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Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties Explained

Despite the fact that the war on drugs has cost the U.S. a substantial amount of resources and has yet to be proven successful, it continues to wage on. If you are arrested for any type of drug crime in Florida, seek immediate legal support. Depending on your criminal history, the type of crime and the substance, you could face severe penalties. While any type of criminal charge is a serious matter, if you are convicted of federal drug trafficking, you could lose your freedom for a very long time due to strict mandatory minimum sentencing requirements.

The following are some of the penalties for a federal drug trafficking conviction:

  • Cocaine —Cocaine is a Schedule II substance. If you are arrested for a first offense of trafficking five kilograms or more mixture of cocaine, you face between 10 years and life in a federal prison. If during the commission of the crime, death or serious bodily injury is inflicted on anyone, the penalty increases to between 20 years and life in prison. Furthermore, as an individual you face a fine of up to $10 million.

  • Marijuana — While marijuana laws are evolving across the country, trafficking any controlled substance, is a serious offense. If you traffic 100 to 999 kilograms marijuana mixture or 100 to 999 marijuana plants, you could be sentenced to between five and 40 years in prison for your first offense. The minimum prison time increases to 20 years if death or serious bodily injury occurs during the commission of the crime. Additionally, as an individual you face as much as $5 million in fines.

  • Methamphetamine — Methamphetamine has been labeled as one of the worst drugs in America. For conviction on a first trafficking offense of 5-49 grams pure or 50-499 grams mixture, you face between five and 40 years in prison and up to $5 million in fines. In the event that someone suffers serious bodily injury or death as a result of the crime, the minimum prison sentence you face increases to 20 years.

Anyone having a prior conviction for a serious drug offense or a crime of violence that picks up a new federal drug trafficking charge faces substantially longer prison sentences. There are similar penalties in state court as well. In Tampa and throughout the country, criminal drug charges are very serious and could have a momentous effect on the rest of your life. With support from an experienced federal defense attorney, however, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the penalties you face.

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