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Federal Drug Crimes

Felony Defense Attorney Serving People Throughout Riverside and San Bernardino Counties

The decades-long war on drugs has increased the number of people in federal prisons. The federal system is particularly notorious for the severity of its sentencing system for federal drug crimes. Harsh mandatory minimum sentences may be imposed when even a small amount of drugs is involved. Three decades ago, only 16% of the federal prison population was incarcerated because of drugs, but today about 60% is. If you have been charged with a federal drug crime, you should contact San Bernardino and Riverside County drug crime lawyer Gregory H. Comings. Federal drug crimes include trafficking, possession for sale, transportation, and manufacturing.

Federal Drug Crimes

Both state and federal laws prohibit certain illegal drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. Generally, however, the federal laws penalize drug trafficking and large-scale drug operations. State laws more often penalize possession. The penalties and sentences are usually much harsher for federal drug charges because a mandatory minimum sentence is likely to be required under the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Meanwhile, people charged with state drug crimes may be eligible for drug diversion or another form of alternative sentence that is much less harsh than years in federal prison.

When a mandatory minimum sentence has been imposed for a particular crime, the judge does not have much discretion over sentencing, and they must sentence a convicted defendant to a minimum amount of time in prison. For example, under 21 USC §§ 841(a), 841(b)(1)(A), and § 2D1.1, mandatory sentences will be triggered if you are charged with at least 1 kg of heroin, at least 5 kg of cocaine, at least 280 grams of crack, at least 100 grams of PCP, at least 1 kg of a PCP mixture, at least 10 grams of LSD (acid), at least 1,000 kg of marijuana, at least 1,000 marijuana plants, at least 50 grams of pure meth, or at least 500 grams of a meth mixture.

For a first offense of possessing any of these drugs with intent to distribute, distributing, or manufacturing, when no bodily injury was involved, you face a minimum sentence of 10 years. For a first offense involving possessing with intent to distribute, manufacturing, or distributing when there is a death or serious bodily injury as a result, you face a minimum sentence of 20 years.

Similarly, under 21 USC §§ 841(a), 841(b)(1)(C), and § 2D1.1, you can face a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years for a first offense of possessing with intent to distribute, manufacturing, or distributing one gram of flunitrazepam, a Schedule I or II drug, GHB, or synthetic drugs if a death or serious bodily injury results.

If you have been accused of a crime, you should be aware of your constitutional and procedural rights. All charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high standard. Attorney Comings can look closely at your case to figure out if any of your rights was violated, such that evidence can be suppressed, or if other questionable tactics were used. In some cases, violations of constitutional rights give rise to a strong defense. For example, we may be able to defend your case by suppressing evidence of drugs that was seized illegally. Before you are taken into custody and interrogated, the police are supposed to tell you that you have the right to remain silent, among other Miranda warnings. If you were not "Mirandized" before being taken into custody, we may be able to get an admission or confession that is critical to your case suppressed. Each case is unique, and we can look at the particular details of your arrest and what you are accused of committing to determine what a solid defense would be in your case.

Hire a Vigorous Drug Crime Lawyer in Riverside or San Bernardino County

If you are being investigated for a federal drug crime in Riverside or San Bernardino County, you should contact the Law Offices of Gregory H. Comings. Mr. Comings has more than a decade of experience representing people accused of serious drug crimes. He personally handles each client's case. You can call us at 951-686-3457 or complete our online form to request a free case evaluation. Mr. Comings can provide a Spanish translator as needed.