Due to the severity of federal drug charges it is important that if you are accused you consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case. A federal defense attorney can help to protect your rights and assist you in navigating through the legal system as you face your charges. For more information on what a DC federal drug lawyer can do for you call and schedule a consultation today.
There are several different federal drug charges that a person could face, but the primary ones are conspiracy to distribute or possession with intent to distribute. That is a violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 841.
As a DC attorney can tell you, the important thing to understand is that the weight or the amount of the drug allegedly involved in a federal charge can drive the potential sentences way up or down. There is a table in the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (Section 2D1.1) that describes these drug amounts. Depending on the schedule of the drug in question, an individual can fall into any of a number of potential sentencing guideline ranges. Therefore, it’s important to remember that different drugs and different amounts of those drugs can result in vastly different potential sentences under the Sentencing Guidelines. To learn what penalties you may be facing, call and schedule a consultation with an attorney in DC today.
Whether a drug case is litigated in state court or federal court is usually at the discretion of the law enforcement agency and prosecutor investigating it. Normally, a drug case becomes federal when the amount of the drugs involved is relatively large or there are a large number of people charged in a conspiracy. Those cases tend to end up in federal court.
One issue complicating this matter is that sometimes state law enforcement agencies will work with federal law enforcement agencies as part of a joint task force. If you have drug transactions that go across state lines, that can bring those cases under the jurisdiction of a federal court. It can be easier for law enforcement agencies to bring a case that involves the crossing of state lines in a federal court because there are less jurisdictional issues than in a state court.
Typically, the other agencies that investigate large-scale drug transactions or larger drug transactions are primarily the DEA and the FBI.
It depends on the charge, but for example, in a drug conspiracy case, what needs to be shown is that two or more people came to an agreement to violate the statute to distribute or possess with the intent to distribute narcotics.
In a drug conspiracy case, the prosecution needs to show a specific intent to engage in that type of activity. However, they don’t have to show an overt act in a drug conspiracy case. Despite this leeway, typically an overt act is shown, simply because of the nature of the evidence that is usually alleged.
In a distribution case, the government has to prove that someone, in some way or another, transferred controlled substances from one person to another. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in exchange for money, although it often is. A lawyer in DC could help someone determine what the best course of action may be in a federal drug case.
Facing federal drug charges can be an intimidating prospect. For this reason, and the fact that if convicted you could face very serious consequences, it is imperative that you consult with a DC federal drug lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and how to proceed. Call today to learn more.
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