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Robberies Involving a Controlled Substance

Although most robbery and burglary offenses are handled in state court, certain types of crimes also qualify as violations of federal law. When a robbery or burglary involves a controlled substance, for example, defendants can be charged in federal court. Federal offenses tend to be more harshly penalized than their state counterparts, so if you have been accused of an offense involving robbery and a controlled substance, you should consider speaking with a federal crimes attorney who will aggressively defend your interests.

Elements of a Federal Robbery Offense

Under federal law, a person can be charged with robbery involving a controlled substance if:

  • He or she takes or tries to take any material or compound that contains a controlled substance from the person or presence of someone else;
  • He or she uses force, violence, or intimidation in order to take the substance; and
  • The controlled substance was in the custody, control, or possession of someone registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), such as a pharmacist.

Those who are accused of committing this offense can be sentenced to 20 years in prison if:

  • The replacement cost of the material was more than $500;
  • The person who took or attempted to take the substance traveled in or used a facility in interstate commerce; or
  • Another person suffered a significant bodily injury or was killed as a result of the defendant’s conduct.

However, an injury will only qualify as a significant bodily injury if it involved one of the following:

  • A risk of death;
  • Physical pain to a significant degree;
  • Obvious and long lasting disfigurement; or
  • Loss or impairment of the function of an organ, body part, or mental faculty.

Even entering or attempting to enter the business or property of someone registered to distribute or carry certain controlled substances, including storage facilities and conveyances, is punishable by imprisonment of up to 20 years if the defendant intended to steal any material containing a quantity of a controlled substance.

Federal law also states that a defendant can be fined and imprisoned for up to 25 years if he or she assaulted another person or put someone else’s life in jeopardy through the use of a dangerous weapon. In the event that another person lost his or her life as a result of the theft or attempted theft, the accused could face a life sentence. Finally, when two or more individuals conspire to steal a controlled substance, they face up to ten years in prison each. This is true even if the individuals never actually attempted the crime, as long as one of them took an overt act towards committing it.

Call Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Federal Crimes Attorney

Federal drug crimes are notorious for being aggressively investigated and prosecuted, which makes it especially important for those who have been charged with this type of offense to consult with a federal crimes attorney who is well-versed in both state and federal law. To receive a free evaluation of your own case, please contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., Criminal Defense Attorneys in Miami at (305) 670-9919 today.


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