If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, a York drug lawyer could examine the circumstances that led to the charges against you and explore the various options for resolving your case. A dedicated attorney could build a strong defense strategy to fight the charges you are facing.
Charges related to the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs carry the potential for a mandatory prison sentence. With your freedom at stake, you cannot afford to go without legal representation. An experienced criminal defense lawyer from Berry Law may make a substantial difference in the resolution of your case.
Federal Drug Trafficking Charges
Drug offenses may result in criminal charges under state or federal law. However, drug trafficking schemes that impact interstate commerce often result in federal criminal charges. When a drug trafficking scheme operates across more than one state, it is subject to federal criminal laws, which typically have more severe consequences.
Interstate 80 runs for 455 miles in the state of Nebraska, which makes it a prime route for drug distribution. Legalization of some marijuana in some western states also has caused a steady flow of legally purchased marijuana from those states through Nebraska and to other midwestern and eastern states. Unfortunately, law enforcement teams have seized on the opportunity to seek out potential drug traffickers. These practices can lead to illegal stops, searches, and arrests on drug offenses.
Law enforcement officers often target rental cars and vehicles with out-of-state license plates as potential drug traffickers. Officers may follow these drivers and wait for them to commit a minor traffic infraction to justify a traffic stop. For drivers who are facing drug charges as a result of a similar situation, contacting a drug attorney in York may be critical.
Potential Penalties for Federal Charges
Federal law specifies the penalties for drug trafficking charges based on the schedule and weight of the drug. Commonly trafficked drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine in specific amounts can result in a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years and a maximum prison sentence of 40 years for a first offense. Fines for individuals can be a maximum of $5 million and, for organizations, $25 million.
Higher amounts of these same controlled substances, such as five kilograms or more of a mixture containing cocaine or one kilogram or more of a mixture containing heroin, carry the potential for even more severe sanctions. A first offense can result in a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years ranging to a maximum of life in prison. Fines also can range from $10 million for individuals to $50 million for organizations.
Classifying Controlled Substances in York
Under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, controlled substances fall into five different categories or schedules. Ranging from Schedule I to Schedule V, drugs fall into schedules according to the following characteristics:
- The danger of the drug to the public
- The potential for misuse or addiction
- Any accepted medicinal uses
Schedule I contains the drugs considered to be the most hazardous and addictive. On the other hand, Schedule V primarily includes drugs that have accepted medicinal use and are generally less harmful. Since almost all drug offenses are felonies under federal law, getting the advice of a drug lawyer in York is crucial.
The classification of a specific drug impacts the level of the drug offense charged. Prior drug convictions and the nature of the crime also can influence the charges. Other factors that may affect drug charges are the involvement of minors and the proximity of the offense to schools or other specified locations. Enhancements to the charges or penalties may occur if death or injury to others resulted from the commission of the crime.
Call a York Drug Attorney for Help
A York drug lawyer could advocate on your behalf and work toward a favorable resolution in your case. Most federal drug charges can result in a felony conviction and lengthy terms of incarceration. Therefore, it is critical to work with an experienced professional. Call Berry Law to schedule a confidential consultation to start fighting back.