Armed Drug Trafficking
Armed drug trafficking is defined in Florida statute 893, Florida's drug abuse prevention and control statute. Reading the statute on drug trafficking is both difficult and confusing. Begin your understanding of drug trafficking by referring to Florida criminal jury instructions section 25 and its sub parts, which define violations, purchase sale delivery and trafficking in controlled substances. Florida criminal statutes identify certain drugs and chemicals substances as either controlled substances or non-controlled substances. The chemical identifies for controlled substances appear in the statutes as category one or category two controlled substances. A basic understanding of trafficking charges begins by understanding the statutory structure of Florida's criminal statutes for drug trafficking. In its most simplified form the legislature created three categories for substance-abuse and possession of controlled substance criminal violations. Simple possession, a third-degree felony, addresses personal use amounts of controlled substances. Think of simple possession charges as appropriate for the substance abusers who possess personal-use amounts, but are not in the "business" of buying or selling cocaine, marijuana, oxycodone and the most common "designer" drugs.
If you are in possession of more than a personal use amount and are entering into a transaction to either give or sell or transfer a controlled substance, the criminal category is called delivery. Possession of cocaine is a third-degree felony in Florida: that carries a maximum five-year prison term. Delivery of cocaine, or delivery of any controlled substance in Florida, carries a 15 year maximum prison term.
The trafficking statutes contemplate persons who are buying and selling substantial amounts of controlled substances such as cocaine, oxycodone, marijuana, and other cocaine distillates and heroin and its various synthetic forms. Trafficking amounts vary by substance and type: either by weight, or by a pill counts. Begin your understanding of cocaine trafficking and trafficking in controlled substances by reading Florida jury instructions 25 through 25.19. Florida criminal jury instructions can be found by searching online or by an Internet search of Florida statutes and jury instructions which can be found on the Florida Supreme Court website.
The significant distinction between trafficking and armed trafficking is the element of a weapon which is used or carried during the commission of a drug trafficking offense. A weapon can be something as simple as a rock or a stick. The armed drug trafficking statute makes it a life offense if during the course of or in the commission of a drug trafficking offense a person uses or possesses a firearm. Florida also has a kingpin armed drug trafficking sentence, which if one is convicted of Karen invoke a death sentence.