Drug Crimes

Drug Possession vs. Drug Trafficking - What Is The Difference?

Gregory Salnick
January 31, 2022

In this blog post, learn more about the difference between drug possession and drug trafficking.

Both drug possession and drug trafficking are illegal in Florida. However, drug trafficking is deemed a more serious offense than drug possession and carries more severe penalties. Drug possession is generally the crime of willfully possessing drug-related substances such as cocaine, heroin, or marijuana. On the other hand, drug trafficking involves producing, distributing, and selling illegal substances.

With that in mind, it is crucial to know what you are being charged with because there is a difference between drug trafficking, a mere possession charge, and a conviction of drug possession with intent to sell. Read on to understand the legal criteria and penalties for these crimes.

What Are Drug Possession Consequences?

Mere possession is when a person is caught with a small quantity of illegal drugs. In this case, you may be charged with a first-degree felony or misdemeanor based on the facts surrounding your case.

However, this crime can still be serious if you are found guilty of possessing substances and have a history of violent convictions, leading to harsh penalties. The punishment for drug possession varies depending on the type of substance you were in control of, ranging from heavy fines to possible jail terms.

Possession with Intent to Sell

In Florida, possession with intent to sell can carry a more severe sentence than simple drug possession. A serious case of intention to sell can be established by considering various factors coupled with detailed proof that you intended to sell the drugs.

These factors include a prior history of drug possession and sales, a criminal record, and the amount of drugs you had during the arrest. On the contrary, the prosecutor does not need to establish intent to traffic to charge someone with drug trafficking.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking is considered the most serious of the three offenses. Therefore, it is easy for persons convicted of drug trafficking to worry and get confused about the whole issue. A common misconception is that trafficking is associated with smugglers handling and distributing huge amounts of illegal drugs.

But the truth is that a person can be charged with trafficking for distributing a small amount of drugs. In Florida, the prosecutor issues charges depending on the weight of the substance you were caught holding. This is because every drug is unique and exhibits different pharmaceutical effects. However, with the proper legal help, a drug trafficking case may be smaller than you think.

Contact a West Palm Beach Drug Attorney for Assistance

If you face a drug offense case in West Palm Beach, you might not be aware of your rights and the scope of your crime. At The Law Offices of Salnick & Fuchs, we have a team of West Palm Beach drug attorneys to help you understand your case, walk you through the legal process, and defend your rights in court. Contact us online or call us at 561-286-8570 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

Gregory Salnick

Mr. Salnick is a Florida Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law. He began his legal career at the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted over 90 jury trials, ranging from DUI to murder, armed robbery and drug trafficking. Mr. Salnick quickly gained a reputation as a tenacious and ethical attorney at law. Mr. Salnick now serves as state and federal criminal defense attorney at Salnick & Fuchs, P. A.

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