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Drug Trafficking - Controlled Substances


West Palm Beach Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney, David W. Olson

Florida’s drug laws are extremely severe. For example, a quantity of drugs resulting in a simple misdemeanor possession charge in many other states could potentially result in a serious drug trafficking felony in Florida. Possession of a few painkillers may potentially result in a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 3 or 7 years and a fine of $50,000 or $100,000.

If you were charged with drug trafficking or any other drug offense, it is crucial to contact an experienced and knowledgeable drug offense attorney immediately. Attorney David Olson has 33 years of experience representing clients accused of drug trafficking and other Florida and federal felonies and misdemeanors. Attorney Olson offers a free, confidential case review.

Drug Trafficking Conduct Explained

Florida’s drug trafficking laws are detailed in Chapter 893.135, Florida Statutes. The statutory language used to describe trafficking conduct in general – using the example of cocaine as per Section 893.135(1)(b):

  • “Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession…”

Therefore, trafficking targets the following drug activity:

  • Selling
  • Purchasing
  • Manufacturing
  • Delivering
  • Bringing drugs into the state

Penalties vary according to the weight of the drugs involved in the alleged trafficking offense. As an example, cocaine trafficking penalties:

  • 28 grams or more and less than 200 grams, mandatory minimum 3 years and a $50,000 fine;
  • 200 grams or more and less than 400 grams, mandatory minimum 7 years and a $100,000 fine;
  • 400 grams or more and less than 150 kilograms, mandatory minimum 15 years and a $250,000 fine

Controlled Substances in the Statute

Within 893.135, penalties for specific controlled substances and chemical precursors (chemical compounds required to produce the drug) are noted. Some of the drugs include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Cannabis (marijuana)
  • Cocaine
  • Morphine, opium, hydromorphone
  • Hydrocodone – e.g., Vicodin
  • Oxycodone – oxy’s
  • Heroin – black tar, powder
  • Methaqualone
  • Amphetamine – speed, Adderall
  • Methamphetamine – meth, crystal meth
  • Flunitrazepam – roofies, also known as a date-rape drug
  • GHB – gammahydroxybutyric acid
  • LSD – lysergic acid diethylamide – “acid”

A Big Flaw – Incorrect Calculation of the Weight of the Controlled Substance

One of the problems with the statute is that the actual weight of the active ingredient or chemical in the drug is not necessarily calculated, but rather, the total weight of all the combined ingredients are. Example:

  • Elisa was arrested with 30 grams of hydrocodone. In actuality, there may be only 4 grams of hydrocodone in the pills. The rest of the pill contains legal ingredients such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and inert fillers. Because of this inaccurate calculation method, a conviction can potentially result in a mandatory minimum 7 year sentence instead of a maximum 3 year sentence.

In a great number of cases a defendant accused of trafficking was not selling or distributing drugs at all – rather, they were taking the pills to appease a severe addiction – an addiction that often began with a doctor’s prescription. In cases such as this, treatment is the answer, not punishment and/or incarceration. Speak to Attorney Olson to discuss options such as drug court.

Law Offices of Attorney David W. Olson – Aggressive Criminal Defense for Trafficking and Other Drug Charges

Attorney David W. Olson has 33 years of experience representing and defending clients accused of drug trafficking and other offenses. He represents both Florida and federal cases. In some instances – for example, when larger amounts of drugs are involved – a case may be prosecuted in both state and federal courts.

There are many possible repercussions that may result from a trafficking prosecution. The government will attempt to seize all property, cash and other assets allegedly acquired with trafficking monies. A conviction will result in a permanent criminal record. As well, anyone convicted of a drug offense in Florida will automatically lose their driver’s license for two years.

Attorney Olson is a Board Member of NORML. He believes in the Constitutional rights of each client and will vigorously fight for your freedom. He handles every case personally and with great attention to detail. He believes that every client is entitled to the best representation possible and will always pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Many cases have resulted in dismissals, not guilty verdicts, favorable plea agreements, reduction of charges and other positive outcomes.

Attorney Olson represents clients in West Palm Beach and throughout South Florida, including Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and throughout all parts of the state. For a free case review call The Law Offices of David W. Olson 561-833-8866.


Florida Statute 893.135 (2014)

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