THE BARNES LAW FIRM
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According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, almost half of all federal inmates are incarcerated on drug-related charges. This statistic is even more surprising when you consider the fact that there are hundreds of federal offenses, and no other offense category comes close to American drug-offense statistics. Many of America’s drug offenders people who are in need of rehabilitation and a second chance. Further, many drug trafficking charges should be downgraded to possession charges. Harsh prison sentences will seldom treat the underlying emotional and financial factors contributing to drug offenders and may only serve to increase recidivism.
Almost 77% of all drug offenders are rearrested on another drug offense after their initial conviction. Over-prosecution of drug offenses in combination with the collateral consequences of a drug conviction can make it very difficult for anyone with a drug conviction to move on with their lives, trapping them in a vicious cycle.
At Barnes Law, we know that everyone charged with a serious drug trafficking offense has a unique story. We get to know our clients and help design the best legal strategy for each case. To schedule your free consultation with a Knoxville criminal defense lawyer, call our office today at (865) 269-9296 or contact us online.
There is a significant difference between a federal drug trafficking charge and the lesser-included offense of drug possession. There is no parole in the federal court system, and individuals convicted of drug trafficking may spend years in prison. You’re innocent until proven guilty, so federal prosecutors must prove the following elements of drug trafficking beyond a reasonable doubt:
Many federal officials rely on guilty pleas to obtain convictions knowing they only have the evidence necessary to prove possession. For example, what if you were asked to deliver a package that contained cocaine, but you didn’t know it? You did distribute a controlled substance, but you didn’t do it knowingly. You believed you were delivering sneakers. This defeats an essential element of drug trafficking. To determine whether any defenses apply to your case, you should speak to a federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can.
The penalties for drug trafficking depend on the nature and weight of the substance distributed, your criminal history, and certain aggregating factors. Drug trafficking convictions may result in certain statutory minimum penalties that a judge has no authority to reduce. Drug trafficking carries the following base penalties, which vary based on the type and quantity of the substance and your criminal history:
Many offenders plead guilty to federal drug trafficking offenses. Cooperating with federal officials may be the best decision for you and your family, but this isn’t always true. Federal prosecutors only have the authority to recommend a sentencing range and sentencing reductions. No matter their assurances, they can neither promise nor set your drug trafficking sentence if you plead guilty. Such decisions are in the hands of the judge alone. The following are potential defenses to a federal drug trafficking charge:
An experienced criminal defense attorney can analyze the facts of your case and help you make the best decision for you and your family.
Federal charges are serious, and the nature of your prosecution and penalty depend on a number of factors. This includes whether you’ve cooperated with police, your criminal history, your personal history and contributions to society, and any aggravating factors such as possession of a firearm or violence.
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