Federal Drug Charges
Most drug charges in the state of Florida are handled by local law enforcement agencies. However, the federal government has its own set of drug laws in the Controlled Substances Act and has a vested interest in fighting the failing War on Drugs. Federal agencies fighting this war go after the drug trade commerce by seeking to cut off the supply and attacking the drug cartels. This is usually accomplished by arrests or raids made by the Drug Enforcement Agency, known as the DEA.
Generally, the drug charges prosecuted by federal agencies are the larger-impact offenses, such as drug trafficking or related conspiracy crimes. It is important to note, though, that the Controlled Substances Act also criminalizes things like illegal drug possession, and any federal drug crime can be pursued by a federal agency. When facing federal drug charges in Palm Beach County, or a state-level drug charge with a federal counterpart, it is important to have an experienced West Palm Beach federal crime defense attorney at your side who understands both the state and federal drug offense processes.
West Palm Beach Federal Drug Charge Defense Attorney
A conviction for federal drug charges comes with serious penalties like millions of dollars in fines and years in federal prison. If you have been arrested for a federal drug crime in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, or the surrounding areas in Palm Beach County, take the important first step in your defense by contacting Andrew D. Stine, P.A. immediately. When considering a defense lawyer for federal charges, it is best to contact him as soon as possible after your arrest.
Andrew Stine is an experienced and qualified West Palm Beach federal charge defense lawyer with 10 years of criminal defense service to clients like you. A former army medic and then public defender, Andrew Stine is militantly detailed and passionate in his construction of comprehensive defenses for his clients facing federal drug charges. To find out more about what Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can do for your federal drug charges in the Palm Beach County area, call 561.880.4300 today and set up your free initial case consultation.
Federal Drug Charges in Florida
Traditionally, drug charges have been an issue handled by the state the offense occurred in, especially with regard to charges like simple drug possession. Since the U.S. Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, however, the federal government has grown more and more interested in all drug violations of federal law, with particular regard to charges that potentially affect public safety – like drug trafficking. It is important to remember, though, that when you are charged with crimes like drug possession in Florida, there is usually a corresponding federal law that you can also be prosecuted under.
The federal law against simple drug possession is 21 U.S.C . § 844, which states that it is unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance unless it was obtained lawfully from a practitioner during the course of his or her professional practice or according to a valid prescription. While it is unusual for a federal agency to prosecute charges like simple drug possession, it is not unheard of, so no matter what drug charges you face in Palm Beach County it is important to keep any corresponding federal charges in mind.
The federal drug charges in Florida a federal agency are most likely to prosecute are offenses involving the manufacture, distribution, cultivation, or dispensing of controlled or counterfeit substances, such as drug trafficking. A charge for federal drug trafficking in Florida can be brought under 21 U.S.C . § 841, which makes it unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance and the create, distribute, dispense, or possess with the intent to distribute or dispense a counterfeit substance.
No matter if you were arrested for possession or as part of a large-scale drug trafficking operation in Florida, a conviction for federal drug charges comes with serious penalties like mandatory minimum federal prison sentences. Additionally, a federal agency like the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) can decide to pick up federal charges for your state-level drug case at any point in the process. Working with an experienced West Palm Beach federal crime defense attorney could be critical to your defense and may be the difference between you facing the punitive federal consequences of your Palm Beach County drug charge and achieving a more favorable outcome like dropped charges.
Penalties for Federal Drug Charges in Florida
Much like Florida state law, federal law classifies the severity of penalties for drug offenses based on which drug schedule the substance falls in. Trafficking in the Schedule I substance heroin, for instance, carries a stronger penalty than trafficking in a Schedule V substance containing small amounts of codeine. When determining the federal penalty, factors like the amount of the substance present and the actions of the offender during the crime also determine the severity of the penalties.
Federal drug charge convictions generally come with millions of dollars in fines and time in federal prison, some with mandatory minimums. Life imprisonment is usually ordered when serious bodily injury or death occurs in the commission of the federal drug offense. Serving any amount of time in a federal prison is nothing to take lightly. Unlike the popular misconception would have you believe, it is not a “country club” where you will comfortably live out your sentence. Federal prison is usually a dangerous place where you will lose your liberty, privacy and dignity.
Examples of federal penalties for drug trafficking in Florida include a mandatory minimum of five years in federal prison and up to $5 million in fines for trafficking in 500-4,999 grams of cocaine. For trafficking in LSD, one must only meet an amount of 10 grams or more to face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison and up to $10 million in fines. Penalties increase if you are a member of a group involved in a drug trafficking scheme.
These penalties can overwhelm the resources of the offender and the federal conviction will follow him or her for life. It is important to give your best shot when defending against federal drug charges. An experienced Palm Beach County federal drug crime defense lawyer familiar with the federal system can fight to protect your rights and work toward a more favorable outcome like charge reduction.
Andrew D. Stine, P.A. | Federal Drug Charge Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County
If you have been arrested on federal drug charges, or believe your drug charges may be pursued by the federal government, anywhere in Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, and Tequesta take the critical first step in your defense and contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. immediately.
With over a decade of experience helping criminal defense clients like you and a militant attention to detail from his days as an army medic, Andrew Stine will develop a comprehensive, customized defense to your federal drug charges in the Palm Beach County area. Your first consultation with Andrew D. Stine, P.A. is free, so call 561.880.4300 today and schedule yours.