Federal Drug Crimes
Given the tremendous impact that the opioid epidemic has had on society over the past decade, the federal government has shown a renewed interest in prosecuting drug crimes. While all drug crimes can be prosecuted under state law, federal prosecutors often decide to take cases away from state prosecutors where there are allegations of drug trafficking as well as those cases involving a large amount of narcotics. The federal criminal defense lawyers at Robinson Law, PLLC, have decades of experience handling all aspects of federal drug crimes. We are immediately available to meet with you to discuss your case and start working on a compelling defense designed to ensure that your case has as little impact on your life as possible.What You Need to Know About Federal Drug Crimes
With the current state of laws related to controlled substances, knowing what you are doing and where you are going is very important. Something as simple as possessing a substance that may be legal in one state, such as marijuana, and transporting it into Virginia open you up to a charge in Virginia state court and also in federal court. These investigations often occur at the airport.
The DEA, TSA and Virginia police departments frequently engage in what is commonly known as drug interdiction, where they will have a canine unit check bags brought into the airport. If you have certain items in your possession that may indicate drug trafficking (such as a one-way ticket to a state where marijuana is legal and large amounts of cash, and perhaps a THC pill, edible or vape cartridge) can cause you to be targeted by these officers, even if you do not intend to transport any drugs. Remember, while marijuana may be legal in different states for different reasons, it is illegal under federal law, and possessing marijuana on federal property is therefore still illegal—regardless of what state law says.
Federal law with respect to drug trafficking has much harsher penalties than the state equivalents, even for first offenders. The guidelines are based on the amount of the substance that you have in your possession. You may also be charged with more than just whatever substances that you believed that you were handling, especially when the Federal Government can prove a conspiracy, or agreement between two or more people to obtain, sell and/or distribute such illegal substances. In some circumstances, low-level buyers of seemingly legal opiates, such as oxycodone, can be charged with a larger part of the conspiracy simply because someone above them is involved in a much larger distribution ring.
The complex nature of these types of charges, which can cause an individual to be charged with a crime in a location that they never entered, requires the expertise of attorneys with experience in both the state and federal court systems. If you have received a target letter related to a drug charge in federal court, please reach out to us immediately so that we can help you analyze your situation and determine the best course of action for you.What Are the Punishments for a Federal Drug Crime?
Drug cases in federal court carry much more severe penalties than drug cases in state court. In most cases, if you are found guilty, the judge will use the federal sentencing guidelines to determine your sentencing range. This requires the judge to consider many factors, including the amount of drugs you had on you and your prior record. From there, the judge will determine if there are any circumstances that warrant a more severe sentence, such as participation in a drug conspiracy or whether you have a prior felony drug conviction in state or federal court. Other factors, however, may justify the judge making a downward departure, such as acceptance of responsibility. Discussing your case with an experienced federal drug crime defense lawyer is critical in understanding what you are facing and how best to defend against the charges.Were You Indicted on Federal Drug Charges?
If you were recently indicted and charged with a federal drug crime, it is imperative that you find a federal criminal defense attorney who will take your case as seriously as you do. Not all Fairfax defense attorneys handle federal drug cases, and it is important you find an attorney who has extensive experience with these cases. At Robinson Law, PLLC, our dedicated federal criminal defense lawyers have decades of experience successfully handling some of the toughest drug cases, including those involving drug trafficking, conspiracy charges, and overdose deaths. We can help you mount a defense against whatever charges you face and will be at your side every step of the way. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call (703) 844-3746. You can also connect with us through our online form.