Drug crimes at the state level can have a significant impact on your life. However, when your charges are increased to federal drug charges, the consequences of a conviction could be devastating. If you hope to obtain an acquittal, you will need a compelling defense.
A dedicated Philadelphia federal drug crimes lawyer at the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, can fight to protect your freedom.
Common Types of Federal Drug Crimes
You may be surprised to learn when you are arrested for a drug crime in Philadelphia that the charges against you are more severe than state-level drug charges. Federal-level drug charges are handled by the Department of Justice.
Generally, you can face federal drug crime charges when you are accused of being in possession of large quantities of drugs or drug paraphernalia. Some of the most common types of federal drug charges include:
- Drug possession – This includes the intentional possession of a controlled substance without a prescription from a physician.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia – If you are importing, selling, or exporting drug paraphernalia across state lines, you can be charged with drug paraphernalia charges at the federal level.
- Drug trafficking – The intentional or willful distribution, manufacture, or dispense of a controlled substance is grounds for a federal drug trafficking charge. Large amounts of a controlled substance may also warrant drug trafficking charges at the federal level.
If you have been charged with any of the previously mentioned types of federal drug crimes and you are unsure where to turn for help, reach out to a federal drug crime lawyer in Philadelphia to discuss your defense options going forward.
For a free legal consultation with a federal drug crimes lawyer serving Philadelphia, call 215.515.3360
Federal Controlled Substances Act
Under Federal law, the Controlled Substances Act outlines which drug crimes can be charged at the federal level. Controlled substances are categorized into five schedules as follows:
- Schedule I – Schedule l controlled substances have no accepted medical use and a high potential for addiction and abuse. Examples of schedule I controlled substances could include LSD and heroin.
- Schedule II – Schedule ll controlled substances have moderate medical use and a high potential for addiction and abuse. Examples of schedule ll controlled substances could include fentanyl, cocaine, oxycodone, and methamphetamines.
- Schedule III – Schedule lll controlled substances have accepted medical use and moderate potential for abuse and addiction. Examples of schedule lll controlled substances could include Tylenol with codeine, ketamine, and anabolic steroids.
- Schedule IV – Schedule lV controlled substances have accepted medical use and a low potential for addiction and abuse. Examples of schedule lV controlled substances could include Ambien, Xanax, and Valium.
- Schedule V – Schedule V controlled substances have widely accepted medical uses and a low potential for addiction and abuse. Some examples of schedule V controlled substances could include cough syrups and anti-diarrheal medications.
Philadelphia Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer 215.515.3360
Penalties for a Federal Drug Crime Conviction
If you are found guilty of a federal drug crime, the consequences you could face could be far more severe than a conviction at the state level. The penalties you can face will vary widely depending on the amount of drugs involved and the type of drug in question. Your criminal history and other aggravating factors may also determine the severity of the penalties you will face.
Drug crime penalties at the federal level can be based on the schedule of the controlled substance in question. For example, if you are convicted of a drug offense involving a schedule l or schedule ll controlled substance, you could spend up to 40 years in prison. Conversely, if you are convicted of a drug offense involving a schedule lV controlled substance, you could spend up to five years in prison.
Federal sentencing guidelines allow judges discretion when imposing sentences for drug crimes at the federal level. Your Philadelphia federal drug crime attorney will be prepared to challenge the drug crime charges against you so you can obtain a favorable outcome in your case.
How to Obtain an Acquittal For a Federal Drug Charge
Securing an acquittal when you have been charged with a federal drug crime can be challenging. In some cases, it may be in your best interest to work with the prosecuting attorney to secure a plea agreement. If you can enter into a pretrial diversion program, you may be able to avoid the fallout of a conviction. If you complete the terms of the program, the federal drug charges against you may be reduced or dismissed entirely.
However, if the charges against you are violent or you are not a first-time offender, you may not be eligible for a pretrial diversion program. If presenting a compelling defense strategy is your best option, your attorney will be prepared to challenge the charges against you. Some potential defenses against federal drug charges could include:
- Lack of intent
- Lack of knowledge
- Lack of probable cause
- Unlawful stop
- Illegal search and seizure
- Police misconduct
- Laboratory mistakes
- Procedural errors
Can a federal drug crime conviction be expunged?
It is possible to obtain an expungement for a federal drug crime conviction depending on the specific details of your case. Low-level federal drug crime convictions are more likely to be eligible for expungement. If you were interested in getting your federal drug crime conviction expunged, you can contact a Philadelphia federal drug crimes attorney to discuss the details of your case and your options going forward.
Get Help From a Federal Drug Crime Lawyer in Philadelphia
Federal drug crime convictions can change the course of your life. When you’ve been charged with a drug crime at the federal level, and you are unsure of where to turn for help, reach out to an aggressive Philadelphia federal drug crime lawyer at the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder.
We may be able to help you get the charges against you reduced, dismissed, or present a compelling defense strategy. Explore your legal options further when you contact our office for a confidential case evaluation. You can reach us through our secured contact form or by phone to get started.