Federal Criminal Defense for Federal Drug Charges
If you’ve been charged with Federal Drug Possession or Trafficking and are looking for a defense attorney in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington D.C.. The Flynn Law Firm is available for a consultation to discuss the next steps in your case. Your federal case could stem from an arrest by a federal agent, on federal property, or on federal lands such as government or military property or in a National Park. The possible penalties for federal charges vary depending on substance, quantity, intent, and a variety of other things, but the Flynn Law Firm will work with you to mount an aggressive defense no matter what your situation. Federal drug charges can have serious, long-lasting effects on your life, and a strong defense is essential for a fair outcome.
Types of Federal Drug Charges
Federal drug charges can be designated as either possession or trafficking, depending on a variety of specifics regarding the arrest and the surrounding circumstances. Each carry serious penalties. The most common reasons that a drug charge can be elevated to a federal offense are following an arrest by a federal agent, on federal land (National Parks, federal buildings, etc), or if the charges include tax evasion or a RICO violation. Read more about what each charge entails, and the potential penalties resulting from both below.
Federal Drug Possession Charges
Simple possession charges, whether on the state or federal level, result when you are arrested and found to be in possession of an illicit controlled substance with no intention to distribute the substance. These substances may include — but are not limited to — marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines. The most common federal drug possession charges result from arrests on the US/Mexico border. Other scenarios where a simple possession charge would be elevated to the federal level would involve an arrest in a National Park by a federal agent, or on other federal properties or land. This also includes military property, some public housing developments, or other areas controlled by the Federal Government. For reference: 29% of Washington DC is federally-controlled land.
Federal Drug Trafficking Charges
Federal drug trafficking charges are different from federal drug possession charges based on the intent for the controlled substances (again, including but not limited to marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines). If you are arrested with a large quantity of controlled substances, large amounts of cash, or with other indications of an intent to distribute or traffic the substances such as individually-packaged parcels, scales, or anything else that leads the arresting officer to believe that the circumstances exceed simple possession, you may be charged with drug trafficking. Drug trafficking carries more serious penalties than possession. If you are arrested crossing a federal border, by a federal officer, or on federal property, your trafficking charge will be brought to a federal court.
The possible penalties for a possession charge versus a trafficking charge can vary drastically. The Flynn Law Firm will take on either charge and work aggressively towards a fair outcome. Read below about the suggested and maximum penalties for each charge. Note that the maximums are per charge, and will depend on your case. This can be explored further during your consultation for your case.
Federal Drug Possession Penalties
If you are arrested for simple possession of a controlled substance on federal property, by a federal agent, or at a federal border, the penalties vary depending on the substance and your history of offenses. Federal charges of drug possession are less common than trafficking or distribution charges, as the DEA generally focuses on larger cases. Your possession charges may result in a misdemeanor, fine, and no jail time, but could carry a potential of 1 year of jail time and a $1,000 fine for each charge. Discuss your charges today with the Flynn Law Firm to determine the possible outcomes of your case.
Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties
Federal drug trafficking is met with much more significant charges than a simple possession charge, and the range of the penalties vary based on arrest history, quantities, schedule of the drug(s) you were arrested with, and more. Many substances carry mandatory minimums for federal trafficking charges.
For marijuana, hashish, hashish oil, or cannabis plant trafficking penalties, there is a wide range, again depending on quantity and history of offenses.
- Under 50 kg or 1-49 marijuana plants, under 10 kg of hashish, or under 1 kg of hashish oil, the first offense carries a maximum of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 for an individual, and $1 million for a group. Second offenses carry a maximum of 10 years, $500,000 for individuals, and $2 million for a group.
- For larger quantities of marijuana, plants, hashish, hashish oil, or a combination, the penalties can range from maximum 20 years imprisonment and $1 million in fines for an individual, to a potential minimum of 10 years for first offenses.
In the event that you are facing a second offense charge, or significant quantities for drug trafficking, it is very important to discuss the specifics of your charges with an attorney. This is a quick reference for common cases, but as the possible penalties increase, the complexities of the case also increase.
For first offense trafficking charges involving cocaine, crack cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, or PCP, there is a minimum of a 5-year sentence and a maximum of 50 years and $2 million of fines for an individual, or $5 million for a group. For second offenses, the minimum sentence is 10 years with a maximum of life imprisonment, and a maximum of $4 million in fines for individuals and $10 million for groups.
Finding the Right Defense attorney for Federal Drug Charges
The Flynn Law Firm is available to discuss your case today, and will work with you to develop a strong defense to your Federal Drug Possession or Trafficking Charges in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington D.C. Contact us today to start planning your defense.
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