Norfolk Federal Drug Lawyer

Federal drug cases are treated very seriously. They carry harsh penalties. For some first-time offenders, depending on the amount of drugs they possess, they can be sentenced between five and ten years in prison. Some of the most common federal drug charges include possession, possession with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to distribute drugs.

If you have been accused of committing a federal narcotics offense, you should seek help from an experienced drug attorney as soon as possible. A Norfolk federal drug attorney could help you fight your case.

Types of Federal Drug Offenses

A drug case can become federal at any time. However, federal drug cases often involve large quantities of drugs, conspiracies crossing state lines, or federal informants or federal officers.

The typical agencies involved in investigating federal drug cases include the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Federal drug cases can be investigated in innumerous ways. Some common methods of investigation are the use of undercover informants, the use of wiretaps, police auditory, and visual surveillance, and the execution of search warrants.

An individual can be charged with the following:

  • Simple possession
  • Possession with intent to distribute
  • Wrongfully distributing prescribed substances
  • Using the internet to facilitate the purchase of illegal drugs
  • Failure to adequately keep records in accordance with the federal drug control act

What Are Some of the Penalties Associated with Federal Drug Cases?

Federal drug convictions are felonies and carry potentially harsher sentences than state convictions, meaning that if a person is convicted of a federal felony, it is likely that they will spend a significant period of time in prison. Additionally, once they are released, they will have the same disabilities that a state conviction would carry, meaning the inability to run for office, the inability to apply for certain loans, and the inability to possess firearms.

Intent to Distribute Charges

For federal possession with intent to distribute charges, the penalty can vary according to the substance possessed and its quantity.

The penalty for possessing 1 kilogram of heroin, 5 kilograms of powder cocaine, 280 grams of cocaine base, 100 grams of PCP, 10 grams of LSD, 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, or 50 grams of methamphetamine can be a sentence of anywhere between 10 years and life in prison. If death results from the ingestion of these substances that the individual possessed, then the sentence must be at least 20 years. If this is a second offense, the prison sentence must be 15 years. If death results in a second offense case, the punishment is life in prison.

If there is a lesser amount possessed than a charge for intent to distribute, the penalties are as follows: for 100 grams or more of heroin, 500 grams of powder cocaine, 28 grams of cocaine base, 10 grams of PCP, one gram of LSD, 100 kilograms of marijuana or five grams of methamphetamine, the individual can be punished by between four and five years in prison. If death results from the drugs possessed by that individual, then the sentence has to be anywhere between 20 years and life.

Penalties for Schedule 1 or 2 Substances

If an individual possesses a Schedule 1 or 2 substance and is charged federally, or if that individual possesses a scheduled substance at all, then that person can be punished by up to 20 years in prison.

If the evidence is overwhelming in a federal drug case, the defense attorney typically negotiates with the United States attorney assigned to the case to determine alternative sentencing options.

How a Norfolk Federal Drug Attorney Could Help

Following a charge of a federal drug offense, you should retain the services of an experienced attorney. A Norfolk federal drug lawyer could investigate the facts of the case and ensure your rights are fully protected. Drug investigations typically involve constitutional issues such as stops and searches based on probable cause, wiretaps, and the use of informants. Such issues usually revolve around the Fourth or Fifth Amendments, and such violations can be used in a motion to suppress any incriminating information.

Call today to discuss your case and to get started building your defense.