Federal Drug Crimes
Fort Worth Federal Drug Crime Attorney
If you’re facing federal drug charges, it’s critical that you seek the help of an experienced federal drug crime attorney immediately. When you’ve been charged with a federal drug offense including drug trafficking, you could be facing anywhere from five years to life in prison based on mandatory minimums in federal sentencing guidelines.
Between the severe penalties, the involvement of federal agencies and aggressive federal prosecutors, federal drug charges require a uniquely experienced federal drug crime lawyer to fight them properly.
Don’t wind up in federal court without a strong drug crime defense team by your side. A federal drug crime attorney at Westfall Sellers has experience fighting federal drug charges and can help you defend your rights. Contact our team today to discuss your options.
What is considered a federal drug offense?
Drug crimes can be elevated past state prosecution and into federal jurisdiction. That’s why you should seek a federal drug crime attorney when you’re up against these more serious charges. Factors that can bump your charges up to federal charges include:
- Drug manufacturing: Producing or synthesizing illegal narcotics, including methamphetamines, hallucinogens, and marijuana.
- Drug trafficking: Transporting large quantities of illegal narcotics in interstate commerce with the aim of delivering or transferring them to another party. (Trafficking differs from the similar charge of intent to distribute in terms of the amount of drugs being transported.)
- Drug conspiracy: Forming an agreement with one or more people to commit a drug crime such as trafficking or manufacturing. The criminal act does not need to have been successfully completed in order for you to be charged and convicted of conspiracy.
- Possession of dangerous drugs: Possessing drugs like heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamines, LSD, or MDMA/Molly in large quantities with the intent to distribute or traffic them.
- Possession of drugs on federal property: Being found in possession of drugs on federal lands, including certain government buildings and national parks, may be deemed a federal offense.
- Your case was exposed by an informant: If a defendant charged at the federal level reveals your name to federal investigators inside or outside of federal court, then you may face federal charges as well.
Types of drugs in federal drug charges
Under the Controlled Substances Act, a drug is categorized into one of five “schedules” meant to represent a drug’s danger based on its potential for abuse, its medical benefits, and its status in international treaties.
Schedule V drugs are considered the least dangerous and can even be purchased over the counter at a drugstore. Schedule I drugs are those with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
- Schedule I: Heroin, marijuana, ecstasy, and LSD
- Schedule II: Cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, Adderall, morphine, and oxycodone
- Schedule III: Vicodin, ketamine, and anabolic steroids
- Schedule IV: Valium, Xanax, Ambien, muscle relaxers, and sleep aids
- Schedule V: Over the counter cough medications, Lyrica
Note that the amount of a certain substance — or controlled substance analogue — you must possess in order to earn federal charges varies between each substance, not each schedule.
Penalties and sentencing in federal drug cases
The biggest and most important difference between state drug charges and federal drug charges are federal sentencing guidelines. Federal drug charges almost always result in longer mandatory minimum sentences. For example, in the federal system, defendants face 5 years to life in prison (or 20 years to life if serious bodily harm or death is involved) for just a first-time charge of possession of most Schedule I or II drugs.
Those with two or more prior convictions could face a mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment.
Additionally, people who sign plea deals in federal drug cases often find their appeals options drastically limited, and parole is basically non-existent at the federal level. That’s why it’s crucial that you have a dependable federal drug crime attorney fight your case the right way the first time around.
Why a federal drug crime attorney is vital to your defense
While all criminal charges are serious, federal drug cases are at another level. Cases involving the FBI or the DEA typically involve a complex web of evidence, including audio/video surveillance, sting operations, state’s witness testimonies, and (sometimes paid) informants.
While the volume of evidence can seem daunting, it also opens the door for errors. Things like unlawful searches and seizures, mishandled evidence, unreliable witnesses, coerced statements/confessions, planted evidence, and/or bad lab work can all compromise the federal case against you.
As experienced federal drug crime attorneys, the team at Westfall Sellers will work tirelessly alongside you, working through the evidence and leaving no stone unturned as we fight for your rights.
Additionally, pretrial release in federal cases is much different than in state-level offenses. When possible, we fight to ensure all our clients facing federal drug charges are able to be released on bail so that they can fight for their freedom outside of a jail cell.
Facing federal drug charges? Get representation from an experienced federal drug crime attorney.
Without the help of a federal drug crime lawyer, federal drug charges can become overwhelming quite quickly. When you have been arrested on federal drug charges or know that you are likely to be indicted, every second counts. The sooner you get help, the more likely you are to build a successful drug crime defense case.
You may only have one shot to preserve your freedom, potentially for life. Do not delay.
Contact a federal drug crime attorney at Westfall Sellers today at 817-345-7920 to discuss your options and get your case off to the right start.