An Introduction to Federal Drug Crimes
Drug crimes are the subject of both state and federal laws. Many states have statutes that are narrower than the federal laws on drug crimes, but they are never allowed to conflict with the federal drug laws. In general, sentences for federal drug crimes tend to be more severe than those for state drug crimes, which is true even for first-time offenders at the federal level. It would be a mistake to assume that a defendant charged with federal drug offenses will not also experience some prosecution at the state level for additional charges. For this reason, it is essential to retain a drug charge lawyer as soon in the criminal process as possible.
What are the Penalties for Being Convicted of a Federal Drug Crime?
The penalties for federal drug crimes range in severity depending on the defendant’s role in manufacturing, selling or possessing drugs as well as the amount of drugs involved, the financial gain the defendant received, the defendant’s prior criminal activity, especially those crimes involving drugs, whether the defendant engaged in violence or intimidation and whether anyone was harmed in the criminal transaction. If a defendant is facing both state and federal prosecution for drug crimes, the defendant will face mandatory minimum prison terms in the federal drug case that are in line with the state minimums. For instance, even if there is not a mandatory minimum sentence for a drug crime at the federal level, a defendant may not be released from prison sooner than the mandatory minimum set by the state for his offense. This, of course, supposes that the state brings charges and convicts the defendant.
The fines associated with federal drug convictions can be massive. For example, fines for drug trafficking offenders can be as high as $10 million. Trafficking offenses tend to have the higher fines because those individuals stand to profit more off of each transaction than another defendant who is simply possessing a drug for his own personal use. These drug possession charges tend to be the lowest level offense in the drug crimes ladder.
Due to the severe sentencing guidelines for drug crimes, it is essential to retain a drug charge lawyer promptly. The drug charge attorneys at the Law Offices of Brandon Sample have considerable experience in such matters and will fight for you each step of the way.
What is a Controlled Substance Under Federal Drug Laws?
The Controlled Substances Act provides a list of drugs that are subject to federal regulation. Many prescription medications are included. Drugs like cocaine and marijuana are part of this list, too. Since federal drug laws are so complex, we present a simplified explanation of the primary types below. For more comprehensive assistance, contact the drug charge attorneys at the Law Offices of Brandon Sample.
The government is able to charge a person with the illegal manufacturing of drugs as long as they play some role in attempting to produce the illegal substance. Federal drug laws are very complex and encompassing. If a participant in any phase of the drug manufacturing process, you run the risk of being charged with manufacturing drugs. Manufacturing drugs is a serious offense which attaches unforgiving federal sentencing guidelines. If you have been charged, or are under investigation for, manufacturing drugs, retain the services of a drug charge attorney as soon as you can. By hiring an attorney early in the process, your criminal liability can be mitigated.