Drug Trafficking Defense in St. Petersburg

  • Generally

If you have been arrested for a drug trafficking offense in Florida, you need immediate representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney. Drug trafficking offenses carry harsh minimum mandatory sentences and astronomical fine amounts in addition to the collateral consequences that accompany many other types of drug-related charges.


  • Trafficking in Marijuana: Fla. Stat. § 893.135(1)(a)

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, in excess of 25 pounds of cannabis, or 300 or more cannabis plants, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in cannabis".

If the quantity of cannabis involved is in excess of 25 pounds, but less than 2000 pounds, or is 300 or more cannabis plants, but not more than 2000 cannabis plants, such person shall be sentenced to a minimum mandatory term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $25,000.00.

If the quantity of cannabis involved is 2000 pounds or more, but less than 10,000 pounds, or is 2,000 or more cannabis plants, but not more than 10,000 cannabis plants, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 10,000 pounds or more, or is 10,000 or more cannabis plants, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and pay a fine of $200,000.00.


  • Trafficking in Cocaine: Fla. Stat. § 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 of, 28 grams or more of cocaine, or any mixture containing cocaine, but less than 150 kilograms of cocaine or any such mixture, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in cocaine".

If the quantity involved is 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 400 grams or more, but less than 150 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and pay a fine of $250,000.00.

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is an actual or constructive possession of 150 kilograms or more of cocaine, commits the first degree felony of trafficking in cocaine. A person who has been convicted of the first-degree felony of trafficking in cocaine under this subparagraph shall be punished by life imprisonment and is ineligible for any form of discretionary early release except pardon or executive clemency or conditional medical release.


  • Trafficking in Oxycodone/Hydrocodone: Fla. Stat. § 893.135(1)(c)

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is in actual or constructive possession of, 4 grams or more of any morphine, opium, oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, or heroin, or 4 grams or more of any mixture containing any such substance, but less than 30 kilograms of such substance, or mixture, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "Trafficking in Illegal Drugs".

If the quantity involved is 4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 calendar years and shall pay a fine of $500,000.00.

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 30 kilograms of more of any morphine, opium, oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, or heroin, or 30 kilograms or more of any mixture containing any such substance, commits the first degree felony of trafficking illegal drugs. A person who has been convicted of the first degree felony of trafficking in illegal drugs under this subparagraph shall be punished by life imprisonment and is ineligible for any form of discretionary early release, except pardon or executive clemency or conditional medical release.


  • Trafficking in Phencyclidine: Fla. Stat. § 893.135(1)(d)

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 28 grams or more of phencyclidine or any mixture containing phencyclidine commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "Trafficking in Phencyclidine".

If the quantity involved is 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 400 grams or more, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and shall pay a fine of $250,000.00.


  • Trafficking in Methaqualone: Fla. Stat. § 893.135(1)(e)

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 200 grams or more of methaqualone, or any mixture containing methaqualone, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "Trafficking in Methaqualone".

If the quantity involved is 200 grams or more, but less than 5 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 5 kilograms or more, but less than 25 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 25 kilograms or more, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and shall pay a fine of $250,000.00.


  • Trafficking in Amphetamine: Fla. Stat. § 893.135(1)(f)

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 14 grams or more of amphetamine, or methamphetamine, or any mixture containing amphetamine or methamphetamine, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "Trafficking in Amphetamine".

If the quantity involved is 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 200 grams or more, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and shall pay a fine of $250,000.00.


  • Trafficking in Flunitrazepam: Fla. Stat. § 893.135(1)(g)

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is in actual or constructive possession of, 4 grams or more of any flunitrazepman, or any mixture containing any such flunitrazepam, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "Trafficking in Flunitrazepam".

If the quantity involved is 4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 years and shall pay a fine of $500,000.00.

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 30 kilograms of more of flunitrazepam, or any mixture containing flunitrazepam, commits the first degree felony of trafficking illegal drugs. A person who has been convicted of the first-degree felony of trafficking in flunitrazepam under this subparagraph shall be punished by life imprisonment and is ineligible for any form of discretionary early release, except pardon or executive clemency or conditional medical release.


  • Trafficking in GHB: Fla. Stat. § 893.135(1)(h)

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 1 kilogram or more of GHB, or any mixture containing GHB, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "Trafficking in GHB".

