Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Representing People Accused of a Federal Drug Offense
Criminal cases involving federal drug violations can be extremely complex and may last for months or even years. Any drug crime involving high quantities of controlled substances could be considered a federal crime. The schedule of the drug involved in the crime will also affect how the crime will be charged.
The type of drugs covered under federal laws include marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, LSD and a variety of prescription drugs including Oxycodone, Vicodin, among others. Moreover, the bail structure in these cases is different than it is in state cases, and federal courts use different sentencing guidelines, many of which carry mandatory prison sentences. Federal drug prosecutors in Los Angeles County are known for being particularly tough against drug offenders, and the federal criminal court system can be complex.
Our law firm defends drug trafficking and sales cases in Los Angeles County and Federal Court. The personal and professional stakes couldn't be higher in a federal drug crime case. Federal crimes oftentimes have more severe penalties associated with them than do crimes prosecuted at the state level. Moreover, since colleges, universities, and employers nowadays look at prospective applicants' and prospective employees' criminal records and perform thorough background checks prior to making their decisions, a federal criminal record can have a serious impact on a defendant's educational opportunities and employability.
A federal drug crime conviction could also result in loss of a professional license, such as a law license or medical license, or at the very least, could lead to an investigation by a professional licensing board. It's important to note there have been changes in federal sentencing under the First Step Act.
Therefore, if you are under a criminal investigation or already charged with a any type of federal drug crime, you need to immediately consult with a Los Angeles federal criminal defense attorney at our law firm. Our federal drug violation lawyers will need to review the details of your case in order to start building an effective defense strategy.
Types of Federal Drug Crimes
Federal law defines certain offenses related to the possession, sale, manufacture, cultivation, or trafficking of illegal drugs. Importantly, these laws apply not only to street drugs such as marijuana or heroin but also prescription drugs that are possessed illegally. Some examples of federal drug offenses include the following:
- Drug Manufacturing
- Drug Distribution
- Drug Smuggling
- Drug Trafficking
- Drug Conspiracy
- Criminal Enterprise Drug Crimes
- Drug Importation or Exportation
- Transporting drugs overseas or across United States borders
- Money Laundering
Its critical to understand that federal drug offenses are far different from California state drug crime cases. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines provides the courts with guidance in these type of cases. Federal drug offenses typically carry mandatory federal prison sentences. Additionally, federal prosecutors frequently wait until they have a obtained solid evidence before filing charges in an effort to secure a conviction at trial.
If convicted of a federal drug crime, the legal penalties are based on the type and quantity of the drug involved. Other sentencing factors include whether a weapon was used and defendant's criminal history. If the federal drug offense occurred in a school zone or close to a playground, the legal penalties can be enhanced.
Legal Defenses against Federal Drug Crimes
Although federal drug crime cases are extremely fact-specific, all federal drug offenses have potential legal defenses associated with them. An experienced Los Angeles federal criminal defense lawyer will be able to analyze the facts and circumstances of an individual case, as well as the available and potentially applicable legal defenses. Some of the most common defenses used in federal drug cases include the following:
- Illegal Search and Seizure - If evidence was obtained as a result of an improper search and seizure, a potential Fourth Amendment violation exists, and the case may be subject to dismissal.
- Defective Search Warrant - A search warrant cannot be issued without a proper affidavit. If the affidavit contains false information, there is a chance that the case may be subject to dismissal.
- Entrapment - If federal agents or law enforcement personnel badger or improperly coerce a criminal defendant to speak against their will and make incriminating statements in a federal drug case, then the case may be subject to dismissal.
- Insufficient Evidence - Aggressively fighting the charges at trial in an effort to prove the federal prosecutor does not possess the necessary evidence to prove a federal drug crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Illegal Wiretap - If a proper warrant was not obtained by federal law enforcement personnel, any evidence recovered from an illegal wiretap could be suppressed.
By asserting one or more of these legal defenses, an experienced Los Angeles federal criminal defense attorney may be able to obtain a dismissal of a federal drug crime case, or may plead for a lesser charge or lighter sentence.
Will Your Federal Drug Case Go To Trial?
Many defendants facing federal drug crimes cases wonder whether their case is going to go to trial. It is important for defendants to always carefully consider all of their options when deciding whether or not to reject or accept a plea deal, and each case will have specific issues that will affect the analysis.
That being said, defendants should understand that most cases do not go to trial and are resolved through the plea bargaining process. Importantly, however, the fact that a case is likely not going to trial does not mean that defendants should not retain a lawyer. A Los Angeles federal criminal defense lawyer will likely be able to negotiate a plea bargain arrangement that is much more favorable than any deal you would be able to negotiate yourself.
In addition, a carefully-crafted plea bargain can avoid any unforeseen collateral consequences of a guilty plea, such as immigration or professional consequences. For this reasons, anyone accused of a federal drug crime should contact an experienced federal criminal attorney as soon as possible.
Call a Los Angeles Federal Drug Crime Attorney
Federal drug crime cases are complex, and it is essential that you have legal assistance throughout your case. An experienced Los Angeles federal drug crime attorney at our law firm will be able to discuss all of the facts and circumstances of your case with you and make recommendations about plea deals and possible defenses.
If you are convicted, federal drug offenses can carry mandatory prison sentences. The potential severe legal penalties are reason enough to hire an experienced federal crimes attorney.
If you are under investigation or have been charged with committing a federal drug crime, you should contact the Los Angeles federal drug crime defense attorneys at Eisner Gorin to review your case. Call our law office at (877) 781-1570 for a free immediate response.