If you have been charged with trafficking in drugs or any type, you will likely face prosecutors who are highly motivated to see that you are found guilty and sentenced to the fullest extent of the law. Many law enforcement officials feel that by coming down hard on those that are accused of drug trafficking, they will cut off the flow of drugs to users and resolve the drug problem in our city.

At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our experience has proven that individuals charged with trafficking in drugs will need the services of an aggressive and effective Miami drug trafficking attorney.


Drug trafficking, sometimes referred to as drug distribution, is defined as the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of a substantial amount of illegal drugs. It is considered the most serious of all drug offenses, and is often charged as a federal crime.

You could be charged with trafficking:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Prescription medicine
  • Narcotics

In some cases, merely being in possession of a large amount of a drug is enough to warrant a trafficking charge, even if there is no evidence of transport or sale.


The penalties for drug trafficking, whether it is for marijuana, cocaine or any drug, varies according to many different factors. The type of drug involved, any prior convictions for drug crimes, the quantity of drugs in your case and other elements can all come into play.

The severity of the potential penalties depends on:

  • The type of drug or drugs involved
  • The amount of the drug involved
  • Whether it is the defendant's first offense
  • Whether a minor was involved in the crime
  • The status of the defendant as an adult or minor
  • Whether the drugs were distributed or sold to minors or near a school
  • The defendant's prior criminal record
  • Whether state or international borders were crossed in the commission of the crime
  • Whether a person or persons were seriously injured or killed during the commission of the crime
  • Whether trafficking paraphernalia is found, such as large amounts of currency, multiple mobile phones or beepers, weapons, scales, and other measuring apparatus

Nearly all drug trafficking charges are felony offenses, punishable by expensive fines and mandatory minimum prison sentences.

In some severe cases though, drug trafficking can be charged as a federal crime which will result in harsher penalties including stiff fines and many years or decades in prison. One reason for drug trafficking to be a federal crime is if the offense took place across state borders (for example, driving from Florida to Georgia with cocaine in the car). If this happens, you could be required to pay millions of dollars worth of fines and be sentenced to decades in prison. Being convicted can drastically change your life and the lives of your loved ones for a long time to come.


For 25 pounds or 300 marijuana plants you will face a mandatory sentence of a minimum of 3 years in prison. For 2000 pounds or 2,000 plants it is a mandatory minimum of 7 years of incarceration. The minimum for 10,000 pounds or 10,000 plants is 15 years in prison. If your charges involved possession of a firearm, you may be imprisoned for life.

Marijuana trafficking can also be charged as a federal drug crime. When that is the case, the fines run into the millions of dollars and prison sentences are in terms of decades, not years.


In Florida, an individual can be charged with operating a "grow house" for marijuana in addition to the trafficking charges. In order to come down hard on the cultivation of marijuana, our legislature has recently passed into law minimum mandatory prison sentences for persons convicted of grow house charges in specific cases.


Many times, people can be confused when they are charged with narcotics trafficking as opposed to drug trafficking. A narcotic can be produced chemically or from a natural, vegetable source and the final product includes well-known illegal substances such as heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, and opium.

An individual can be charged with trafficking in narcotics simply based on the amount of narcotics involved, not on any movement of the narcotic in order to sell it. Trafficking is considered a serious drug crime in our state and carries heavy penalties.

As trafficking crimes are prosecuted heavily, there are mandatory minimum sentences imposed on those convicted of charges dealing with heroin, cocaine, and other drugs. You will face a first-degree felony offense, have to pay fines in the tens of thousands of dollars and be imprisoned for 3-15 years.

  • For 28 to 200 grams of cocaine, there is a minimum prison sentence of 3 years. The penalty increases with the amount seized and with more than 400 grams of cocaine, the minimum mandatory term of incarceration is 15 years.

If you are charged with a federal trafficking crime, the penalties will be increased.


Drug distribution is a type of drug crime that refers to the dispersal of illegal controlled substances such as:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD
  • Methamphetamines
  • Unauthorized prescription medications

Drug distribution is often compared to drug transportation. However, the two crimes are different in that drug distribution is usually associated with small-scale operations, and drug transportation is usually linked to large-scale operations. Regardless of the scope, drug distribution is a serious drug crime that is prosecuted to the fullest extent by Florida police offers, district attorneys, and judges.


Once a person has been charged with drug distribution, he/she will face a variety of life-changing penalties if he/she is convicted. It is very common for people who have been convicted of drug distribution to have to spend time in jail or prison, pay fines, be placed on probation, do community service, and attend mandatory drug treatment programs. The duration and extent of these harsh legal penalties will usually depend upon if the person is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony drug offense and the person’s prior criminal history.


Drug importation is the importing of unlawful controlled substances into the state of Florida or the United States. When a person imports drugs such as: marijuanacocaine, heroin, LSD, Ecstasy, and/or methamphetamines, he/she is committing the criminal act of drug importation. Drug importation is a state and federal crime and is subject to both state and federal laws and legal consequences.


After a person has been arrested for drug importation, his/her criminal charges will depend upon a variety of factors. These factors will not only determine if the person is charged with a misdemeanor or felony, but also determine the severity and duration of the person’s legal penalties if he/she is convicted.

These factors include:

  • the amount of drugs imported
  • the type of drugs imported
  • if the drugs were sold
  • the person’s criminal history
  • if the person has prior drug crime convictions on his/her criminal record.

If you have been charged with drug importation, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. You will want to become informed of your rights, legal options, and possible defense strategies from the onset of your charges. Hager & Schwartz, P.A., can help you make the right decisions from the beginning and provide you with the guidance you will need to persevere during the criminal process.


Drug transportation refers to the distribution, trafficking, and sale of illegal controlled substances. Transportation is the crime of actually moving the narcotic from one location to another. In the U.S., commonly transported illegal controlled substances include: marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and unauthorized prescription medications such as OxyContin and Vicodin.

Drug transportation can occur on a small scale basis (from one individual to another) or on a very large scale basis. Whether transportation is committed on a large or small scale basis, people who are charged with committing the crime are susceptible to vigorous prosecution from law enforcement, district attorneys, and judges.


After a person has been convicted of drug transportation, he/she may be sentenced with jail or prison time, large fines, probation, community service, and mandatory drug treatment programs. Any of these legal penalties can be enhanced if the person has a criminal record or if the person has been convicted of a drug crime in the past. You may also face minimum mandatory prison sentences depending on the amount at issue.


At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we combine an aggressive approach to your defense with skilled legal research and investigations in order to develop the best possible defense in your case. Our Miami drug trafficking attorneys understand the seriousness of trafficking charges, and we address them by providing aggressive and well-prepared legal defense on behalf of the client. If you require help in your trafficking case, we will employ this same approach in seeking a successful resolution that involves a reduction in your charges and sentencing, or a complete exoneration.

Just because you have been charged does not mean you will be convicted. The evidence against you may have been gathered illegally or in a manner that does not strictly conform to the law. At times, independent weighing of the narcotic involved can reveal that the weight given by law enforcement was incorrect. It takes an attorney who is willing to investigate and vigorously pursue all of the facts in order to produce a favorable outcome in a narcotics trafficking case.

It is well known that drug smugglers have used our state for many years to bring in their products. This has resulted in a legal system that is set up to come down hard on anyone suspected of narcotics trafficking. We urge you to use an attorney who not only knows the laws but is willing to fight the system on your behalf when you have been charged.

Contact a Miami drug trafficking lawyer when you or someone you know have been charged with trafficking and need an advocate who will fight for your rights.

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