b2ap3_thumbnail_attn-jason-1.jpgBy: Attorney Jason Luczak

Law enforcement officials take drug charges very seriously. Those who are accused of possessing, selling, distributing, or transporting controlled substances may face a variety of criminal charges. The severity of these charges can vary depending on whether a person is charged with an offense at the state or federal level. In many cases, federal charges are more serious, and a conviction may result in very large fines, a lengthy prison sentence, and other consequences.

Federal Charges Involving Controlled Substances

Most of the time, simple drug possession charges are prosecuted at the state level. However, federal law does state that knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription is a crime, and if a person is convicted of this offense, they may be sentenced to up to one year in prison and fined at least $1,000. The law specifically prohibits the possession of chemicals used to manufacture illegal drugs. It also provides for increased penalties for possession of flunitrazepam, which is more commonly known as Rohypnol, “roofies,” or date rape drugs. Possession of this substance may result in a prison sentence of up to three years and a minimum fine of $5,000.

Federal charges are more likely to apply in cases involving alleged drug distribution, drug trafficking, or manufacturing controlled substances. These offenses will usually be prosecuted at the federal level if drugs were distributed to people in multiple states or transported across state lines or international borders. The specific penalties in these cases will usually depend on the amount of drugs in question. For example, manufacturing or distributing between 100 grams and one kilogram of heroin may result in a sentence of between five and 40 years in prison, but if a case involves more than one kilogram of heroin, a person may be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. More serious penalties will apply if the use of drugs results in serious bodily injuries or death or if a person had previously been convicted of a violent crime or a serious drug felony.

Federal law also makes it illegal to sell or distribute drug paraphernalia, such as pipes, bongs, or roach clips. Selling these items to people in multiple states or importing or exporting them may result in federal charges. A person who is convicted of this offense may be sentenced to up to three years in prison.

Contact Our Milwaukee Federal Drug Crime Defense Lawyers

Federal crimes are treated differently from those that are charged at the state level. When defending against these charges, it is crucial to have legal representation from an attorney who understands federal law and has experience handling cases in federal courts. The lawyers of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP have represented clients in a wide variety of federal cases, and we can help build successful defense strategies for those who have been accused of drug crimes. Contact our Milwaukee, WI federal drug charges attorneys today at 414-271-1440 to get the legal help and representation you need.