Both state and federal law prohibit the possession of controlled substances. In addition, federal law specifically penalizes the possession of illegal drugs with the intention of selling. Prosecutors must demonstrate the defendants’ intention to sell such controlled substances, so the advice of an expert lawyer who evaluates your case and helps you formulate a defense is especially important.
Setting the intentions
The production and distribution of illegal drugs, as well as possession with the intent to distribute or manufacture a controlled substance are prohibited under federal law. In prosecuting someone for this crime, prosecutors must demonstrate that the defendant attempted to distribute the substance in question. Now, even though there is no evidence to show that the defendant was selling, the courts can assume the intention when there are certain facts:
- Large amounts of drugs were found in the possession of the accused;
- Materials and tools commonly used to make controlled substances, in addition to certain chemicals, were found in the possession of the accused;
- Drug paraphernalia was found in possession of the accused;
- Packaging materials or large amounts of money were found at the scene;
- There is evidence of communication between the defendant and the client regarding the distribution.
Minimum sentencing guidelines
Those convicted of this crime face heavy penalties, although the severity of their sentence will largely depend on the amount and type of drugs they had in their possession at the time of arrest. For example, those found with the following substances in their possession face a minimum of ten years in prison and a fine of $ 10,000,000:
- One or more kilograms of heroin;
- Five or more kilograms of cocaine;
- 100 grams or more of PCP;
- Ten grams or more of LSD;
- 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana or 1,000 or more marijuana plants;
- 50 or more grams of methamphetamine.
However, if the use of a controlled substance results in death or serious bodily injury to a person while in the possession of the accused, his sentence could be increased to a minimum of 20 years in prison.
On the other hand, those found in possession of 100 grams or more of heroin, at least 500 grams of cocaine, ten grams of PCP, one gram of LSD, 100 kilograms of marijuana or 100 plants, or five grams of methamphetamine face a sentence. five-year minimum and a $ 5,000,000 fine.
Being charged with any type of drug-related crime must be taken seriously, however, federal drug-related crimes tend to be investigated and prosecuted more aggressively. In addition, federal crimes also tend to have more severe penalties as judges must meet a set of minimum sentencing guidelines when determining a defendant’s sentence.
Call our federal crime law team today.
For more information on federal drug charges and possible defenses, contact an experienced federal crime attorney. A member of Jeffrey S. Weiner, PA, Criminal Defense Attorneys, is ready to help you schedule a free evaluation of your case as soon as possible.