Generally, criminal offenses related to the possession, production, or distribution of controlled substances are prosecuted in state courts based on charges filed by local authorities. However, there are some circumstances in which federal authorities take jurisdiction. If you are facing federal drug charges of any kind, the penalties you could face upon conviction may be extraordinarily severe and potentially include mandatory minimum stints in federal prison.
A South Carolina federal drug lawyer could fight to protect your rights and interests in the wake of this kind of allegation. A dedicated federal defense attorney could explain your legal options, negotiate with federal prosecutors on your behalf, and tirelessly pursue an optimal outcome to your unique situation.
A common reason the federal authorities might get involved in drug offense case is if they suspect the defendant committed a criminal act across state or international borders, especially if federal agencies had been involved during the investigatory phase of the case. Another reason an individual might face be faced with a federal offense is if they were arrested by an officer of the federal government or charged on federal land or property.
21 U.S. Code §841 expressly criminalizes the manufacturing, distribution, and possession with intent to manufacture of controlled and counterfeit substances, while 21 U.S.C. §844 criminalizes the unlawful possession of controlled substances. The severity of a drug offense may vary depending on the amount of controlled substance involved and which of the following categories the substance in questions falls into:
Regardless of the level of federal drug charges an individual might be facing, a skilled attorney in South Carolina could provide irreplaceable assistance in contesting the charges and helping ensure the individual’s rights are protected.
One element of federal drug charges that makes them particularly severe in comparison to state-level offenses is the mandatory minimum sentence that many offenses have attached to them. For example, a first offense for trafficking more than 500 grams of cocaine in powder form, five grams of methamphetamine, or 100 grams of heroin could result in an automatic prison sentence of at least five years. Subsequent offenses allow for even lengthier minimum sentences.
Consequently, many federal drug cases involve negotiations for a plea bargain that often lead to a lesser sentence in exchange for a guaranteed conviction. A lawyer in South Carolina could discuss this and other defense options for an individual facing federal substance charges during a private initial meeting.
Federal law takes drug-related offenses even more seriously than state-level statutes do. Fortunately, if you are facing investigation or charges for a federal drug offense, help is available from knowledgeable legal counsel.
Having a South Carolina federal drug lawyer by your side could make the difference when it comes to maximizing your potential for a favorable case outcome. Learn more by calling the firm today.