The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 classifies marijuana, narcotics, and other drugs into five categories, or Schedules. Besides establishing requirements relating to manufacture and distribution of drugs, the law also defines penalties for violations of the Act. Depending on the type of drug and quantity of the drug involved the criminal penalties can be severe. If you are facing federal drug charges, consult with an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney for advice on your rights.
Drug trafficking offenses commonly involve the following types of narcotics or controlled substances:
- Trafficking in Marijuana or Cannabis or Conspiracy to Traffic in Marijuana or Cannabis;
- Trafficking in Cocaine, or Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine;
- Trafficking in Heroin, or Conspiracy to Traffic Heroin; and
- Trafficking in Prescription Medication such as hydrocodine or oxycotin.
Sentencing under Federal Law
Federal drug laws specify minimum and maximum terms of imprisonment, based on the type and quantity of drug involved. Federal judges considering sentencing for violations of the controlled substances act usually start by reviewing the federal sentencing guidelines, which set out the possible criminal sentences based primarily on two factors:
- the “offense level” (of which there are more than 40 for drug charges), and
- the defendant’s criminal history
The higher the offense level, the worse the sentence will be. Having a prior criminal record will increase the sentence. If you’re a first-time offender, the penalties are less, but they still may include prison time, forfeiture of personal property and real estate, steep fines, and deportation if you’re not a U.S. citizen. Judges have discretion to depart from guidelines, but they must still stay within the mandatory minimum and maximum terms specified by statute.son sentence.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Prosecution for a federal drug trafficking is one of the most serious criminal cases someone can be charged with. It can be prosecuted in federal court, state court, or both. If you are convicted it can affect you for years to come. At the Law Office of Andrew R. Lynch, we fight hard to protect you. We prepare every case as if it is going to trial because this how we are able to obtain the best outcome for you. If you are facing criminal prosecution contact us.