Federal Drug Trafficking
While most low-level drug crimes are prosecuted on the state level, federal prosecutors handle a sizeable number of narcotics cases, as well. However, unlike the state-level district attorneys, the North Carolina Department of Justice gets to hand-pick the cases it prosecutes, usually opting to take on the most serious offenses. Drug trafficking crimes are among the most commonly prosecuted types of cases in federal court, making up about a third of all federal criminal cases.
The dedicated Charlotte federal drug trafficking lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, have extensive experience defending the rights and freedom of men and women charged with narcotics offenses in federal court. We understand how the Assistant U.S. Attorneys see these cases, what motivates them to negotiate, and how to successfully handle complex and challenging cases in pursuit of the best possible result.What Is Drug Trafficking Under Federal Law?
Drug trafficking is the illegal transporting or selling of controlled substances, including heroin, cocaine, crack, PCP, marijuana, Fentanyl, methamphetamine and prescription medication. Under 21 U.S. Code § 841, it is illegal to “manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance.” Drug trafficking typically refers to offenses involving the interstate transport of narcotics for sale.Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties
Federal drug cases can result in extremely long prison sentences, which, in some cases, can include a life sentence. As a general matter, the United States Sentencing Guidelines look to the quantity of drugs to determine the appropriate sentencing range.Cocaine
500 to 499 grams: Between five and 40 years in prison.
5 kilograms or more: Not less than ten years, with a possible life sentence.
28 to 279 grams: Between five and 40 years in prison.
280 grams or more: Not less than ten years, with a possible life sentence.
100 to 999 grams: Between five and 40 years in prison.
1 kilogram or more: Not less than ten years, with a possible life sentence.
100 to 999 kilograms: Between five and 40 years in prison.
1000 or more: Not less than ten years, with a possible life sentence.
5 to 49 grams: Between five and 40 years in prison.
50 grams or more: Not less than ten years, with a possible life sentence.
50 to 499 grams: Between five and 40 years in prison.
500 grams or more: Not less than ten years, with a possible life sentence.
Note that the specific sentence handed down in any federal drug trafficking case will also depend on the individual characteristics of the defendant. This includes their prior record, acceptance of responsibility, etc.When Should I Contact a Lawyer I Am Under Investigation for Federal Drug Charges?
As soon as possible. If you are under investigation for a federal drug crime, the outcome of your case depends in large part on your ability to secure an experienced federal drug defense lawyer as soon as possible. If federal agents try to question you, it is important that you ask to speak to your lawyer before providing them with any information they can later use against you. Federal agents are skilled at lulling suspects into a false sense of security in hopes of getting them to give up information that makes the government’s case stronger. Don’t fall for this tactic.Are You at the Center of a Federal Drug Crime Investigation?
If you recently learned that you are under suspicion of committing a federal drug crime, your next move should be to reach out to a dedicated criminal defense attorney. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our federal defense attorneys are available to assist with your defense at any stage—even if you haven’t been arrested yet. We can help clear up any misconceptions in hopes of avoiding an arrest, and if an arrest is unavoidable, we will shift gears to focus on creating a compelling defense on your behalf. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our Charlotte federal criminal defense lawyers, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach our Cabarrus County defense attorneys at 704-918-4747. We represent clients in the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western District of North Carolina and Middle District of North Carolina.