Most federal drug charges which are filed involve large amounts of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy (or MDMA) or pseudo-ephedrine. Most federal drug cases involving two or more people are filed as conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute. The government will charge everyone involved from the biggest player to the smallest fish in the same indictment.
The most significant factor in a federal drug case is the amount of the substance. This will determine the sentence in any federal drug case.
Federal Drug Statutes are very severe and require mandatory minimum sentences in cases involving many substances. These minimums are either five years or 10 years depending upon the substance and the amount of the substance. There are ways to get below the mandatory minimum but it is essential that you have an experienced federal criminal defense attorney to represent you in these cases.
One way to get below the mandatory minimum sentence is called “safety valve”. Safety valve can only be applied if you have no prior convictions. It also requires that you played a minor roll in the offense and that you meet with the government and tell them everything about your involvement in the case. This information is placed in the agency filed and is never revealed to anyone.
The other way around the mandatory minimum sentence is through cooperation. This requires that you meet with the government and give them any information you have about the offense. The kind of information the government is looking for in federal drug cases is about suppliers of drugs. Any information given to the government will be used to pursue leads. You may be required to testify at grand jury proceedings or trials if your cooperation is accepted although that is not common. The government will determine whether your assistance has been “substantial”. If they determine that it was, they will recommend a reduced sentence. The government will take into consideration the element of danger involved in your assistance when making their recommendation to the court. The government cannot make any promises about sentence recommendations until after your cooperation is complete. Many people have a difficult time accepting this fact. That is why you need an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who can guide you through this process.
Other factors considered in sentencing in federal drug cases include your roll in the offense. If you were an organizer or leader in the offense, the sentence will be greater. If you were only a minor participant like a driver or a “mule” you may get a reduction in your sentence for minor or minimal roll.
Drug addiction may be a factor that leads someone into their involvement with federal drug cases. If that is the situation in your case, rehabilitation is a factor that the court can consider. The addiction itself is also a mitigating factor for the court to consider at sentencing.
If you are facing federal drug charges it is essential that you have an experienced federal criminal defense attorney to represent you.
Ms. Bass has extensive experience in Federal Court. She has represented clients in every type of federal drug case and she has obtained excellent results for her clients in many cases including dismissals.