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Tips for Beating Federal Drug Charges
If you are wondering how to beat federal drug charges, the very first thing you should do is speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has a reputation for successfully representing clients in federal court. The outcome of a federal drug case can have a significant impact on the rest of your life, and you don’t want to leave your future in the hands of an untested attorney.
The following is some basic information about what to expect from a federal drug case and how to protect yourself against federal drug charges like drug trafficking, drug conspiracy, drug distribution, RICO violations and drug smuggling. Keep in mind that every federal drug case is different and there is no substitute for a consult with a dedicated drug crimes defense attorney, so if you are facing federal drug charges, don’t wait to speak to our legal team. Call Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers today to discuss your case and the best legal strategy based on your specific circumstances.
Take Note of the Charges Against You
The first step in defending yourself against federal drug charges is understanding exactly what charges you are facing. Although there are laws at the state and federal level that prohibit drug crimes, federal drug charges are typically reserved for serious drug-related offenses that involve the possession, sale, manufacture, distribution and importation of controlled substances like cocaine, marijuana, heroin, PCP, LSD and methamphetamine.
These controlled substances are categorized into “schedules” based on their accepted medical use, potential for abuse and risk of dependence, and the main federal laws that assign penalties for the unlawful manufacturing, dispensing, distribution and importation/exportation of these substances are the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S. Code Subchapter I) and the Controlled Substance Import and Export Act (21 U.S. Code Subchapter II).
Drug Crime Charges and Penalties
Federal drug charges carry severe, lifelong penalties upon conviction, possibly including years or decades in federal prison or even life imprisonment, plus thousands if not millions of dollars in fines.
Every federal drug case is different and the defense strategy that gives you the best chance of success depends on the specific charges you are facing. Our firm has defended clients against a wide variety of drug charges, and we know what it takes to defeat the federal government. The following are some examples of drug-related crimes our criminal defense attorneys can handle:
- Drug Trafficking
- Drug Smuggling
- Drug Conspiracy
- Drug Importation/Exportation
- Drug Distribution
- Drug Manufacturing
- RICO Cases
The federal government is notoriously tough on drug crimes and has devoted a great deal of time and resources to investigating, charging and punishing drug offenders. In fact, more than half of all federal prisoners in the United States are serving time for drug-related offenses like drug trafficking.
Hire a Reputable Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer Right Away
Facing any kind of criminal charge is stressful and potentially life-changing, and hiring a top-rated defense attorney when facing federal drug charges gives you the best chance at successfully fighting the charges. A drug crimes conviction could cost you your job, your relationships, your freedom and your financial security, so you’ll want to choose an attorney who specializes in drug crimes defense to represent you.
Reviewing the facts of your case, negotiating with the prosecution and building a strong defense are all things that a good defense attorney can handle on your behalf. The federal government may be gunning for a conviction, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to defeat the government and regain your freedom.
At Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers, our defense attorneys are committed to holding the government to the highest standard of ethical conduct and fighting for the justice and fairness our clients deserve.
Do Not Cooperate with the Government Before Consulting a Lawyer
You want a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side as early as possible, from the moment you are arrested or discover that you are the target of a federal drug investigation, so you can avoid making any mistakes that could end up hurting your case.
From the very beginning, a good defense attorney will be there to inform you of your rights, evaluate the validity of the allegations against you, gauge the strength of the government’s case and assess the extent of your criminal exposure, in order to determine the best course of action.
If you try to cooperate with the government on your own by making a statement or consenting to a search without an attorney present, even if you are simply trying to prove that you are innocent of the drug charges, you could end up talking yourself right into a criminal conviction. It is in your best interest to leave communicating with the government up to your attorney.
Review the Prosecution’s Evidence
Federal drug cases are unique in that the federal government has the resources and manpower necessary to build its case over time and continue collecting evidence until they believe they have enough to get a conviction, especially in cases that involve a large amount of drugs or money or a large group of people.
Federal drug cases generally involve more meticulous and thorough investigations than state cases and the prosecution’s evidence in a federal drug case can include everything from GPS tracking and video surveillance to wiretap evidence. Whatever drug-related charges you are facing, the federal government is dedicated to investigating the charges and prosecuting your case to the fullest extent of the law.
In some cases, state and federal officials will even work together to target an individual suspected of participating in a drug crime or criminal conspiracy in hopes that the individual will lead them to a wider network of suspects.
Drug Conspiracy Charges
Many serious drug cases will involve drug conspiracy charges, which gives the government the opportunity to pursue charges against co-conspirators who allegedly agree to commit a drug crime, even if they didn’t directly participate in the crime.
Federal conspiracy laws are broadly defined, and under these laws, you can be charged and convicted of drug conspiracy for simply joining an agreement with one or more other people to commit a drug crime, even if the crime was never carried out. The federal statutes that cover drug conspiracy charges are 21 U.S. Code §§ 846 and 963, which state that “Any person who attempts or conspires to commit any offense defined in this subchapter shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy.”
Furthermore, unlike California state law, which requires an “overt act” completed in furtherance of the conspiracy, federal law does not require such an act for drug conspiracy charges to apply.
Put Together a Compelling Defense
Federal drug cases differ from state cases in many ways, perhaps most importantly in the severity of the consequences resulting from a conviction, but one thing they have in common is the prosecution’s burden of proof. Just like in any state case, the prosecution in a federal drug case must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to get a conviction.
A successful defense against federal drug charges depends on the defense attorney’s ability to formulate a compelling legal strategy that pinpoints and capitalizes on weak spots in the government’s case. When you hire our firm, our lawyers will investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest and look into any potential issues that could result in the charges against you being reduced or dropped. For instance, if the evidence against you was obtained during an illegal search and seizure, our lawyers may be able to get the evidence thrown out.
If you were entrapped by federal agents, we can use entrapment as a defense to the criminal charge, showing that the agents used coercion or other overbearing tactics to induce you to commit a drug crime that you would have otherwise been unlikely or unwilling to commit. No matter what drug charges you are facing, putting together a compelling defense requires the skill and expertise of an attorney who is prepared to aggressively challenge the prosecution’s evidence against you.
Contact Our Legal Team for a Free Consultation
If you or someone close to you has been arrested, accused or indicted for allegedly trafficking, selling, delivering, importing or smuggling, or conspiring to traffic, sell, deliver, import or smuggle a drug or controlled substance, do not hesitate to retain qualified legal counsel. A conviction for a federal drug crime can have a significant impact on virtually every aspect of your life, including your freedom, your job prospects, your rights, your personal relationships, and your future.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could be sentenced to years, decades or even life in prison for a federal drug conviction. Unfortunately, most serious federal drug crimes carry a mandatory minimum sentence, which means it is unlikely that you would be able to avoid serving time in federal prison if you are convicted, even for a first offense.
We understand that it can be difficult to know where to turn for help when facing serious drug charges, which is why we offer prospective clients a free case evaluation. Contact Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers as soon as possible to find out how our defense attorneys would approach your federal drug case.