Florida recognizes armed drug trafficking as a criminal offense. Let’s go deeper into what this means and how it differs from standard drug trafficking penalties.
Armed Drug Trafficking
According to Florida Statutes 893, armed drug trafficking takes place when the individual(s) committing drug trafficking possesses, uses, or threatens to use a weapon at the time of the offense. For example, transporting an illicit substance across state lines while in possession of a firearm is technically armed drug trafficking.
Additionally, what is considered a “weapon” is left vague. Therefore, you could find yourself facing armed drug trafficking charges if you are in possession of anything that may be capable of causing someone physical harm.
Penalties for Armed Drug Trafficking
Standard drug trafficking is typically a federal charge resulting in numerous years of incarceration and steep fines. Armed trafficking only elevates the potential penalties.
If you are accused of armed drug trafficking, you face life imprisonment. If the weapon is used to cause death or serious bodily harm during the drug offense, you could even face capital punishment.
Felony Weapon Penalty Enhancements
In Florida, the use or possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony leads to enhanced charges. Generally, if the defendant had a weapon at the time of the crime, the charge will be elevated to the next most serious classification. For example, if an individual committed a first-degree felony while in possession of a firearm, the charge will be increased to a life felony status. This increases the potential penalties.
This is also why armed drug trafficking charges and penalties increase past those for standard drug trafficking.
Florida Armed Drug Trafficking Defense
If you have been charged with standard or armed drug trafficking, contact First Coast Criminal Defense today. We can help you fight your felony or federal charges and help mitigate the potential consequences a conviction could bring. Call us at (904) 474-3115 today to speak with our Jacksonville defense attorneys.