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Joseph
Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
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i was charged with cocaine trafficing drug paraphenalia and

Customer Question

i was charged with cocaine trafficing drug paraphenalia and pot posssion
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Jacustomer,

Cocaine trafficking in Florida is a felony. Just how serious a felony matter it is will depend on how much cocaine you are alleged to have possessed.

Please tell me how much you they are saying you had, as well as how much marijuana. And then also tell me what your question is.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

2 1/2 ounces cocaine,1/8 pot and i'm on felony probation fo wokers comp fraud what amount of time am i looking at

 

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thanks for your prompt reply. The minimum would have to be determined by Florida's sentencing guidelines. With a prior felony conviction and an almost certain violation of probation, I don't see how you're going to avoid incarceration short of an acquittal at trial. But I am going to opt out in favor of a Florida lawyer who works with these guidelines and who may be able to give you some more hopeful news.

Good luck with your cases
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

how much time would you say i could get

 

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

I won't presume to tell you. I'm not at all familiar with your guidelines down there, as my state does not have anything like that and what it might be worth in NYS is irrelevant. (minimum of 4 1/2 to 9 years, maximum of 12 1/2 - 25 on the cocaine charge alone). I have emailed a Florida criminal attorney and am hoping he will get that soon and look over this matter for you.
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.
I am a Florida criminal defense attorney and I would be happy to help. If you know, what did you score on the case for which you are already on probation? Also, what was your sentence and how much did you complete? Lastly, what county is this in?
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

I was hoping to get some more information before responding in detail. However, it's getting late and I'm about to log-off for the day. Not wanting to leave you waiting, I'll respond as best I can with the information at hand. If I have anything incorrect, please let me know.

 

As you have a prior felony offense, I assume you know a bit about the sentencing guidelines in Florida. In short, if you score over 44 points, there is a presumption of incarceration. Conversely, if you score 44 points or less, there is a presumption that you will not be incarcerated.

 

As to the prior offense, I don't know the specific statute number for which you were convicted. However, fraud crimes are listed in chapter 817 and most offenses in that chapter are a level 5 offenses. As such, it has a score of 28 points. Assuming you had not other criminal offenses or criminal history, that would have been your total score, 28.

 

Now that you have violated probation, points will be added to that score. Of course, this presumes a conviction on the new offense and/or violation of probation (VOP). When the VOP is a new felony offense, it adds 12 points to your score. Meaning your new score on the fraud charge would be 40, less than the level necessary for the presumption of incarceration. So, as to that offense, you have a reasonable chance of avoiding incarceration and a likely outcome would be extended probation or community control, commonly called house arrest.

 

However, the new offense is a problem. With 2.5 ounces of cocaine, you are being charged under the trafficking statute, which calls for minimum mandatory incarceration and fines. Doing the math, 2.5 ounces converts to a little under 71 grams of cocaine. The lowest range of trafficking in Florida is 28 grams to 200 grams, you obviously fall into this range. As such, the minimum mandatory incarceration is 3 years and the minimum mandatory fine is $50,000. The maximum incarceration is 30 years.

 

The marijuana and paraphernalia charges are barely worth mentioning. Possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia are both first degree misdemeanor offenses and will have little to no effect on the ultimate outcome.

 

With the minimum mandatory penalties, it would certainly be advisable to explore any potential defense issues, whether that may be an unlawful traffic stop, an unlawful search, mistaken identity or whatever else may be appropriate.

 

As a note, the prosecution of these offenses varies widely from county to county. If you are in a larger county, such as Dade or Broward, they will often reduce the charge to avoid the minimum mandatory penalties. Conversely, if you are in a smaller county, such as Indian River or Santa Rosa, they prosecute these cases vigorously.

 

One other thing to keep in mind, if you are convicted of any drug offense in Florida, your driver's license will be suspended by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for at least one year. However, the statutes do permit the sentencing judge to recommend to the Department to issue you a license to drive for business purposes only.

 

In a worst case scenario, I would suggest that you could at least convince the prosecutor to essentially "throw in" the VOP with the 3 year minimum mandatory so that you don't end up with any additional time.

 

As I alluded to at the outset, I had to make some assumptions here. If any of those assumptions were incorrect, please let me know as this could certainly change my response.

 

I hope you found my answer helpful. If so, please click on the green ACCEPT for my answer. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. Even if you are a subscription member, you will need to click ACCEPT. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated! Thank you and good luck!

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

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