Armed Drug Trafficking in Florida

In South Florida, there are statutes that define controlled and non-controlled substances, as well as statues that define the amount of a particular drug that is needed for a criminal charge to take place. After the “War on Drugs” in 1980, the number of cases involving drug trafficking has increased tremendously. This is true not only for Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, but also for other regions in South Florida. Punishment became strict towards people involved in drug trafficking, minimum sentences were created, and the number of arrests doubled.
The Florida statutes on drug trafficking stipulates different substance categories as well as the amount, which differs for each different drug. The most common drug trafficking cases involve marihuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine, among others.
When there was a weapon involved during the drug related offense, this raises the charge to what the Florida statute defines as armed drug trafficking. When this is the case, the minimum sentencing guidelines are enhanced.
If you, or someone you know, has been accused and charged with a drug related crime such as armed drug trafficking, you need to call a criminal defense attorney in South Florida immediately for a free consultation.

What is an Appeal from a Criminal Conviction?

If you have been convicted of a felony, such as drug trafficking, or possession of cocaine in a Florida criminal court, such as Fort Lauderdale or Miami criminal courts, you should consider an appeal from your criminal conviction. An appeal must be filed quickly, the rules require a notice of appeal be filed within ten days of the imposition of sentence, and the first step is for the criminal defense attorney who conducted the criminal trial to file a notice of issues. During any criminal trial, such as a DUI, homicide, trafficking or murder, there are always issues, questions of law and criminal procedure that come up during the trial. The criminal defense attorney who is your criminal trial lawyer must object and then appeal for you to have an appellate court review the criminal trial. If there were significant errors, either in criminal law or criminal procedure, and they fundamentally affected the outcome of the criminal trial, then an appellate court will grant you an appeal and review the trial transcript. An appeal from a conviction for a criminal offense, such as possession of drugs or violation of probation, often takes many months, sometimes as long as a year. If you have a question about your rights as a criminal defendant in any South Florida criminal court, contact a local criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, or Palm Beach and ask for a consultation.

Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal Hears Argument in Motion to Suppress

The most litigated area of criminal law in South Florida concerns when a court should grant a South Florida criminal defendant’s motion to suppress evidence. Criminal law is mostly constitutional law: and the most focused constitutional amendment is the right to be secure in one’s property and to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. A search incident to an arrest and a search incident to a stop are different. An officer can stop and search an individual or a place when he has probable cause: the issue before the three panel of judges held in Fort Lauderdale concerned the issue of marijuana smells coming from a car and the legality of the search by a South Florida policeman who found cannabis in the car and in the clothing of the south Florida criminal defendant. The arrest for marijuana possession came after the officer searched the individual and found a plastic bag with marijuana in the defendant’s underpants. The area of law: search and seizure is fact specific: that means the actual totaltality of the circumstances are filtered through the search and seizure law as it currently exists. If you were arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Pompano Beach, Weston or any South Florida county (Palm Beach, Miami and Broward) speak to a South Florida criminal defense attorney and discuss your rights and your standing to object to the introduction of evidence obtained during a search. The area of law is very complex and the cases are constantly shaping and reshaping the law, so you must seek experienced criminal lawyers for advice on the current state of the law on search and seizure. Most South Florida criminal defense lawyers will give you a free consultation to discuss your rights if you are arrested for a possession of narcotics, possession of cocaine or possession of marijuana criminal charge.

Drug Trafficking: Conspiracy in Florida

In Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, South Florida criminal prosecutors almost always file conspiracy charges with all drug trafficking cases. It is a lazy prosecutor’s method to seek a criminal conviction under two theories: drug trafficking and an agreement to traffic in drugs. One does not need to complete the crime to be convicted of conspiracy. Proving drug trafficking requires proving the elements of possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance of a weight sufficient to file drug trafficking charges. Proving a conspiracy is in many ways easier.
A conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance such as cocaine or marijuana requires the prosecutor prove an agreement in which each member of the conspiracy becomes the agent of each and every other member. The most essential part of the conspiracy offense is the making of the agreement. The next element is an overt act: which means during the life of the agreement each criminal defendant must take one overt act to advance the criminal undertaking. The conspiracy can be proven with statements from co-conspirators only if they are made during and in the course of the conspiracy. Once the conspiracy ends, either by the withdrawal of a participant, or the completion of the criminal enterprise, the conspiracy ends. Conspiracy, to summarize; requires that two or more persons come to an understanding, that the participants are voluntarily entering into a criminal enterprise, that there is an act, an overt act, to advance the crime. Lastly that the act was knowingly done to carry out the objective of the conspiracy. For more information on criminal conspiracy in South Florida, contact a South Florida criminal defense attorney for a consultation.

Federal Drug Trafficking Laws

Florida has its own set of criminal laws. Each State has their own laws. In addition we are all subject to Federal (US government) criminal laws. Both Federal criminal drug trafficking statutes and Florida drug trafficking laws exist and we can be arrested in South Florida and be charged in either Federal Court for a violation of federal criminal laws OR Florida courts (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, or any other Florida jurisdiction) and charged with a crime in Florida. Federal drug trafficking punishments are different from those of Florida. A basic understanding of federal drug trafficking punishments is posted here on this website (press HERE to go to Federal drug trafficking punishment chart). For an understanding of what it means to be arrested in South Florida and charged with a drug charge, such as drug trafficking, delivery of a controlled substance, possession of cocaine, or possession of any controlled substance: call a South Florida criminal lawyer for more information.

Kingpin Trafficking in Cocaine Ring in South Florida Convicted

A joint task force originating in Tallahassee under the control of Florida’s Attorney General, Bill McCollum, sought and obtained a conviction of Samuel Johnson and over 30 others for Drug violations and for cocaine trafficking. The task force announced the drug trafficking ring operated in South Florida from Miami to mid-Florida (Flagler County and St. Augustine). The conviction resulted in a 35 year prison sentence followed by 30 years of probation. The mass arrest and trial involved more than 30 individuals. The prosecution was done by the Office of Statewide Prosecution. Many of the individuals were charged with trafficking in cocaine from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and Hollywood. The court also imposed a one million dollar fine on Johnson. The cocaine trafficking charges alleged at least 25 kilograms of cocaine was distributed over a six to eight month period covered in the trafficking in cocaine prosecution. Law enforcement agencies from South Florida, Broward, Miami, Flagler County and Putnam County Florida were involved in the investigation and prosecution. The street value of the cocaine was estimated at between 1.5 and 2 million dollars.