In the United States, both the individual states and the U.S. federal government have the ability to investigate and prosecute drug crimes. As a general rule, however, federal law enforcement agencies only target large-scale drug manufacturing and distribution operations. If you believe you are the target of one of these investigations, or you have already been charged with manufacturing or distributing a controlled substance, you need to understand the penalties you are facing if convicted.
At Haas Law, we have the experience, skills, and commitment needed to successfully protect and defend clients who have been targeted or charged by the federal government. Let us use our vast experience and resources to aggressively advocate and litigate for you if you are facing federal drug manufacturing or distribution charges.
Title 21 of the United States Code (USC) governs criminal offenses related to controlled substances. As such, it is commonly referred to as the “Controlled Substance Act (CSA). Section 841 of the CSA makes it illegal to:
(1) to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance; or
(2) to create, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit substance.
The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) places all substances into one of five schedules. What schedule a substance falls under depends on the substance’s medical use, the potential for abuse, and safety or dependence liability. The five CSA schedules are defined by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as follows:
- Schedule I. Drugs, substances, or chemicals with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs include heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.
- Schedule II. Drugs, substances, or chemicals with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs include combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin.
- Schedule III. Drugs, substances, or chemicals with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Some examples of Schedule III drugs include products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone.
- Schedule IV. Drugs, substances, or chemicals with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs include Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, Tramadol.
- Schedule V. Drugs, substances, or chemicals with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Some examples of Schedule V drugs include cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, Parepectolin.
Potential Penalties for A Conviction for Drug Manufacturing or Distribution
If you are charged with manufacturing or distributing drugs by the federal government, there is a strong likelihood that you were part of an extensive and thorough investigation by the DEA and/or other federal law enforcement agencies. If convicted, you face serious potential penalties, including a lengthy term of imprisonment. The length of your term of incarceration will depend, to a large extent, on the type and amount of the drug involved. For example, you face a minimum five-year mandatory and maximum 40-year prison sentence if convicted of manufacturing or distributing any of the following:
- 5 grams or more of actual meth
- 28 grams or more of crack
- 50 grams or more of a mixture containing meth
- 40 grams or more of fentanyl
- 100 grams or more of heroin
- 10 grams or more of PCP
- 500 grams or more of cocaine
- 1 gram or more of LSD
- 100 kilogram or more of marijuana (or 100 or more plants)
You are facing a mandatory ten-year sentence with a maximum sentence of life in prison for a conviction involving the manufacture or distribution of the following:
- 50 grams or more of actual meth
- 280 grams or more of crack
- 500 grams or more of a mixture containing meth
- 400 grams or more of fentanyl
- 1 kilogram or more of heroin
- 100 grams or more of PCP
- 5 kilograms or more of cocaine
- 10 grams or more of LSD
- 1000 kilogram or more of marijuana (or 1,000 or more plants)
Moreover, the potential penalties you face can be increased if you have previous criminal convictions, if death or serious bodily injury results from the use of the drug, or you were found to have been distributing drugs near schools, playgrounds, youth centers, arcades, pools, or public housing.
Common Defense Strategies for Drug Manufacturing and Distribution
Although your unique defense strategy will depend on the facts of your case, there are some common defense tactics used in federal drug manufacturing and distribution cases, including:
- Challenging the legality of a search.
- Claiming that the prosecution has failed to meet its burden.
- Focusing on the credibility and reliability (or lack thereof) of a confidential informant.
- Negotiating a favorable plea using by providing “substantial assistance.”
Get Help from Experienced Orlando Drug Manufacturing and Distribution Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with manufacturing or distribution of a controlled substance by the federal government, or you have reason to believe you are the target of a drug investigation, consult with an experienced defense attorney immediately to ensure that your rights are protected.
At Haas Law, our drug manufacturing and distribution defense attorneys have the experience and dedication necessary to defend you throughout the investigation and subsequent prosecution of your case. We are committed to aggressively defending you and your rights.
Call us at 407-755-7675, chat with us online, or submit our online form today. Because we understand that time is of the essence when federal law enforcement authorities are investigating you, our calls are answered 24 hours a day, allowing you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.