Both federal and state law prohibit the transportation and distribution of controlled substances such as cocaine or heroin. However, federal authorities often prosecute offenses that involve interstate trafficking of large quantities of these drugs, which can result in harsher punishments. A North Platte drug lawyer can fight on your behalf to help you avoid the harsh penalties associated with these charges.
Federal drug crimes are subject to minimum sentencing guidelines that can result in lengthy prison sentences. In many cases, the potential punishments for federal drug offenses are more severe than those for the same crimes under state law. Working with a skilled defense lawyer from Berry Law may be the most effective means of protecting your rights and building an aggressive defense to the charges you are facing.
Federal Drug Charges
Various factors determine whether a drug offense will result in state or federal drug charges. Some of these factors include:
- Whether the crime took place on federal property
- The amount of drugs involved in the offense
- The breadth of the organization operating the drug trafficking scheme
- Whether the offense affected interstate commerce or occurred in multiple jurisdictions
The role of the person arrested in the drug distribution scheme also may determine whether he or she will face state or federal charges. Whereas individuals who are only peripherally involved in a large-scale drug trafficking scheme might face state charges, others might face federal charges. A drug lawyer in North Platte can assess the strength of the evidence against the accused and work to defend them from those allegations.
Controlled Substances Under Federal Law
The federal Controlled Substances Act sorts numerous drugs into specific classifications according to their risk to the public, the potential for misuse, and accepted medical applications. When police find individuals in possession of large amounts of drugs, they typically assume that the person possessed them with the intent to distribute them.
Federal prosecutions rarely involve simple possession of drugs for personal use, with no intent to distribute. While possession of controlled substances is illegal under federal law, federal authorities usually consider those offenses as more appropriate for state prosecution. The more typical scenario is for federal drug charges to occur when certain behaviors are involved. These include:
- Trafficking, distributing, or possessing with intent to distribute large amounts of drugs
- Manufacturing drugs with the intent to distribute them
- Engaging in a conspiracy to manufacture or distribute drugs
As these federal drug offenses can result in exceedingly harsh penalties, it is important to work with a drug attorney in North Platte who can fight these allegations.
Penalties for Drug Offenses in North Platte
Although federal judges have some discretion in sentencing individuals on drug offenses, their sentences typically must fall within minimum federal sentencing guidelines. These guidelines often carry the potential for mandatory minimum prison sentences for predetermined amounts of various drugs, such as marijuana and heroin.
Various factors impact sentencing in federal drug cases, including the type and amount of the drugs involved, the scale of the distribution or intended distribution, and prior criminal records. Other relevant factors may include the use of weapons and whether anyone was harmed or killed in the commission of the offense.
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Call a North Platte Drug Attorney
The proximity of the North Platte to Highway 30 and Interstate 80 make it a convenient means of access from the western United States to the central Midwest and beyond. Law enforcement officers often stop these vehicles with the hope that they will uncover illegal contraband.
It is important to immediately contact a North Platte drug lawyer if you are charged with any type of drug crime. By having legal counsel to represent you, you may be in a better position to defend yourself against these charges. Call Berry Law today for a no-obligations consultation to discuss your options.