When facing federal drug charges, a person is likely going up against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the FBI, or another federal agency. Drug trafficking charges are one of the crimes that the federal government aggressively pursues and can result in severe penalties. An Ogallala drug lawyer may be crucial to your ability to defend yourself against federal allegations and work toward a more favorable resolution in your case.
With the assistance of a skilled defense lawyer, you could build an effective defense strategy for your drug-related charges. Legal guidance may make a large difference in the outcome of your case.
Drug Distribution and Trafficking Under Federal Law
The possession, manufacturing, cultivation, and distribution of controlled substances are all illegal under state and federal law. However, federal authorities often become involved in large-scale drug trafficking schemes. Other bases for federal prosecution may include drug offenses that take place on federal property, affect interstate commerce, or involve large amounts of controlled substances. Lower-level possession cases and those involving the distribution of small amounts of drugs are more likely to be prosecuted under state law.
Drug trafficking can include the following criminal offenses:
- Possession with intent to sell or otherwise distribute drugs
- Manufacturing drugs with intent to sell
- Cultivating drugs with intent to sell
- Distributing drugs
Conspiracy to commit any of these offenses also is a criminal offense that could result in a criminal charge for those who had less involvement in the drug distribution scheme. Therefore, even someone who knowingly serves as a courier to transport money or drugs or who purposely provides storage facilities for drugs can face conspiracy charges. These individuals may be liable for the underlying crimes even if they never saw the drugs.
Sentencing for Federal Drug Offenses in Ogallala
The federal sentencing guidelines generally dictate punishments for drug offenses. Although the sentencing judge has some discretion in determining sentences, he or she must adhere to the minimum penalties under these guidelines. Many drug offenses, including drug trafficking charges, require mandatory minimum prison sentences.
For federal drug offenses, the mandatory minimum sentence depends on the amount of the drug involved and the type of drug. The federal government classifies drugs in five different schedules based on their risk of harm to the public, the potential for misuse, and accepted medical uses. Offenses involving drugs classified as Schedule I carry the potential for more severe punishments than crimes involving Schedule IV or V drugs.
Various mitigating and aggravating circumstances also can enhance or decrease sentences for federal drug crimes in some cases. For example, if a drug offense involves the use of weapons, results in harm or death to others, or involves minors, the resulting penalties may be more severe. Alternatively, if someone provides substantial assistance to federal law enforcement officials, he or she may receive less severe penalties. A drug attorney in Ogallala could help fight the criminal charges you face and work toward a better resolution.
An Ogallala Drug Attorney Can Be an Advocate
When you become a suspect in a drug trafficking investigation or are arrested on federal drug charges, you need the help of an Ogallala drug lawyer. Legal counsel from Berry Law could present your options and help you determine the best course of action in your case. For a consultation to learn how an attorney could help you, call Berry Law today.