Although the Controlled Substances Act authorizes federal law enforcement authorities to pursue all illegal drug offenses, federal authorities do not prosecute most drug cases. Instead, these agencies usually limit their involvement to crimes involving drug cartels, gang-related drug activity, and interstate drug trafficking schemes. Federal prosecution can result in mandatory minimum prison sentences and much harsher penalties than prosecution at the state level. An experienced Gothenburg drug lawyer may be your most effective weapon in combatting drug charges.
In many cases, federal drug charges that involve large amounts of controlled substances or interstate drug trafficking schemes are the result of traffic stops. As Gothenburg is close to both Highway 30 and Interstate 80, the potential for these stops is high, especially for individuals driving vehicles with out of state license plates. These practices can result in illegal searches and seizures that individuals later may be able to challenge in criminal proceedings. A well-versed defense lawyer from Berry Law can examine the facts of your case and build a strong defense on your behalf.
Federal Drug Offenses
Federal law makes it illegal to intentionally possess, cultivate, manufacture, distribute, or sell any controlled substances. The knowing possession of large amounts of any drugs found in the federal Controlled Substances Act will typically result in drug trafficking charges.
The greater the amount of the drugs, the harsher the potential penalties may be. The schedule of the drug under federal law also can impact the severity of the resulting criminal charges and penalties. Furthermore, anyone who is allegedly involved with any aspect of a drug trafficking, manufacturing, or any cultivation scheme can face the same charges as those who carried out the offenses. Due to the severe consequences of federal drug charges, consulting a drug lawyer in Gothenburg is important in preserving your rights.
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing in Gothenburg
A conviction for possession with intent to distribute, dispense, or manufacture specific amounts of drugs will result in a mandatory minimum prison sentence. The amount and type of the drug determines the level of the offense. For instance, the following amounts and types of drugs will result in a first-level offense that requires five years in federal prison and a $5 million fine for an individual or a $25 million fine for a group:
- 100 to 999 grams of heroin
- 100 to 999 kilograms of marijuana or plants
- five to 49 grams pure methamphetamine or 50 to 499 grams mixture
- 40 to 399 grams fentanyl
For more copious amounts of controlled substances, the crime becomes a second level of offense. This level of offense can result in a mandatory minimum ten-year prison sentence and an $8 million fine for an individual or a $50 million fine for a group. For example, possession of five kilograms or more of cocaine or ten grams or more of PCP or acid with intent to distribute both are second level offenses.
These penalties are only examples of those for first offenses. Second offenses will sometimes cause the minimum prison sentences and fines to double. A third offense will carry the potential for a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison, as will any drug crime that results in death or a serious bodily injury to another.
Contact a Gothenburg Drug Attorney for Advice
Police may push the boundaries of the law in an attempt to uncover illegal drugs. They unjustifiably may target vehicles with out-of-state license plates or rental plates assuming they are carrying drugs. If you have been charged with a drug-related crime, you need the help of a dedicated Gothenburg drug lawyer. For a confidential case evaluation, call Berry Law today.