Many criminal offenses require the defendant to serve a mandatory minimum prison sentence if convicted. Is cocaine trafficking one of them? Let’s discuss this charge and the penalties.
What is Cocaine Trafficking?
In Florida, cocaine trafficking occurs when an individual transports, delivers, sells, or possesses over 28 grams of cocaine or a cocaine mixture. This means that if the cocaine is mixed with another substance, but the total amount is 28 grams or more, it will still be considered cocaine trafficking.
Penalties for Cocaine Trafficking
Cocaine trafficking can be a felony or federal offense, depending on the circumstances. Additionally, cocaine trafficking penalties vary depending on the amount involved.
The mandatory prison sentences for felony cocaine trafficking are as follows:
- 28-200g of cocaine: 3 years in prison
- 200g to 400g of cocaine: 7 years in prison
- 400g to 150kg of cocaine: 15 years in prison
- Over 150kg of cocaine: Life imprisonment
If convicted of federal cocaine trafficking, the mandatory minimum for a first offense is five years in prison.
Why Are There Mandatory Sentences?
The purpose of mandatory minimum sentences was to create uniformity in sentencing. In other words, everyone convicted of the same offense would serve the same time and not be subject to bias. However, this has also created a problem where many people are required to serve lengthy sentences, even if the judge does not feel it is necessary.
Drug Trafficking Defense in Miami
If you are charged with a drug crime in Miami, contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A.. Whether you are facing state or federal charges, it is crucial that you begin working on your defense as soon as possible. Our criminal defense attorneys in Miami can help you prepare for your case and work to get you the best possible outcome. Contact us today to get the defense you need: (305) 330-1360.