the evidence of the threshold amount of PCP, the prosecutor probably will not have a case against you.
In other cases, it may be possible for a Clearwater PCP trafficking attorney to raise a reasonable doubt about one or more elements of the crime. For example, perhaps the possession was not "knowing." If even one element cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor will not be able to secure a conviction. Sometimes we can convince the prosecutor of this prior to trial, and in other cases, we may need to go to trial and raise a reasonable doubt before a jury.
There may be other defenses available, depending on the situation. For example, if you can give the police information about others involved in PCP trafficking or trafficking in other substances, such as cocaine, the prosecutor can ask the court to reduce or suspend your sentence in exchange for giving substantial assistance. You should not try to make this type of deal on your own, however, since what you say to the prosecutor may be used against you.Contact a Knowledgeable PCP Trafficking Lawyer in Clearwater
If you are charged with phencyclidine trafficking, there is a very real possibility of being sentenced to years in prison, even if you do not have any other convictions. Additionally, you can come out of prison with the significant social stigma of having a criminal record. This may make it hard to find a job, get a professional license, obtain government financial aid, or rent an apartment. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been dedicated to fighting for people charged with drug crimes involving substances such as PCP, hydrocodone, meth, and morphine since 1994. Call us at 727.897.5413 or complete our online form.