Have you been charged with importing drugs into Florida? Drug importation is a serious crime, one that the state pursues aggressively and punishes harshly. If you are under investigation or facing charges, don't hesitate to contact an attorney at Ali & Blankner for help. Depending on the details of your situation, our Orlando drug importation lawyers may be able to seek a reduction of charges or even have your case dismissed.
Our team has the knowledge, resources, and proven trial experience to effectively handle your case. We have more than 85 years of combined experience and have received several top honors in recognition of our legal practice, including a perfect 10.0 "Superb" rating from Avvo and AV Preeminent® Ratings from Martindale-Hubbell® for our individual attorneys.
The genuine care and concern Mr. Ali showed us during a difficult time were very much appreciated. It has been a long journey, however, Mr. Ali and the team at Ali & Blankner have been there with us each step along the way.T.M.
What Is Drug Importation?
Drug importation refers to the importing of drugs and other controlled substances into the United States. Under the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act, it is a federal crime to import or export controlled substances into the country without the approval of the United States Attorney General, as well as all proper and applicable licenses. This includes controlled substance medications obtained outside of the U.S., even if you have a valid prescription and intend to use the substance for your own personal use.
Bringing controlled substances into the U.S. in violation of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act, regardless of how seemingly minor a role an individual may play in doing so, can result in serious criminal charges and harsh penalties. Drug importation is a federal offense, and a conviction will almost certainly result in a sentence of several years in federal prison.
How Is Drug Importation Different Than Drug Trafficking?
While both drug importation (and exportation) and drug trafficking are federal crimes, there are slight differences in these two offenses that set them apart.
Specifically, these differences include:
- Drug Importation: The importing of controlled substances into the U.S. is regulated under the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act. This is a more specific charge than drug trafficking, as it generally only applies to controlled substances being brought over international borders, i.e., into the U.S. from another country.
- Drug Trafficking: Drug trafficking is governed under the Controlled Substances Act. Like drug importation, it is a federal offense. However, it covers a much broader range of actions than drug importation. In addition to bringing controlled substances over international borders, drug trafficking may also include transporting drugs across state lines, as well as the unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, transportation, or import/export of controlled substances.
In many cases, people who find themselves facing drug importation charges are also charged with drug trafficking. Being charged with both federal offenses can result in even harsher penalties, such as longer prison sentences, steeper fines, and more.
Discuss Your Legal Options with Our Drug Importation Defense Attorneys
If you believe you are under investigation, or if you have already been charged with the unlawful importing of a controlled substance into the United States through Florida, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense lawyer right away. At Ali & Blankner, our team is here to explain your legal rights and options, as well as devise a powerful defense strategy tailored to the unique details of your particular case.
Do not wait to contact our firm to request a free case evaluation. The sooner you discuss your case with our Orlando drug importation lawyers, the sooner we can begin developing an optimal defense for your situation. When you work with us, our knowledgeable legal team can exhaust all avenues of defense to help ensure that you receive the best possible resolution.
The penalties for drug importation vary depending on the type of drug, as well as the amount allegedly transported into the country. However, in all cases, the consequences of a conviction are severe. If you are convicted of a first-time drug importation offense, you could face a sentence of at least 10 years in federal prison.
Aggravating factors, such as serious injury or death to another person during the commission of the crime, as well as prior drug crime convictions, could result in a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 20 years.
Even for smaller amounts of certain controlled substances, such as marijuana, the penalties are still very harsh. If you are convicted of unlawfully importing less than 50 kg. of marijuana, you could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in federal prison.
Additionally, you could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of importing the following substances into the U.S. in the following amounts:
- 1,000 kg. or more of any substance containing marijuana
- 5 kg. or more of a substance containing cocaine, coca leaves, isomers, or cocaine salts
- 280 g. or more of any substance containing a cocaine base
- 1 kg. or more of a substance containing heroin
- 400 g. or more of a substance containing fentanyl
- 100 g. or more of methamphetamine, methamphetamine salts, or isomers
- 1 kg. or more of a substance containing methamphetamine, methamphetamine salts, or isomers
Defenses to Drug Importation Charges
Drug importation charges are held against a person when evidence suggests that they have knowingly brought illegal substances into the United States. While the terms of such a crime depend on the type and amount of substances transported into the country, they are always dealt with on a federal level. Fortunately, even if you are facing a federal importation felony, our attorneys can apply a wealth of legal knowledge to help you combat your charges. We have extensive experience representing clients facing serious drug crime charges, including the importing and exporting of controlled substances.
Depending on the specifics of your situation, we may be able to use one or more of the following defenses in your case:
- You did not knowingly transport the drugs
- Evidence was obtained by unlawful search and seizure
- The charge came as a result of entrapment
- Your rights were violated during the arrest or at any other time
Because importation is often associated with large-scale drug operations, allegations can lead to lengthy prison sentences, harsh fines, and other unpleasant consequences. The Orlando drug importation lawyers at our firm are committed to seeking the best possible results for our clients, and we will use whatever means are necessary to defend your rights.
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