If the quantity involved is 1 kilogram or more, but less than 5 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 5 kilograms or more, but less than 10 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 10 kilograms or more, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $250,000.00.


  • Trafficking in GBL: Fla. Stat. § 893.135(1)(i)

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is in actual or constructive possession of, 1 kilogram or more of GBL, or any mixture containing any such GBL, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "Trafficking in GBL".

If the quantity involved is 1 kilogram or more, but less than 5 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 5 kilograms or more, but less than 10 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 10 kilograms or more, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and shall pay a fine of $250,000.00.


  • Trafficking in 1,4-Butanediol: Fla. Stat. § 893.135(1)(j)h3>

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is in actual or constructive possession of, 1 kilogram or more of 1,4-Butanediol, or any mixture containing any such 1,4-Butanediol, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "Trafficking in 1,4-Butanediol".

If the quantity involved is 1 kilogram or more, but less than 5 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 5 kilograms or more, but less than 10 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 10 kilograms or more, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and shall pay a fine of $500,000.00.


  • Trafficking in MDMA: Fla. Stat. § 893.135(1)(k)

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 10 grams or more of MDMA or any mixture containing MDMA, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "Trafficking in Phenethylamines".

If the quantity involved is 10 grams or more, but less than 200 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 400 grams or more, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and shall pay a fine of $250,000.00.


  • Trafficking in LSD: Fla. Stat. § 893.135(1)(l)

Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 1 gram or more of LSD or any mixture containing LSD, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "Trafficking in LSD".

If the quantity involved is 1 grams or more, but less than 5 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 5 grams or more, but less than 7 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.00.

If the quantity involved is 7 grams or more, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and shall pay a fine of $500,000.00.


  • Frequently Asked Questions in Drug Trafficking Cases

The following is a list of questions I am often asked by clients charged with drug trafficking offenses in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. More specific questions should be directed to an experienced St. Petersburg, Clearwater, or Tampa area criminal defense attorney.

  • Can adjudication of guilt be withheld in a drug trafficking case?

No. In situations where a person is convicted of Trafficking in Controlled Substances, under any of the above subsections, Florida law dictates that adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence shall not suspended, deferred, or withheld, nor is such person eligible for parole prior to serving the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment prescribed in each subsection. There is no discretionary early release, except pardon, executive clemency, or conditional medical release.

  • Can the minimum mandatory sentence be avoided?

There are two ways the minimum mandatory sentence can be avoided: (1) substantial assistance with law enforcement, and (2) an amendment in charge.

The state attorney may move the sentencing court to reduce or suspend the sentence of any person who is convicted of a violation of this section and who provides substantial assistance in the identification, arrest, or conviction of any of that person's accomplices, accessories, co conspirators, or principles, or of any other person engaged in trafficking in controlled substances. The judge may reduce or suspend the sentence if the judge finds that the defendant rendered such substantial assistance.

Under certain circumstances, the state attorney's office may be willing to amend the charge from trafficking in a controlled substance to a lesser included offense that does not carry the minimum mandatory.

  • Do I qualify for admission to Drug Court?

As charged, you will not qualify for admission to drug court. However, in certain instances involving possession of trafficking quantities of prescription drugs, where a minimum mandatory would otherwise apply, the state may amend the charge to possession of controlled substance. Under those circumstances, as stated above, you may qualify for admission into drug court. Depending on your criminal history, you may thereafter qualify for PTI (Division N) or a post-adjudicatory treatment based program (Division Z). If you are a veteran, you may qualify for veteran's treatment court.

For more information on these programs, see the Drug Court: Pinellas County section of our website.

  • Resources

For more information on drug related offenses in the Bay area, see our article on HG. Org: St. Petersburg Drug Crimes Attorney.

For more information on the Entrapment defense, see the Entrapment section of of our website and our recent blog post: "This is Entrapment!! (Right??)"

  • The Bottom Line

If you have been arrested for trafficking in controlled substances, contact an experienced Tampa Bay area criminal defense attorney. Donald Kilfin has represented numerous clients throughout the Tampa Bay area on these types of charges. Contact The Kilfin Law Firm, P.C. to schedule your fee initial consultation. If you have been charged with a drug offense other than trafficking, see the Drug Cases section of our website.