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Federal Drug Charges

A majority of drug crimes in Texas involve arrests made by local law enforcement agencies and are tried in state court. In certain circumstances, however, a person could end up facing federal charges in a federal court.

 

Federal drug charges usually stem from cases involving interstate transportation of drugs or arrests made by federal agents. Federal drug crimes usually carry far greater penalties for alleged offenders than the same charges at the state level.

Federal Drug Charges

Plano Federal Drug Charges Lawyer

Were you or your loved one arrested or do you think that you might be under investigation for an alleged federal drug crime in Plano? It will be extremely important for you to find yourself an experienced criminal defense attorney.

 

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy regularly defends clients in both state and federal courts in Texas. Call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.

Federal Drug Schedules

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) dictates federal drug policy and establishes five different classifications for illegal drugs called schedules, which are based on a controlled substance’s abuse or dependency potential and acceptable medical use.

 

Drug schedules play important roles in sentencing in certain cases. The five drug schedules under the CSA are defined as follows:

 

●    Schedule I — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Examples include peyote, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy, or Molly), methaqualone, gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), mescaline, heroin, marijuana,and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

●    Schedule II — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. Examples include oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), cocaine, opium, Dexedrine, morphine, fentanyl, methylphenidate (Ritalin), methamphetamine, meperidine (Demerol), and hydromorphone (Dilaudid).

●    Schedule III — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.Examples include products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, and anabolic steroids.

●    Schedule IV — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Examples include lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and carisoprodol (Soma).

●    Schedule V — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes. Examples include pregabalin (Lyrica), cough preparations containing not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams (Robitussin AC), and diphenoxylate (Lomotil).

Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties

Possible federal drug charges can include delivery, possession, cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, fraud, or conspiracy. The most common charge is drug trafficking because many offenses involve larger amounts of drugs.

 

Penalties for federal drug trafficking convictions are as follows:

 

Controlled Substance

Amount

Fine

Prison Sentence

Cocaine

500-4,999 grams

First Offense: Mandatory minimum of five years up to 40 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum of 20 years up to life in prison.

 

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in  prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $5 million for individuals, $25 million for non-individuals.

 

Second Offense: Up to $8 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Cocaine base

28-279 grams

Fentanyl

40-399 grams

Fentanyl analogue

10-99 grams

Heroin

100-999 grams

LSD

1-9 grams

Pure methamphetamine

5-49 grams

Methamphetamine mixture

50-499 grams

Pure PCP

10-99 grams

PCP Mixture

100-999 grams

 

Cocaine

5 kilograms or more

First Offense: Mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in  prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum of  20 years up to life in prison.

 

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum of 20 years up to life in  prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

 

Third or Subsequent Offense: Life in prison.

First Offense: Up to $10 million for individuals, $50  million for non-individuals.

 

Second Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75  million for non-individuals.

 

Third or Subsequent Offense: Up to $20 million for  individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Cocaine base

280 grams or more

Fentanyl

400 grams or more

Fentanyl analogue

100 grams or more

Heroin

1 kilogram or more

LSD

10 grams or more

Pure methamphetamine

50 grams or more

Methamphetamine mixture

500 grams or more

Pure PCP

100 grams or more

PCP Mixture

1 kilogram or more

 

Other Schedule I and Schedule II Substances

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily  injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

 

Second Offense: Up to 30 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily  injury, life imprisonment.

First Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

 

Second Offense: Up to $2 million for individuals, $10 million for non-individuals.

Any drug product containing gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)

Any amount

Flunitrazepam

1 gram or more

Other Schedule III Drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 10 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily  injury, up to 15 years in prison.

 

Second Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily  injury, up to 30 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2.5 million for non-individuals.

 

Second Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

All other Schedule IV Drugs (other than one gram or more of  Flunitrazepam)

Any amount

First Offense: Up to five years in prison.

 

Second Offense: Up to 10 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $250,000 for individuals, $1 million for non-individuals.

 

Second Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2 million for non-individuals.

All Schedule V Drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Up to one year in prison.

 

Second Offense: Up to four years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $100,000 for individuals, $250,000 for non-individuals.

 

Second Offense: Up to $200,000 for individuals, $500,000 for non-individuals.

Marijuana

1,000 kilograms or more marijuana mixture, or 1,000 or more marijuana  plants

First Offense: Mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in prison. If case involves  death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum of 20 years up to life in  prison.

 

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum of 20 years up to life in prison. If case involves  death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $10 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

 

Second Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Marijuana

100 to 999 kilograms marijuana mixture, or 100 to 999 marijuana  plants

First Offense: Mandatory minimum of five years up to 40 years in prison. If case  involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum of 20 years up to  life in prison.

 

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in prison. If case involves  death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $5 million for individuals, $25 million for non-individuals.

 

Second Offense: Up to $8 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Marijuana

50 to 99 kilograms marijuana mixture, or 50 to 99 marijuana plants

First Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily  injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

 

Second Offense: Up to 30 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily  injury, life imprisonment.

First Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

 

Second Offense: Up to $2 million for individuals, $10 million for non-individuals

Hashish

More than 10 kilograms

Hashish Oil

More than 1 kilogram

Marijuana

Less than 50 kilograms marijuana (Not including 50 or more marijuana  plants, regardless of  weight), or 1 to  49 marijuana plants

First Offense: Up to five years in prison.

 

Second Offense: Up to 10 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $250,000 for individuals, $1 million for non-individuals.

 

Second Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2 million for non-individuals.

Hashish

10 kilograms or less

Hashish Oil

1 kilogram or less

Federal Drug Crime Defenses in Plano

The people who were charged with federal drug crimes may not have been in knowing possession of a controlled substance. In other cases, there may be issues with how law enforcement discovered the drugs involved.

 

When drugs are found because of an illegal search and seizure, the evidence may not be used against the alleged offender.A number of other possible defenses could be applicable depending on certain circumstances.

Plano Federal Drug Crime Resources

United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)— The DEA has the mission to “enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing,manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States.” Visit this website to view the entire CSA, learn more about drug scheduling, and find drug fact sheets. There is also information regarding the DEA’s Community Outreach, Office of Diversion of Control, and other programs.

 

Drug Offenders in Federal Prison - Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) —View an October 2015 Department of Justice Report that found almost all (99.5 percent) drug offenders in federal prison were serving sentences for drug trafficking. Cocaine (powder or crack) was the primary drug type for more than half (54 percent) of drug offenders in federal prison. The average prison sentence for federal drug offenders was more than 11 years.

Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy| Plano Federal Drug Charges Attorney

If you or your loved one were arrested or believe that you could be under investigation for a federal drug crime in Plano or a surrounding area of Collin County, do not delay in getting yourself legal representation. Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as possible.

 

Our firm will do all that we can to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case resulting in the fewest consequences. We can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call  (469) 304-3422 or contact us  online to set up a free consultation.

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