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New Florida law adds penalties for opioid trafficking

We’ve previously written on this blog about Florida’s drug-induced homicide law, which allows for an additional criminal charge against those who illegally supply opioid drugs to those who overdose on them. As we pointed out, it isn’t clear whether the law will be an effective deterrent against the problem of illegal opioid use, but it is the way many states are sending a strong message about the problem.

A new Florida law recently went into which will contribute to the crackdown on opioid trafficking. The new law is aimed at dealers, and specifically allows dealers now to be charged with for trafficking opioid drugs. Before the law’s passage, dealers who traffic opioid drugs like fentanyl could only be charged with possession, which involves more lenient penalties. 

Because of the public health crisis surrounding opioid drugs, many states have shown themselves eager to a take a hard-line stance to the problem, particularly toward traffickers. In any criminal case involving drug charges, though, it is imperative to work with an experienced attorney to build the strongest possible defense case.

With drug trafficking cases, there are a variety of potential ways to build a strong defense, depending on the facts and circumstances. In some cases, for example, there may be insufficient evidence that the defendant intended to sell the drugs, which would make trafficking charges improper. In other cases, the defendant may have been unaware of trafficking activity and charged with trafficking based on association. The legality of search warrants is another potentially important issue in drug trafficking cases.  When evidence of trafficking is obtained illegally, defendants should work with an experienced attorney to exclude that evidence from admission at trial.

In many drug cases, it is common for prosecutors to pursue as many criminal charges as possible in an effort to increase penalties or their ability to negotiate an acceptable plea deal. In any case, though, an experienced attorney will be able to help ensure a defendant has the best opportunity to achieve a favorable outcome in their case. 

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