White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney
Case Consultation

Maryland Federal Drug Conspiracy Lawyer

A Maryland federal drug conspiracy lawyer can provide legal representation if a U.S. Attorney has accused you of violating controlled substances laws. The federal government can prosecute many controlled substance offenses. However, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) usually investigates only major drug crimes and federal prosecutors usually bring charges only if they suspect involvement in drug distribution or manufacturing.

The federal government has imposed strict mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug offenses. You face these mandatory minimums if you are accused of conspiring to commit drug crimes, even if narcotics were not in your possession. Mandatory minimums intended to apply to drug kingpins are being applied to impose decades-long jail sentences on people with relatively minimal involvement in the drug trade. When facing federal drug conspiracy charges, you need to understand your rights and should consider getting legal help from a Maryland federal drug conspiracy attorney as you respond to charges.

Federal Drug Conspiracy Laws

If someone has been charged with drug conspiracy in the state of Maryland, it is important for them to understand the nature and scope of the charges against them. A Maryland federal drug conspiracy lawyer can help them to understand both the charges and penalties they face and their legal options for responding to these charges.

21 U.S. Code Section 846 states that “any person who attempts or conspires to commit any offense defined in this subchapter shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy.” If charged under this statute, a defendant faces the same penalties for conspiracy as those for actually committing the underlying drug offense.

An individual can be charged with conspiracy if:

  • They are thought to be part of a group involving two or more people
  • That group has allegedly planned to commit an offense against the United States
  • Any one person involved in the alleged plan does any action to further the plan

The offense of conspiracy carries a separate penalty of five years imprisonment, in addition to any prison time and fines for the underlying drug crime.

Penalties

The federal government imposes mandatory minimum sentences for most drug offenses. Manufacturing, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute can lead to penalties between five years and life depending upon past criminal history, the amount of drugs involved in the conspiracy, and possibly other factors.

The mandatory sentences are triggered by the amount of drugs involved and the type of drugs involved. For example:

  • More than 1 kg of heroin or 5 kg of cocaine can trigger mandatory minimums of 10 years for a first offense
  • More than 100 grams but less than 1 kg of heroin can lead to a mandatory minimum penalty of five years for a first offense involving no death or serious bodily injury

Working with an Attorney

You should not face years of your life in prison just because a prosecutor believes you may have had some involvement in a drug offense. A Maryland federal drug conspiracy lawyer can help you explore ways you to defend yourself against charges. Your attorney can also negotiate with a prosecutor to try to get a fair plea deal if you decide not to go to trial.

To learn more about your legal options and to ensure you get the Constitutional protections guaranteed to you in your drug conspiracy case, contact a federal drug conspiracy lawyer in Maryland today.