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Las Vegas Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer

Last Modified: December 18, 2023

Federal Drug Crime Lawyer In Las Vegas, Nevada

The penalties for federal drug charges are disproportionate to the offense due to the War on Drugs. Even if you live in Nevada where recreational marijuana use is legal, you could still be charged for having it. Federal drug charges are serious and can significantly impact your life, regardless of whether or not you go to prison. Our criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas is frequently busy with these types of cases. If you are facing federal drug charges, it’s important to hire a skilled Las Vegas federal drug crime lawyer as soon as possible to avoid the consequences of the harsh laws. Contact our office today for a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.

Types Of Federal Drug Charges

Drug offenses are addressed by the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. Due to the rising trend of recreational drug use, the existing laws were ineffective in addressing the problem. To bridge the gap, a new law was introduced which categorized and banned specific drugs, while also focusing on drug abuse and treatment. The classification system entails the inclusion of highly hazardous drugs such as heroin, ecstasy, marijuana, and peyote, which lack authorized medical usage.

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is a federal drug policy that governs the production and distribution of controlled substances, including narcotics, stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens. The CSA organizes drugs into five Schedules based on their probability for misuse, international designation, and potential medical benefits. Schedule I medications are those that are highly addictive and have no known medical uses. Drugs that fall under Schedule II are considered dangerous and highly addictive. The other Schedules are classified based on their level of danger and addiction potential. The following are examples of the controlled substances in each Schedule.

  • Schedule I: heroin, marijuana (despite several studies done on its medical benefits), ecstasy, and LSD;
  • Schedule II: methamphetamine, cocaine, morphine, oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin;
  • Schedule III: anabolic steroids, ketamine, and Vicodin;
  • Schedule IV: Ambien, Xanax, Tramadol, and Valium;
  • Schedule V: Examples of Schedule V drugs include Lyrica and cough suppressants.

Federal Drug Manufacturing Charges

This refers to drug manufacturing, which is often seen in the case of methamphetamines due to their frequent production in homes. The cultivation of marijuana also falls within this context. Federal drug manufacturing charges are more common than you might think and require a skilled Las Vegas federal drug crimes lawyer to effectively defend against them.

Federal Drug Trafficking and Distribution Charges

The act of selling, transporting, or importing controlled substances from one place to another is considered drug trafficking. This includes crossing the border from Mexico or transporting drugs between Nevada and California.

Federal Drug Possession With Intent Charges

Merely possessing drugs can lead to charges, regardless of whether you plan to sell them or not. The severity of your sentence depends on the classification and quantity of the drugs, as well as any related paraphernalia such as pipes, syringes, or rolling papers.

Drug charges can easily fall under federal jurisdiction. If you transport drugs across state lines, you will be charged in a federal court. Additionally, your case may be heard in federal court if both state authorities and federal prosecutors deem your offense a federal crime, and you will not be able to appeal that decision. It is important to note that even though marijuana is legal for medical and recreational use in Nevada, you should still exercise caution. Bringing marijuana to federal properties such as national parks is prohibited and can result in federal drug charges, despite the lack of state penalties.

State Drug Charges vs Federal Drug Charges

Compared to federal drug crimes, first-time offenders who commit state offenses are usually punished less severely and receive lighter penalties. Federal mandates require mandatory minimum prison sentences, which means a person found guilty of a federal drug crime may be sentenced to a long time in the Bureau of Prisons. Defendants with two or more prior serious drug offenses or violence convictions may be classified as career offenders and face even harsher sanctions.

If a defendant signs a plea agreement, the number of appeals they can make in federal courts is limited. Parole is no longer an option in the federal system, and although federal sentencing laws allow for probation or home confinement, very few people are given this option. As a result, federal charges for drug crimes usually result in longer prison sentences than comparable state charges.

Being charged with federal drug offenses can lead to other charges that may not seem related at first. For instance, distributing drugs may result in money laundering, tax evasion, or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) charges that can lead to even more time in jail. It’s important to have a Las Vegas federal drug crime attorney since such charges can be associated with various drug-related offenses.

