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New Braunfels Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer

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The United States Government has enacted strict drug laws. For example, possessing a small amount of actual methamphetamine with intent to distribute is a felony. Despite their minor role, a courier in a drug transaction may face a five-year minimum sentence in federal prison.

I Can Help

I am a former federal and Texas prosecutor that has resolved thousands of criminal cases. I understand how the federal criminal justice system works and how a federal drug charge can impact your life. 

Contact me for a free case review if you are charged with a drug crime in the Western District of Texas, or other federal jurisdictions.

Commonly Charged Federal Drug Statues

21 USC § 841(a)(1) – Distribution/Manufacturing/Possession with intent to Distribute

Statutory maximum generally is 20 years

Five year mandatory minimum and maximum 40 years (21 USC 841(b)(1)(B)) if:

  • 5 grams or more of actual meth                                                   
  • 50 grams or more of a mixture containing meth                     
  • 100 grams or more of heroin                                                        
  • 500 grams or more of cocaine                                                      
  • 100 kilogram or more of marijuana (or 100 or more plants)
  • 1 gram or more of LSD
  • 10 grams or more of PCP
  • 40 grams or more of fentanyl
  • 28 grams or more of crack

Ten year mandatory minimum and maximum life (21 USC 841(b)(1)(A) if:

  • 50 grams or more of actual meth       
  • 500 grams or more of a mixture containing meth                                                      
  • 1 kilogram or more of heroin 
  • 5 kilograms or more of cocaine                                                   
  • 1000 kilogram or more of marijuana (or 1,000 or more plants)                                                    
  • 10 grams or more of LSD
  • 100 grams or more of PCP
  • 400 grams or more of fentanyl
  • 280 grams or more of crack

Penalties also can be increased if defendant has a prior felony drug conviction or is a career offender (two or more felony drug offense or crimes of violence).

Twenty year mandatory minimum if death or serious bodily injury results from use of the drug.

Enhanced penalties also available for distribution to individuals under 21 (21 USC § 859) or distributions near schools, playgrounds, youth centers, arcades, pools, and public housing (21 USC § 860).

21 USC § 846 (Conspiracy/Attempt)

Penalties identical to distribution penalties.

21 USC § 843(a)(3) (Obtaining Controlled Substances by Misrepresentation, Fraud, etc.)

Four year maximum for drug diversion offenses.

21 USC § 843(b) (Use of a Communication Facility to Facilitate Drug Felony)

Four year maximum for each use of a telephone to arrange a drug transaction.

21 USC § 844 (Simple Possession)

Misdemeanor  – One year maximum

Can become felony with higher penalties if prior drug convictions.

21 USC § 848 (Continuing Criminal Enterprise – “Drug Kingpin Statute”)

Mandatory minimum 20 years and maximum of life can be imposed on a leader of an organization of five or more individuals who engage in a continuing series of drug violations from which the person derived substantial income.  Mandatory life and death penalty available under certain circumstances.

21 USC § 856 (Maintaining a Drug-Involved Premises – “Crack House Statute”)

Twenty year maximum for opening, leasing, renting, or maintain a premises for drug manufacturing, use or distribution.  Also applies to those who manage or control such premises (including owners and landlords of rental properties).

18 USC § 1952 (Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering – “Travel Act”)

Five year maximum for traveling or using the mail or instruments of interstate commerce (telephone/internet) with intent to facilitate drug trafficking.

Unreasonable Search & Seizures

Every drug defense must start with a Fourth Amendment evaluation. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures.

This protection means a federal agent must have a constitutionally valid reason to stop, detain and search you. Suppose the agent makes an illegal stop or search of you. In that case, the judge can exclude any evidence the agent seized from the trial. The Government may dismiss your case if the prosecutor cannot use the evidence against you.

For example, an agent cannot just detain you and search you. An agent cannot just pull your car over and search your vehicle without an acceptable reason. These issues often arise in drug cases and provide a defense to your charge.

As part of my defense of federal drug charges, I always consider:

  • How the agent came into contact with you
  • How long the agent detained you
  • What legal reason the agent had to search you, your car, or your home
  • The search warrant, if any
  • If it was a search incident to arrest if the arrest was valid

Every federal drug charge defense should start with an analysis of the search and seizure issues.

Drug Crimes Defense – Links to the Drugs

To convict someone of drug possession, the Government must link the defendant to the contraband; the Government must produce some evidence showing that the accused knew of and exercised control over the drugs.

For example, it is not enough for the Government to show that the accused was in a location where agents found the drugs. Or there may be an issue if agents found the drugs in a home or car to which other people have access.

I Can Help

I am a former federal and Texas prosecutor that has resolved thousands of criminal cases. I understand how the federal criminal justice system works and how a federal drug charge can impact your life. 

Contact me for a free case review if you are charged with a drug crime in the Western District of Texas, or other federal jurisdictions.

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