So often my clients ask me if they qualify for a downward departure when facing a drug trafficking charge or drug charges where the quantity is high enough that it qualifies as a “trafficking” charge. This is one of the most devastating effects of our current laws regarding drug trafficking — A judge has NO discretion to downward depart on a drug trafficking charge UNLESS the State attorney (the prosecutor) agrees. Otherwise, the Judge, regardless of it being a first offense or that the person was not selling drugs, but merely possessed over X amount of a certain drug, unfortunately, that automatically triggers these harsh penalties.
Having an experienced attorney can certainly help but realize that an attorney has a huge battle in front of them because of these laws. We need to work on changing these laws! In the meantime, make sure that you hire an attorney with experience handling these cases as we do here at our Firm. We have successfully resolved these cases for our clients, but we will always be honest and upfront about what our clients are facing based on our extensive experience.