West Palm Beach Sale of Drugs Attorney David W. Olson
It is illegal to sell, distribute, traffic, manufacture, purchase or possess controlled substances – commonly known as illegal drugs – in the State of Florida. Controlled substances refer to a wide range of natural and synthetic drugs, plants and chemical compounds proscribed in Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes, “Drug Abuse Prevention and Control.” A conviction for selling or trafficking drugs can potentially result in 15 or 30 years in prison, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and other court sanctions. In extreme cases a life sentence is possible.
If you were charged with selling or trafficking drugs – or any other drug offense – it is crucial to hire a highly experienced, successful and knowledgeable drug offense attorney. Attorney David W. Olson has more than three decades of experience representing thousands of clients charged with the most serious felonies and misdemeanors, including sales and trafficking of cannabis, cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone (Vicodin), Ecstasy, GHB and other drugs. Attorney Olson is a Lifetime Board Member of NORML and provides aggressive, zealous and effective representation to clients charged with drug offenses. A free case review is available by calling the office.
What is the Difference Between Drug Sales and Drug Trafficking in Florida?
The Florida Statutes make it illegal to knowingly sell, purchase, manufacture, deliver or bring drugs into the state. A conviction for selling, purchasing, manufacturing, delivering or bringing a controlled substance into the state can or will result in a specific trafficking felony offense. Sales would generally infer a smaller quantity, while trafficking refers to larger quantities. Either way, selling or trafficking a controlled substance is illegal and can result in harsh penalties.
What is a Controlled Substance in Florida?
The term controlled substance is used to describe specific drugs, plants and chemical compounds. Many are illegal – such as heroin – while others are legal with a valid prescription. Florida’s controlled substance laws are mirrored after The United States Code Controlled Substance Act. Controlled substances are categorized according to Schedules I, II, III, IV and V. The Schedules categorize drugs according to their alleged potential for abuse and accepted medical use in the United States:
- Schedule I – high potential for abuse and no current accepted medical use*
- Schedule II – high potential for abuse and has a currently accepted but severely restricted medical use
- Schedule III – potential for abuse less than the those in Schedules I and II, has an accepted medical use, and abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence (or in steroids, physical damage)
- Schedule IV – low potential for abuse, accepted medical use and limited physical or psychological dependence
- Schedule V – low potential for abuse, accepted medical use and limited physical or psychological dependence
*It is interesting to note that marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance – the same category as heroin – despite the fact that a plethora of scientific and medical studies confirm numerous health benefits, such as treatment for glaucoma, epilepsy, seizure disorders, muscle spasms, digestive disorders and lupus as well as for pain relief for cancer and countless other conditions. As well, medical marijuana is legally prescribed by state law in more than 20 states and Washington D.C.
Florida Drug Sales and Trafficking Statutes
Chapter 893, Florida Statutes, details illegal conduct pertaining to drug sales and trafficking, including the following:
Section 893.135 – Trafficking; mandatory sentences…
Examples of statutory penalties for trafficking, under Sec. 893.135, Florida Statutes, include the following:
- Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state:
- 25- less than 2000 lbs., or 300 – 2000 plants – 3 years prison (mandatory minimum) and $25,000 fine
- 2000 lbs., or more – less than 10,000 lbs., or 2,000 – 10,000 plants – 7 years prison (mandatory minimum) and $50,000 fine
- 10,000 lbs. or more or 10,000 or more plants – 15 years prison (mandatory minimum) and $200,000 fine
- 28 grams – less than 200 grams – 3 years (mandatory minimum) and $50,000 fine
- 200 grams – less than 400 grams – 7 years (mandatory minimum) and $100,000 fine
- 400 grams – less than 150 kg – 15 years (mandatory minimum) and $250,000 fine
- Excess of 150 kg – first degree felony, life sentence and ineligible for early release
Heroin, morphine, opium, hydromorphone
- 4 grams – less than 14 grams – 3 years (mandatory minimum) and $50,000 fine
- 14 grams – less than 28 grams – 15 years (mandatory minimum) and $100,000 fine