  • Bath Salts
  • Cocaine Possession
  • Controlled Substances
  • Dark Web Drug Conspiracy
  • Drug Charge Penalties
  • Distribution of Cocaine
  • Distribution of Heroin
  • Distribution of Marijuana
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine
  • Distribution of Oxycodone/OxyContin
  • Drug Conspiracy
  • Drug Crimes Search & Seizure
  • Drug Manufacturing and Distribution
  • Drug Trafficking and Importation
  • Ecstasy Possession
  • Fentanyl Distribution
  • Heroin Possession
  • Hydrocodone/Vicodin
  • Marijuana Possession
  • Minimum Mandatory Drug Sentence
  • Medical Marijuana
  • Methamphetamine Distribution
  • Meth, Ecstasy, and LSD Possession
  • Molly
  • Internet Drug Crimes and Illegal Prescriptions
  • Oxycodone/OxyContin Distribution
  • Oxycodone, OxyContin, and Prescription Drugs Possession
  • PCP Possession
  • Prescription Drug Diversion
  • Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime or Crime of Violence
  • Prescription Pill Distribution
  • Distribution of Adderall
  • Spice or K2
  • Synthetic Drug Trafficking
  • Vaping Drug Crimes
  • Wiretaps

Penalties For Federal Drug Crimes

Drug crimes carry severe punishments in the federal court system. The ultimate sentence depends on various factors. Without a strong defense, one could face a minimum of five years in prison if the prosecutor successfully proves the charges.

If you are found guilty of a crime involving smaller amounts of Schedule I and II drugs, the possible prison sentence ranges from 5 to 40 years. However, if your offense resulted in death or serious physical harm, the minimum sentence increases to 20 years. If it’s your second offense, the minimum sentence goes up to 10 years in prison.

Possessing larger amounts of Schedule I and II drugs can lead to imprisonment for 10 years to life for the first offense, particularly in cases where there was harm or death involved. Second offenses carry a penalty of 20 years to life. Committing more than two offenses can result in a life sentence.

Marijuana and its derivatives can lead to federal charges that carry sentences of five to 20 years. Possession of under 50 kilograms can still result in up to five years in jail and a fine of $250,000.

Importance Of Drug Use In Federal Federal Drug Charges Cases

When it comes to federal drug cases, the quantity of the illegal substance could significantly impact the sentencing decision. Therefore, it is crucial for the jury to determine the exact amount of the drug involved. Federal drug charges in Las Vegas fall within the jurisdiction of the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the sentencing guidelines take into account the number of illegal drugs recovered in the case, which could lead to a wider range of possible incarceration periods.

In a federal drug case, if the amount of drugs involved increases the maximum penalty, the Ninth Circuit mandates that a jury must determine the amount beyond a reasonable doubt. This determination is considered an additional element and requires unanimous agreement from the jury.

Burden Of Proof And Evidentiary Issues

The prosecution is responsible for proving all federal drug crimes. They have to prove every element of the drug charge, and they must do so beyond a reasonable doubt. There are different ways for the prosecution to meet this burden, and the jury can consider direct evidence – like the testimony of an eyewitness – as well as circumstantial evidence, which is evidence that indirectly proves a fact. Circumstantial evidence is evidence that shows a chain of facts that leads to the conclusion that a particular fact exists.

Conspiracy Charges In Addition To Federal Drug Trafficking In Clark County

The definition of conspiracy, like that of trafficking, can be broad. Therefore, it is common for drug trafficking charges at the federal level to be accompanied by conspiracy charges. According to the law, conspiracy occurs when two or more people plan to commit a crime against the United States or deceive the government or any government agency, and one or more of them take steps to carry out the plan. Title 21 U.S.C. § 846 additionally makes it illegal to conspire to manufacture, distribute or possess illegal drugs with the intention of distributing them.

