Federal Drug Trafficking Charges | Ketchel Law - Criminal Defense

Federal Drug Trafficking Charges

DEFENDING DRUG TRAFFICKING CHARGES

Information on the U.S. Court System and Federal Drug Trafficking

If you or a loved one has been charged with a federal drug crime, you are probably wondering what options you have and how best to defend your rights, freedom and future.

One of the most serious crimes in the United States, with severe penalties and typically a felony charge, is drug trafficking. Most drug crimes are handled in State, but if you are indicted on drug trafficking charges, crossing state lines, this is considered a federal offense. You most likely will face both State and Federal charges.

Anytime you face federal charges, you need an experienced and qualified attorney well versed in the U.S. Federal Court System. Most attorneys only handle in-state charges, so finding an aggressive and exceptional lawyer who handles federal crimes should be your first priority.

In order to have the best chance of winning your case or lowering the charges, the help of a qualified and experienced federal drug attorney can help to protect your rights, freedom and reputation.

DEFENDING YOUR RIGHTS—An arrest is not a conviction.

At Ketchel Law, we are well versed in both Pennsylvania and federal court systems and can help you understand your rights and your options to fight against your charges.

If you were indicted on a federal drug crime, or think you may be charged or indicted, or are already under investigation, contact Attorney Justin J. Ketchel immediately for a free case evaluation.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR FEDERAL DRUG CHARGES DISMISSED.

Call 412-456-1221 for a free consultation

PITTSBURGH FEDERAL CRIME LAWYERS

WHAT CRIMES ARE CONSIDERED DRUG TRAFFICKING?

The Federal Controlled Substances Act bans possession of illegal substances like cocaine, heroin, PCP, marijuana and also possession of substances without a valid prescription, like Adderall, Hydrocodone and Valium.

Typically, simple possession of drugs is handled by the State, not the Federal courts, unless facing Possession with Intent to Distribute (PWID) Charges, in which case the charges may fall under Federal jurisdiction.

Several crimes falls under the broader category of “Drug Trafficking”. These charges typically mean that the alleged criminal attempted to do one of the following with a large quantity of drugs:

To be found guilty of drug trafficking in Pennsylvania, you do not have to be caught in an actual sale of drugs to another person or group. Circumstantial evidence can be enough to prove trafficking.

This can include evidence such as:

  • Possession of a large quantity of drugs;
  • Possession of large amounts of cash;
  • Possession of items known in the packaging or distribution of drugs such as scales and bags.

Drugs in Pennsylvania are separated into drug schedules under The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Which drugs you have been charged with and the quantity of drugs are the major determining factors in the types of drug penalties you face, as well as your past criminal record.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR FEDERAL DRUG CHARGES DISMISSED.

Call 412-456-1221 for a free consultation

PITTSBURGH FEDERAL CRIME LAWYERS

Penalties for Federal Drug Trafficking Charges

The minimum sentencing guidelines for federal drug crime convictions are very harsh. Drugs fall into different “schedules” and those will determine how severe the punishment. While judges often adhere to these guidelines, they have some leeway in lowering sentencing.

Drug charges are based on the type of substance(s) in possession and the quantity of the drug.

See this federal drug penalty chart for a full list of drug crimes and the penalties. Some examples follow below:

Federal Guidelines—Controlled Substances

Minimum Sentence of Five to Forty Years in Prison

  • Cocaine: 500—4,999 grams
  • Heroin: 100—999 grams
  • LSD/Acid: 1—9 grams
  • Marijuana: 100—999 kilograms
  • Methamphetamine: 5—49 grams (pure)
  • PCP: 10—99 grams (pure)
  • Fentanyl: 40—399 grams

For a first offense, the minimum sentence also includes a $5 million dollar fine for individuals. Penalties increase with a second offense.

Federal Guidelines—Controlled Substances

Minimum Sentence of Ten Years to Life in Prison

  • Cocaine: 5 kilograms or more
  • Heroin: 1 kilogram or more
  • LSD/Acid: 10 grams or more
  • Marijuana: Over 1,000 kilograms
  • Methamphetamine: Over 50 grams (pure)
  • PCP: Over 100 grams (pure )
  • Fentanyl: 400+ grams

For a first offense, the minimum sentence also includes a $10 million dollar fine for individuals. Penalties increase with a second offense.

Ketchel Law Can Help Battle Your Federal Drug Charges

We are your personal defenders. We will stick with you from start to finish.

At Ketchel Law we make certain you understand your rights and options to prepare you at every turn and we will fight to have your charges dropped or significantly reduced.

We are well versed in federal laws and procedures and will work diligently and aggressively to win your case. Our senior lawyers handle all cases personally from the grand jury investigation through the trial and appeal.

There are many circumstances that lead people to be charged for a crime they did not commit or whose constitutional rights were violated in the process of an investigation or arrest.

We start by conducting an investigation and digging into the arrest files in order to build a strong defense against your charges. If any missteps were taken during your arrest, your case could be thrown out of court. If that is not possible we will work to prove your innocence or fight for a reduced sentence. We will always seek to find the best alternative for you and your unique situation.

Learn more about Ketchel Law:

CALL KETCHEL LAW NOW FOR A FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION AT 412-456-1221.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR CHARGES DISMISSED.