A Federal Drug Charge can be one of the most difficult things that a person faces. The mix of sophisticated investigation tactics from various law enforcement agencies, the seemingly unlimited manpower of the government and the complex rules concerning law, evidence and the federal sentencing guidelines can leave an accused person confused and possibly facing a draconian prison sentence. If you or a loved one facing federal drug charges then it is essential to have an experienced federal drug attorney in your corner. At the Law Firm of Jeremy Gordon, we represent people, not cases, and our goal is to fight for your freedom through every part of the case. Contact us today to schedule a free phone consultation.
Why Choose the Law Office of Jeremy Gordon as your Federal Drug Defense Attorneys?
Federal Drug cases are serious. From the moment a person is entangled with law enforcement it can seem like all the cards are against them. Federal cases are not like cases in state court. An attorney that is unaware of the differences between state court and federal court can leave an accused person at a significant disadvantage. At the law office of Jeremy Gordon, we only handle Federal Cases. This gives us significant exposure to the types of evidence that federal authorities bring forth in these cases and we know how to make challenges, especially in the areas of search and seizure. In addition, our experience in postconviction matters puts us at an edge in representation: we have seen the challenges that have come up on direct appeal and on 2255 Motions to Vacate so we know how to structure our arguments.
We also know how important communication is with our clients: a federal drug attorney can only represent a client if they know their client. That is why we believe in Clients Plus and take calls from our clients whether they are on bond or in jail. We also use the TRULINCS/Corrlinks Email system to keep in contact with our incarcerated clients.
Federal Drug Charges:
There are many different types of drug charges. Each charge has its own statute, law, specific types of evidence, penalties and defenses.
Simple Drug Possession
Possession of controlled substances without a prescription. These are often charged at the state level if it is determined that there was no intent to distribute.
Prosecuted under 21 U.S.C. § 841, this can include of Manufacturing, distributing or possessing with the intent to distribute illegal drugs.
Prosecuted under 21 U.S.C. § 841, this can include of running an operation for the purpose of manufacturing or distributing illegal drugs; usually involves large amounts of drugs and distribution paraphernalia.
prosecuted under 21 U.S.C. § 846 and 21 U.S.C. § 963, this consists of Attempting and/or the promotion of or facilitation of the manufacture, distribution or importation of narcotics. The Government must prove that you were aware of the conspiracy.
Protected Location Offenses
Distributing illegal drugs to people under the age of 21 or in a school zone; you can also be charged with this crime if you used people under the age of 18 to sell drugs.
What is A Controlled Substance?
Most drugs are listed and categorized into several schedules under the Federal Controlled Substances Act based on their abuse potential, accepted medical applications in the United States and the safety and potential for addiction.
Schedule I Drugs:
Drugs that are in Schedule I have a high potential for abuse, no current medical use in treatment in the United States and the a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug, substance or chemical under medical supervision. Drugs like LSD, Marijuana and Heroin are in Schedule I.
Schedule II/IIN Drugs:
Drugs that are in Schedule II have a high potential for abuse, currently have an accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S. or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions, and Abuse of the drug may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Oxycodone, fentanyl, methadone, cocaine, codeine , hydrocodone and methamphetamine are all in Schedule II/IIN.
Schedule III/IIIN Drugs:
Drugs listed in schedule III/IIIN have a potential for abuse less than the drugs in schedules I and II, but more than Schedule IV drugs, a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S., and abuse of the drug, substance, or chemical may lead to a moderate to low potential for physical dependence but high psychological dependence. Examples of Schedule III/IIIN drugs are Tylenol with Codeine and Suboxone.
Schedule IV Drugs:
Drugs in Schedule IV have “a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence compared to Schedule III and the drug has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S.” Examples of Schedule IV drugs include Xanax, Soma, Klonopin, Valium and Ambien.
Schedule V Drugs:
Schedule V Drugs ave a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs in schedule IV,” as well as “currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S.” Schedule V drugs “primarily consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes.”
Penalties for Federal Drug Charges:
Without the application of any statutory mandatory minimums or increased guideline ranges due to special conditions the normal range of punishment for many drug crimes can be between 5 and 40 years.
Mandatory minimums can be implicated for things like prior drug or violent crime offenses or situations where the government pleads and proves, either by a trial or plea, of certain amounts of drugs.
Moreover, the federal sentencing guidelines may also substantially impact sentencing in a federal drug charge based on factors such as the about of drugs involved, where the drugs were kept and the presence of weapons near the drugs. All of these things are significant and should be taken into account as soon as possible. This is all the more reason why you need an attorney that defends against federal drug charges.
Defenses to Federal Drug Charges:
Federal drug charges sometimes result from a simple traffic stop by police. After performing a search of the vehicle, the police officer may find a large amount of money or illegal drugs concealed in the car. In federal drug possession cases, one possible defense is that the defendant lacked personal knowledge of the presence of the drugs.
Many federal drug charges involve the sale of illegal drugs to a government informant or an undercover police officer. Entrapment may be an available defense in such cases. This defense is available when a government agent induces someone to commit a crime that there were not predisposed to doing.
Possession with Intent to Distribute/Personal Use
Federal drug charges involving possession with the intent to distribute can sometimes be defended on the ground that amount of drugs involved were for personal use. This defense is based on the elements of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), which require that the quantity of drugs be sufficient to constitute a distributable amount, and that the person “intend” to distribute the drugs.
Lack of Knowledge of Conspiracy
The federal government frequently relies on the concept of “conspiracy” to bring federal drug charges against individuals. To convict someone of conspiracy, the government does not need any physical evidence, such as seized drugs or large amounts of money. This is because the crime of conspiracy is based on the “agreement” of two or more persons, whether known or known to the defendant, to perform the object of the conspiracy. The object of the conspiracy can vary, but usually takes the form of possession with the intent to distribute drugs, distribution alone, or importation of illegal drugs. Federal drug conspiracy cases are hard to defend, and as such require an experienced attorney that knows how to attack the credibility of the government’s witnesses and to fight vigorously for your innocence.
If there was an illegal search warrant in the case, there may be a defense based on inadequacy of the police affidavit used to obtain the warrant. Untimely execution of the search warrant may also be used as a defense. In some federal drug cases, police may attempt to use a warrant where the information creating probable cause is “stale” because it involves events that occurred weeks or even months prior to the search for illegal drugs. A federal criminal defense attorney may also be able to challenge whether a search warrant was supported by probable cause if it contains insufficient information as to the exact place to be searched and the exact type of drugs that were expected to be found.
Canine Search Issues
If there was a search involving a police dog, a defense may be brought as to the admissibility of drug evidence found if the dog was not properly trained, if the dog did not have any record of success in prior drug recognition, and if the dog’s handler was not properly trained. If a police dog can be shown to be unreliable, there may be a lack of probable cause for a search.
At the Law Office of Jeremy Gordon, we fight aggressively for our clients. We are experienced with federal drug charges, and know what it takes to present a successful defense in a federal criminal case. Safeguarding our clients’ rights, and properly managing their defense, are two of the most important parts of our job. If you are charged with a federal drug case, contact us today to schedule a free phone consultation.