Conspiracy charges are usually imposed along with other federal charges, leading to harsher punishments. Moreover, a person can be charged with conspiracy even if their involvement was minimal, and even if the supposed conspiracy never actually occurred.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When Do Drug Charges Become Federal Crimes?

Federal drug charges typically involve large amounts of drugs, prescription fraud, conspiracies with multiple people, substantial amounts of money, and weapons. It is worth noting that some cases involving these factors have been prosecuted at the state level. Usually, the federal government tackles drug cases that are more severe, require higher levels of sophistication, and involve interstate transport. If convicted on federal drug charges, mandatory minimum sentences apply. Even if a person has no prior criminal record, they can still receive a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years at 85 percent if caught with cocaine or fentanyl.

It is advisable for anyone facing a federal drug charge or being part of a drug conspiracy, even if they had minimal involvement, to seek legal representation immediately. The Federal investigators are meticulous in their investigation and building of evidence against defendants, investing substantial resources in the process. Hence, they will pursue compensation for their efforts.

When I work on a federal drug case, I always check if the search and seizure were done lawfully. As citizens, we are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government under the Fourth Amendment right to privacy. Anyone who thinks their rights were violated should hire a federal criminal defense attorney to challenge any unlawful government action.

Could My Federal Drug Case Ever Be Reduced To A State-Level Charge?

It is common for state charges to be changed to federal charges, but the opposite is rare. However, in cases where the defendant provides assistance to the federal government in prosecuting others involved in the same or similar crimes, federal charges may be reduced to state charges. The penalties for a convicted individual are influenced by several factors such as the type and amount of drug involved, weapon involvement, and prior drug-related convictions. The federal government has set mandatory minimum sentences for these factors.

Drug charges are frequently linked with tax evasion and money laundering accusations. This is due to the fact that those who obtain money illegally are more likely to launder it and less likely to report it as income to the federal government. The government requires information about any money that individuals give or receive and will usually collect a percentage of it. If someone fails to pay their required taxes to the government, they may face arrest and prosecution. The IRS may also intervene and take actions such as freezing bank accounts, seizing money, and filing charges for tax evasion to recover unpaid taxes.

Racketeering charges are brought against individuals who conspire to commit criminal acts as part of a group. Being part of a larger group increases the danger posed by these individuals, often resulting in loss of life, threats, increased damage, higher monetary gain, and increased drug trafficking. Drug cases involving racketeering charges often involve the use of force, violence, and threats to move large quantities of drugs without any theft. It’s common for drug dealers to fall victim to robberies, and the government is aware of this issue. To mount an effective defense against these charges, it’s important for individuals to seek out the best Las Vegas federal drug crime lawyer available.

What Are The Defenses To Federal Drug Charges?

The Spartacus Law Firm uses a variety of tactics when defending federal drug charges. Among these tactics are challenging unlawful searches and seizures through suppression motions and questioning the validity of crime lab analysis. We may also question the authenticity of evidence and testimony, as well as look for signs of entrapment or willful ignorance on the part of the accused person. Additionally, we may explore whether the drugs in question belonged to someone else or were planted by law enforcement. While facing a federal drug charge may appear daunting, hiring an experienced federal drug crime lawyer in Las Vegas can lead to a strong defense strategy, even in seemingly impossible cases.

Contact Our Las Vegas Federal Drug Crime Lawyer Now

Facing federal drug charges can be intimidating for defendants, even in cases where the crime did not directly harm anyone. A conviction can lead to significant fines and a lengthy prison sentence. However, hiring an experienced Las Vegas federal drug crime lawyer can make it difficult for prosecutors to secure a conviction. If your drug offense charges are related to past actions, the statute of limitations may apply, which can be a defense. In addition, drug arrests may involve constitutional violations leading to the dismissal of charges. The Spartacus Law Firm has the experience and a track record of winning cases dealing with drug charges. If you need help with your defense, you can contact us today for a free and confidential case review.

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