What You Need to Know About Federal Felony Drug Crimes
There are no criminal charges that should be taken lightly, and this is particularly true with federal drug charges. There is a serious societal stigma against drug crimes, and a conviction can impact every area of your life. Federal felony drug crimes often have substantial penalties, including high fines and long prison sentences. If you are facing federal felony drug charges, learn more about what to expect and how to protect yourself from the fallout.
Types of Federal Drug Crimes
Drug laws have become increasingly strict over the decades, and each offense comes with its own range of penalties. While you can technically get federal charges anywhere you commit a crime in the United States, in many situations, the federal government leaves it up to the state to handle prosecution. The federal government generally steps in when an offender is caught by a federal agent, an offender is caught with a substantial amount of drugs, the offender is transporting drugs across state lines, an offender is on federal land, or there’s an agreement between state-level and federal prosecutors. Different types of federal drug crimes include:
- Possession. Simply being found with illegal drugs on your person or stored on your property can lead to federal drug charges. The more you have, the more severe penalties you’re likely to face.
- Manufacturing. Manufacturing drugs is a serious crime, and manufacturing charges are often combined with other charges for a more severe penalty.
- Selling. Selling drugs is a heavily penalized crime, particularly as more legislators have begun to shift their focus from those who use drugs to those who provide them. Penalties vary, depending on how much you are caught with.
- Trafficking. Drug trafficking involves the selling and transportation of controlled substances. It generally involves taking drugs across state lines and, in more serious cases, across international borders.
- Possession with intent to distribute. If you are caught in possession of drugs but you were not caught in the act of selling drugs, you could still be charged with possession with intent to distribute. This is often determined by how much you are caught with.
- Organized crime. A substantial amount of organized crime activities involves the manufacturing, selling, and trafficking of drugs.
Factors in Federal Felony Drug Charges
A number of factors impact the severity of your federal drug charges and the penalties you face. Relevant factors include:
- The type and amount of drug you are caught with
- Whether guns and/or large sums of cash are also found
- Whether the drug proceeds have been laundered or deposited in banks
- Whether you have transported the drugs across state lines, whether by car, the mail, or airlines
- Whether it’s your first offense or you have previous convictions
- If the crime targets children, those in substance abuse treatment, or other vulnerable populations
Protecting Yourself Against a Felony Drug Conviction
If you are facing federal felony drug charges, make no mistake of it: you are in a very serious situation. If you are convicted, you could be facing decades to life in prison, be barred from certain professions, be unable to own firearms, or be forced into substance abuse treatment.
This is not the time to rely on your innocence as a defense or try to defend yourself. Your case will be pursued aggressively by federal prosecutors and anything you say stands only to weaken your case, not strengthen it. You need to contact a federal criminal defense attorney with experience in defending those accused of federal felony drug crimes. Your goal, in addition to avoiding the fines and prison time associated with federal drug crimes, is to protect your future from the shadow of a federal conviction.
Find Out How Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You
The team at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys has decades of experience in defending clients against federal drug charges. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can develop an aggressive plan for your defense. Contact our team now by calling us at (980) 237-4579 or filling out our online contact form.