Any type of drug crime, either on the federal or state level, is serious. However, when it comes to federal drug crimes, it’s critical to understand that they’re almost always more complicated. This is due to the fact that the federal justice system is more challenging to navigate.
The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, known by many as the Controlled Substances Act, divides controlled substances into five schedules, based on their potential for abuse.
Furthermore, the law also defines minimum sentencing guidelines.
A variety of crimes fit under the Controlled Substances Act, including the following:
- Manufacturing: Operating for the purpose of manufacturing illicit drugs.
- Trafficking: Possessing or manufacturing with the intention of distributing to others.
- Conspiracy: Facilitating the distribution, importation and/or manufacturing of illicit drugs.
- Possession: Even simple possession can be a federal drug crime. An example is possessing a control substance, such as a painkillers, for which you can’t provide a valid prescription.
- Protected location: This comes into play if you distribute illicit drugs to an individual under the age of 21, within a protected location, such as a school. Also, if you “employ” someone under the age of 18 in a drug related manner, it falls under this crime.
When it comes to sentencing, there are guidelines in place that outline the minimum and maximum prison terms for every type of drug crime. In addition to the crime itself, the guidelines also consider:
- Your criminal record, if you have one
- Whether anyone suffered an injury as a result of the crime
- Whether a weapon was used when committing the crime
Despite the fact that federal judges have some discretion when sentencing, they are required by law to stay in line with minimum sentencing guidelines.
Since there are minimum sentencing guidelines for all federal drug crimes, you have one goal and one goal only: to avoid a conviction. If you’re successful in doing this, you don’t have to concern yourself with the sentencing guidelines and impact on your life.
There’s no way of knowing how your trial will unfold, but the right drug crime defense strategy will give you confidence.