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Defending Armed Trafficking Charges

If you have been charged with the very serious offense of "armed trafficking" the general information below may be of interest. Contact the Sammis Law Firm to discuss the particular facts of your "armed trafficking" case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Under Florida law, the term "armed trafficking" does not refer to a separate substantive crime. Rather, the term "armed trafficking" refers to the underlying offense of trafficking an illegal drug with an additional element that the crime was committed while the defendant either used, threatened to use, carried, or displayed a weapon or firearm during the drug trafficking offense in Florida.

Only by talking directly with an attorney can you obtain specific legal advice on what you may need to do immediately to protect yourself from this serious charge. We represent clients charged with armed drug trafficking crimes throughout Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, and the surrounding counties of Pinellas County, Pasco County, and Hernando County, FL.

Minimum Mandatory Sentencing for Armed Trafficking Charges

Any minimum mandatory sentencing requirements for the underlying offense of trafficking in cocaine or another illegal drug will apply even when "armed trafficking" is alleged. The "armed" allegation essentially enhances the punishment further.

Penalties and Punishments for Armed Trafficking under Florida Law

This additional element that the trafficking was "armed" provides a basis for the reclassification of the level of offense to a more serious charge under Florida Statute Section 775.087(1)(a). 

Florida Statute Section 775.087(1)(a) provides as follows:

(1) Unless otherwise provided by law, whenever a person is charged with a felony, except a felony in which the use of a weapon or firearm is an essential element, and during the commission of such felony the defendant carries, displays, uses, threatens to use, or attempts to use any weapon or firearm, or during the commission of such felony the defendant commits an aggravated battery, the felony for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows:
(a) In the case of a felony of the first degree, to a life felony.

(b) In the case of a felony of the second degree, to a felony of the first degree.

(c) In the case of a felony of the third degree, to a felony of the second degree.

Florida Jury Instructions for Armed Trafficking Crimes

To reclassify the level of a felony pursuant to sections 775.087(1)(a), (b), and (c), the prosecutor for the State of Florida must prove that the defendant either carried, displayed, used, threatened to use, or attempted to use a firearm. See Fla. Std. Jury Instr. (Crim.) 3.3(a).

Furthermore, for an armed trafficking offense, the prosecutor may be permitted to add an additional 18 points on the Florida score sheet for use of a firearm depending on how the offense is charged.

Types of Armed Trafficking Crimes under Florida Law

For more information on the very serious offense of "armed trafficking" contact a criminal defense lawyer with the Sammis Law Firm today to discuss the particular facts of your case. Call 813-250-0500. We represent individuals charged with armed trafficking of an illegal drug, including the following:

  • Marijuana or Cannabis;
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Prescription Drugs such as:
    • OxyContin / Oxycodone
    • Demerol / Meperidine
    • Vicodin / Hydrocodone
    • Valium / Diazepam
    • Xanax / Alprazolam
    • Ritalin / Adderall / Methylphenidate / Amphetamine
  • Street Drugs such as:
    • Cocaine
    • Heroin
    • Methamphetamine / Meth / Crystal Meth
    • PCP (Phencyclidine)
    • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
    • Psilocybin (Mushrooms)
    • MDMA / XTC (Ecstasy)
    • Opium

Information Center for Related Drug and Narcotics Crimes:

Trafficking Prescription Drugs - Read more about how prosecutors in Florida approach charges for trafficking prescription drugs, including offenses related to obtaining a prescription by fraud and undercover sting operations involving the so-called "pill mills" or pain clinics.

Doctor Shopping for Prescription Drugs in Florida - one of the fastest growing areas of criminal drug prosecutions and investigations involve prescription medications, particularly allegations of doctor shopping and related criminal offenses.

Finding a Qualified Attorney for Armed Trafficking Criminal Charges

At the Sammis Law Firm, we represent clients charged with the very serious drug crimes including drug trafficking, armed trafficking in cannabis, armed trafficking in cocaine and trafficking-related crimes throughout Tampa, Hillsborough County and the surrounding areas of Florida.

Call 813-250-0500 to speak with an experienced drug crimes defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm, P.A., for a free, confidential consultation in the office or over the phone.

This article was last updated on Monday, July 10, 2016.