Federal Drug Charges Attorney in Colorado Springs
Federal drug cases bring the most serious level of drug charges that can be filed. They carry the harshest penalties, making a strong, strategic defense more important than ever. The Colorado federal drug crimes defense lawyers at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. are experienced at representing the accused in various types of federal drug cases.
We know how to deal with federal agents, gather evidence to strengthen the defense, and fiercely defend our clients at every step. We’re also highly skilled at poking holes in federal prosecutors’ cases. That’s why our federal drug offense lawyers are such effective advocates. It’s also why we are known for our relentless pursuit of favorable outcomes and the best possible resolutions.
Whether you are the subject of a federal investigation or you have been arrested for or charged with a federal drug crime, we are ready to help you.
Call (719) 259-5516 or email us 24/7 for a free, confidential consultation.
The sooner you contact us, the sooner you can get essential the answers, advice, and experienced representation you need to pursue your best defense options.
Federal Drug Charges in Colorado
Like state-level charges, federal drug charges are based on several factors, from the type and amount of the narcotics involved to the circumstances under which they were discovered. Another similarity is that both state- and federal-level drug charges are based, in part, on drug schedules. Federal drug scheduling, the model for the drug schedules used at the Colorado state level, classifies illegal narcotics into five “schedules,” with the most dangerous and deadly drugs put in Schedule I.
Here is a closer look at different types of federal drug charges, when they can be filed, and the potential penalties that can be handed down in the event of a conviction.
Federal Drug Possession Charges
Drug possession charges at the federal level can be brought in various circumstances. According to a recent report from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, some of the most common ways in which federal drug possession cases typically come about include via:
- Apprehension by border enforcement authorities
- Traffic stops, checkpoints, or vehicle inspections at state lines
- Federal investigations that are unrelated to drugs
- Law enforcement officers’ observations
- Tips from offenders
- Citizen complaints
When federal drug possession charges result in a guilty plea or a conviction, the penalties on the line may include those shown in the table below, depending on how many priors an individual has.
FEDERAL DRUG POSSESSION PENALTIES
|Offense||Prison Time||Fines(at minimum)|
|1st Conviction||Up to 1 year||$1,000|
|2nd Conviction||Up to 2 years||$2,500|
|Subsequent Convictions||90 days to 3 years||$5,000|
|Possession of Flunitrazepam or Rohypnol (“roofies”)||Up to 3 years||$5,000|
Federal Drug Manufacturing Charges
Offenses that involve cultivating or creating illegal narcotics can result in federal drug manufacturing charges. What differentiates state-level and federal-level drug manufacturing charges is:
- Where the drug was manufactured
- The amount of the drugs that were created
- Whether the manufacturing operation was part of a larger ring of criminal activities
While those who have a direct hand in making illegal drugs can face these charges, so too can anyone who provides the supplies for manufacturing drugs. That includes the chemicals, equipment, and/or facilities need to and used in the manufacturing of illegal drugs.
In general, federal drug manufacturing charges come with a 5-year mandatory minimum prison sentence. If, however, larger quantities of illegal drugs are created, much harsher penalties can and usually will be imposed, as detailed in the table below.
FEDERAL DRUG MANUFACTURING PENALTIES
|Heroin||100 grams||Up to 40 years in federal prison
Up to $5 million in fines (for individuals)
Up to $25 million in fines (for groups)
|Cocaine Base||28 grams|
|Marijuana||100 kilograms or 100 plants|
Federal Drug Trafficking Charges
Trafficking charges at the federal level can be filed against anyone who is accused of facilitating a drug trafficking operation, even if those individuals were not in direct possession of the drug. With federal drug trafficking cases, the amount and type of the drug(s) found are key factors in determining what potential penalties may be imposed.
Check out the following table to see how various amounts of different drugs, along with prior offenses, can impact the nature of the potential penalties available for different types of federal drug trafficking cases.
