What Are the Consequences of Federal Drug Trafficking Charges?
While many drug charges are handled at the state level, certain drug offenses are investigated and prosecuted at the federal level. Federal drug charges carry significantly harsher penalties than state charges. An individual who is charged with federal drug trafficking can face years or even decades of incarceration. If an individual is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), or another federal government agency for a drug-related offense, it is imperative that he or she contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Drug Offenses Prosecuted in Federal Court
If a federal agency like the DEA or FBI becomes involved in a possible drug crime, it is likely that any resulting charges will be prosecuted in federal court. Federal drug charges are often the result of cases that involve a considerable amount of drugs or the transportation of drugs across state lines. You could be charged with federal drug trafficking for possessing:
5 grams or more of methamphetamine
100 grams or more of heroin
500 grams or more of powdered cocaine
5 grams or more of crack cocaine
100 kilograms or more of marijuana or 100 or more marijuana plants
These are only the minimum amounts needed for an offense to be considered drug trafficking. Possession of larger amounts of drugs typically leads to more severe criminal consequences. Drug crimes committed on federal lands, such as a national park, federal courthouse, federal prison, military base, or airplane, may also be considered federal crimes.
Federal Sentencing Guidelines
The prison sentences associated with federal drug trafficking convictions vary significantly based on the amount and type of drugs involved. For example, possession of 500 – 4,999 grams of cocaine or 40 – 399 grams of fentanyl is punishable by a minimum of five years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $2 million. Possessing 5,000 grams or more of cocaine or 400 grams or more of fentanyl is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of 10 years. Possession of 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana or 1,000 or more marijuana plants may result in a minimum prison sentence of 10 years for a first offense and a minimum sentence of 20 years for a second offense. In some cases, a federal drug trafficking conviction can even result in life imprisonment.
Contact a Plano Drug Trafficking Lawyer
Drug trafficking is considered a serious federal crime in the United States. If you or someone you know is facing federal drug charges, you need an attorney who has a proven track record of success in handling these types of crimes. Texas criminal defense attorney Darlina Crowder has secured more than 300 acquittals and not guilty verdicts for her clients. The Crowder Law Firm P.C. will carefully review the circumstances of your case and build a strong defense on your behalf so you can reclaim your life. To schedule a confidential, cost-free initial consultation, call our office today at 214-303-9600.