Federal Drug Crimes in Lawrence County
Some of the most common criminal charges in Lawrence County involve the illegal possession, manufacture, or distribution of drugs. Most people facing these charges face prosecution by the state in which the alleged activity took place.
However, the U.S. government also can charge people with all manner of illegal drug activities. Even something as simple as possession of marijuana can quickly turn into a federal case with potential jail sentences and heavy fines.
A Lawrence County federal drug lawyer can help people facing drug offenses in U.S. district courts. A federal defense attorney can work with individuals to formulate a defense, present that defense to the court, and fight for their freedom.
When an individual is being investigated or charged with drug-related offenses at the federal level, they may be facing allegations of any number of offenses involving varied drugs such as prescription narcotics, marijuana, heroin, crack/cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, and ecstasy/MDMA.
If the drug charges are noticed by federal law enforcement, often due to their severity, federal agencies may conduct their own investigation, develop their own evidence, and make a separate arrest. Facing federal cases and sentencing is very different than facing criminal charges at the municipal or state level and may require the expertise of a dedicated criminal defense attorney to protect your freedom. A Lawrence County federal drug lawyer understands federal drug crimes and can work hard to protect your rights and seek the best possible outcome for your unique case. Call today to schedule a consultation.What are United States Drug Laws?
Just as the simple possession of an illegal drug is illegal under Lawrence County law, so too is this illegal under United States law. The framework for criminal prosecutions of illegal drug possession is in 21 U.S.C. §841. This straightforward statute states that it is illegal for any person to manufacture, dispense, distribute, or even intend to distribute a controlled substance.
The consequences for a conviction vary depending upon the amount of the drug found and its identity. For example, a person with five or more kilograms of cocaine may face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of ten years. Under some circumstances, a judge may extend this term to life. However, the penalties for distribution of other drugs and lesser amounts do not carry a mandatory sentencing requirement.
It is also illegal to simply possess an illegal drug. 21 U.S.C. §844 states that any person who illegally possesses these drugs can face no more than one year in jail and a fine of no less than $1,000. However, if a person has a previous offense under this law or any drug law in any state, a conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 days in jail making it imperative that a Lawrence County federal drug lawyer is consulted.What are the Financial Consequences of Conviction?
Almost as harsh as the potential jail sentences are the financial repercussions of a conviction. 21 U.S.C. §844a allow courts to impose extremely heavy fines on people convicted under U.S. drug laws. These are civil penalties and are left up to the sentencing court’s discretion.
These civil penalties can rise to as much as $10,000, and the law specifically states that a person’s financial situation has no bearing on the court’s decision on whether to impose the penalty.
A person may also have to forfeit their personal property. 21 U.S.C. §844a allows the court to seize any property connected to the alleged drug crime after a conviction. However, this only applies when the individual faces a jail term more than one year.A Lawrence County Federal Drug Attorney can Defend Individuals
The penalties for a conviction under U.S. drug laws are severe. Not only can a person face jail time, but they may have to forfeit their personal property and pay fines of thousands of dollars.
These penalties are in addition to any sentences handed down by Lawrence County courts that arise out of the same incident. For these reasons, it may be important that people accused of violations of U.S. drug laws to obtain representation can defend their freedom.
Lawrence County Federal Drug Lawyers represent individuals in U.S. District Courts against alleged violations of federal drug laws. A lawyer can work on every aspect of the case from bail terms to evidentiary motions, to cross-examination of witnesses to provide individuals with a thorough and effective defense. Take a step to protect yourself; contact an attorney today.Potential Charges and Sentencing
Drug offenses that occur in Lawrence County may be picked up by federal authorities if they appear to be severe enough. If that is the case, an individual arrested in Lawrence County may be investigated or charged with drug crimes at the federal level, including but not limited to:
- Importation of drugs
- Narcotics trafficking
- Money laundering
- Drug possession
- Distribution of drugs
- Conspiracy to distribute drugs
A Lawrence County federal drug lawyer has the knowledge of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines necessary to best prepare a person for what they may be facing. The potential consequences someone may face is typically dependent upon their criminal history and the severity of the alleged offense. Most criminal drug charges at the federal level carry mandatory minimum sentences of five to 10 years. Most of the time, these sentences do not allow for parole.Defenses Against Federal Charges
Facing charges in a federal court is fundamentally different than doing so in a municipal or state court. However, a Lawrence County federal drug lawyer has the expertise and experience to scrutinize the evidence being used against the accused, as well as the circumstances of the investigation and/or charges they are up against.
A well-trained attorney understands the nuances of federal laws as well as federal sentencing guidelines (see Title 21 U.S.C. § 846 and 21 U.S.C. §861, for example). Therefore, if there are weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, an attorney may be able to find them. A defendant’s lawyer can gather evidence and refute what the prosecutors are claiming.How a Lawrence County Federal Drug Attorney Could Help
The Drug Enforcement Administration, (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are the typical agencies that conduct investigations related to the illicit use of drugs. If you were contacted by one of these agencies, it is critical that you call a Lawrence County federal drug attorney right away.
Federal agencies have the resources, time, and money to build a strong case against anyone accused of any of the aforementioned drug-related offenses. To start putting together a strategy that may be able to help you avoid the harsh penalties of a federal drug offense, reach out to an aggressive Lawrence County federal drug lawyer today.