- 28 grams – less than 30 kg – 25 years (mandatory minimum) and $500,000 fine
- 14 grams – less than 28 grams – 3 years (mandatory minimum) and $50,000 fine
- 28 grams – less than 50 grams – 7 years (mandatory minimum) and $100,000 fine
- 50 grams – less than 200 grams – 15 years (mandatory minimum) and $500,000 fine
- 200 grams – less than 30 kg – 25 years (mandatory minimum) and $750,000 fine
- 7 grams – less than 14 grams – 3 years (mandatory minimum) and $50,000 fine
- 14 grams – less than 25 grams – 7 years (mandatory minimum) and $100,000 fine
- 25 grams – less than 100 grams – 15 years (mandatory minimum) and $500,000 fine
- 100 grams – less than 30 kg – 25 years (mandatory minimum) and $750,000 fine
Life Imprisonment Without Parole Potentially Possible for Illegal Drug Conduct
“A person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers or brings into this state…:
- 30 kilograms or more of morphine, opium, oxycodone, hydrocodone … – life imprisonment and ineligible for any form of discretionary early release…
Statutory Penalties are Calculated According to the Weight of the Controlled Substance
As indicated above, statutory penalties increase in accordance with the increased weight – and quantity – of drugs. Penalties are extremely harsh, especially for small quantities of pills. Less than a handful of hydrocodone or oxycodone pills can result in extreme penalties.
There is a great discrepancy in pills that contain a mixture of illegal controlled substances and legal substances. For example, Vicodin, or hydrocodone, consists of various legal substances – particularly Tylenol – and a much smaller amount (by weight) of hydrocodone, a semi-synthetic opiate. Thus, a few hydrocodone pills can result in an excessive sentence because of the manner in which the illegal substance is calculated.
Enhanced Penalties for Selling in Certain Areas
If a controlled substance is sold, delivered or possessed with intent to sell, or manufactured within 1000 feet of a childcare facility, public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school between 6 a.m. and 12 midnight, or at any time within 1,000 feet of a state, county or municipal park, community center or publicly owned recreational facility, penalties will increase significantly.
Asset Seizure Possible
A conviction for drug sales can result in asset forfeiture. The government can legally seize cash, property, vehicles and other assets purchased with drug profits.
Driver’s License Revocation
According to Sec. 322.055(1), “…upon the conviction of a person 18 years of age or older for possession or sale of, trafficking in, or conspiracy to possess, sell, or traffic in a controlled substance, the court shall direct the department (of motor vehicles) to revoke the driver license or driving privilege of the person. The period of such revocation shall be 1 year or until the person is evaluated for and, if deemed necessary by the evaluating agency, completes a drug treatment and rehabilitation program…”
(3) Additional year of suspension: if the individual is already under suspension or revocation and s/he is convicted of possession, sales, trafficking in or conspiracy to possess, sell or traffic in a controlled substance…”
Attorney David W. Olson – Aggressive Drug Sales and Drug Trafficking Defense
If you were charged with drug sales or trafficking, it is crucial to retain experienced and capable legal representation. Attorney Olson is a fierce defender of his client’s legal rights. He believes that every client deserves the best defense possible.
Attorney Olson will always pursue the most positive outcome possible for his clients. The great majority of his cases have been resolved without going to trial. Many of his cases have resulted in outright dismissals. A large number of cases have resulted in favorable plea bargains and other desirable alternatives to harsh sentences. Discuss your case with Attorney Olson to review possible options.
Attorney Olson – Recognized for Excellence
Attorney Olson has been recognized by his peers in the legal community for his legal ability and ethical conduct. He has been awarded numerous accolades, including:
- “AV Preeminent” – Awarded to only the top 5% of all attorneys so rated
- “Ten Best Member” – American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
- “Nation’s Top One Percent” – National Association of Distinguished Counsel
Attorney Olson Offers a Free Case Review for Clients Charged with Drug Sales and Drug Offenses
Attorney Olson serves clients in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Ft. Lauderdale, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and throughout South Florida and the State. Spanish is spoken in the office and all clients are welcomed. For a complimentary case review, contact The Law Office of David W. Olson at 561-833-8866.
Chapter 893, Fla. Stat. (2015)