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The possession of illegal drugs is both a state and a federal crime. If an individual is caught in possession of illegal drugs and is arrested, they would likely face drug possession charges. In many cases, individuals charged for the possession of controlled substances were arrested by local law enforcement and are therefore charged by the state.
Because drug possession is both a state and a federal offense, individuals can be charged with either state or federal charges. While many state drug possession cases may be charged as a misdemeanor, all federal drug charges are felonies. Individuals convicted of federal drug crimes would likely face a serious mandatory minimum sentence, with no chance of parole. Federal drug possession convictions carry serious penalties and prison sentencing, even if the individual was caught with relatively small amounts of the illegal substance.
Individuals can be charged with federal drug possession charges if they were arrested for one of the following:
Federal drug convictions can result in strict penalties, fines, and sentencing. Penalties increase substantially if a person was seriously injured or killed because of illegal drugs or relating to the incident leading to the arrest. Penalties, fines, and sentencing also increase after the first offense. Harsher penalties may apply if drugs are smuggled into the US from countries such as Panama, Mexico, Guatemala, or Colombia. Federal drug possession charges can result in several penalties, including the following:
There are several drugs that incur stricter penalties than others. For example, simple possession of Flunitrazepam or “roofies,” as they are more commonly known, can result in a three-year prison sentence and substantial fines.
Controlled substances are divided into several categories by the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). These categories are called Schedules. Illegal drugs are grouped into Schedules according to their perceived potential for abuse, medical use, safety, and other factors. The government controls the sale, use, and distribution of controlled substances.
Individuals caught with any of these Scheduled drugs on their person or otherwise in their possession may face either state or federal drug possession charges, or both.
There are several strategies skilled criminal defense attorneys might use when defending an individual against federal charges. Defense strategies will vary depending on the circumstances and details of the case. However, some defenses tactics which your attorney might use include:
If you or someone you know is facing federal drug possession charges, the penalties for conviction are strict. Federal drug convictions do not have parole, and most people convicted at the federal level serve their full prison sentence. To avoid these serious consequences, it is crucial to find a skilled criminal defense attorney with experience practicing law in the federal court. Dennis E. Boyle, Attorney at Law has defended over 200 federal jury cases and has the knowledge and expertise necessary to handle your case.