Fentanyl is becoming a more popular drug in Florida and has been in the news more and more. While simple possession of fentanyl can result in serious penalties for people convicted of the crime, the potential penalties are much more severe for the people who sell it.
In criminal law, selling drugs is called drug trafficking.
The potential penalties depend on how much people have in their possession at the time of the arrest. Anyone possessing at least four grams of fentanyl could be charged with a first degree felony.
Potential penalties for trafficking fentanyl
According to Florida Statutes:
- If people possess between four grams and 14 grams they could be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison and be fined $50,000.
- If people possess between 14 grams and 28 grams they could be sentenced to a mandatory minimum 20-year prison term and have a fine of $100,000.
- If people possess 28 grams or more of fentanyl, the mandatory minimum prison sentence is 25 years and the fine increases to $500,000.
These are very serious penalties that will completely change people’s lives. However, simply being charged with the crime does not mean someone is guilty. It means that they will have to go through the criminal justice process, but they may have defenses available to them to prevent a conviction of the crimes.
Anyone who is charged with trafficking fentanyl must be presumed innocent until proven guilty and the burden is on the prosecutors to prove guilt.
There are different defenses and many start with how the police found the drugs. If they conducted an illegal stop or search, the evidence could be suppressed. These are complicated matters and consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.