FEDERAL DRUG TRAFFICKING PENALTIES
|Schedule I Drugs||Amount (in a mixture)||1st Conviction Penalties||2nd Conviction Penalties|
|Heroin||100 to 999 gms||5 to 40 years in prison Up to $2 million in fines||10 years to life in prison Up to $4 million in fines|
|1+ kgs||10 years to life in prison Up to $4 million in fines||20 years to life in prison Up to $8 million in fines|
|LSD||1 to 9 gms||5 to 40 years in prison Up to $2 million in fines||10 years to life in prison Up to $4 million in fines|
|10+ gms||10 years to life in prison Up to $4 million in fines||20 years to life in prison Up to $8 million in fines|
|Fentanyl Analogue||10 to 99 gms||5 to 40 years in prison Up to $2 million in fines||10 years to life in prison Up to $4 million in fines|
|100+ gms||10 years to life in prison Up to $4 million in fines||20 years to life in prison Up to $8 million in fines|
|Schedule II Drugs||Amount (in a mixture)||1st Conviction Penalties||2nd Conviction Penalties|
|Cocaine Base||5 to 49 gms||5 to 40 years in prison Up to $2 million in fines||10 years to life in prison Up to $4 million in fines|
|50+ gms||10 years to life in prison Up to $4 million in fines||20 years to life in prison Up to $8 million in fines|
|Cocaine||500 to 4999 gms||5 to 40 years in prison Up to $2 million in fines||10 years to life in prison Up to $4 million in fines|
|5+ kgs||10 years to life in prison Up to $4 million in fines||20 years to life in prison Up to $8 million in fines|
|Methamphetamine||5 to 49 gms (pure)||5 to 40 years in prison||10 years to life in prison|
Federal Drug Crime Penalties & Minimum Mandatory Sentencing Guidelines
Federal drug cases are unique from state drug cases in that the courts are required, by law, to hand down mandatory minimum sentences for various offenses. That limits judicial discretion, and it can make the stakes much higher in federal cases.
The following table shows the mandatory minimum sentences set forth by federal law for various drug offenses. It also displays the potential maximum, which the court does have the discretion to impose, based on the facts of a given case.
FEDERAL MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE
|Schedule I Drugs||Amount (in a mixture)||1st Conviction Penalties|
|Drug Trafficking (1+ kg of heroin)||10 Years||Life|
Trafficking that causes injury or death
Trafficking other Schedule I or II drugs
|Trafficking with a prior felony drug conviction||20 Years|
|Trafficking with a prior felony drug conviction & offense results in injury or death||Life|
|Firearm possession in the commission of drug trafficking||7 Years|
|Simple possession with 1 prior||15 Days||2 years|
|Simple possession with 2 prior||90 Days||3 years|
There are several other mandatory minimums sentences for other federal drug crimes; if you are not sure whether your charges carry the potential of mandatory minimum prison time, it’s time to talk to an attorney. Knowing what’s at stake in your case can make a difference in how you approach your defense. And that may have long-term impacts on the success and outcome of your case.
How Can I Fight & Defend Myself Against Federal Drug Charges?
As serious as federal drug charges are—and as complex as some of these cases may be—there can be various options for fighting back and crafting a strong defense case. While the best defense options will depend on the circumstances of an arrest, as well as the charges, evidence, and other factors, effective strategies for federal drug crimes cases may include (and may not be limited to):
- Pointing out procedural errors made by police and federal law enforcement authorities
- Identifying when the rights of the accused have been violated
- Highlighting potential motives for complaining witnesses and/or inconsistencies in testimony provided by the prosecutor’s witnesses
- Establishing reasonable doubt when it comes to key elements like intent, possession, and/or knowledge of the alleged criminal activity
- Working to get critical evidence for the prosecution dismissed while striving to uncover new evidence to support and strengthen the defense case
Illegal wiretap evidence, illegal search and seizures, and even illegal interrogations can all work against prosecutors while shoring up the defense case.
A Colorado Springs federal drug crimes attorney at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. can help you understand the best way to fight the federal drug charges you may be facing while working tirelessly to protect your rights, interests, and future every step of the way.
Don’t Fight Federal Drug Charges Alone: Contact Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C.
Federal prosecutors are extremely tough on drug crimes, and they build their reputation on getting convictions. When you are in their crosshairs because you’ve been charged with a federal drug offense, you don’t want to gamble your future and freedom by going up against them alone. Make sure you have a strong defense and a tough attorney in your corner—make sure you have a Colorado federal drug crimes attorney at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. defending you.
Do NOT let the police or a prosecutor talk you into accepting a guilty plea before you contact a lawyer. They aren’t looking out for your rights, reputation, and future—we will! Regardless of the type of federal drug charges you are facing, we know that your case is likely the most important thing in your life, and we will handle it with exceptional care, professionalism, and diligence.
That is why we have a long record of successful outcomes in state and federal drug crime cases, as well as several 5-star reviews and the respect of colleagues, local judges, and prosecutors.