Facing federal drug crime charges in Birmingham can be scary and overwhelming. Aside from the potential loss of your freedom, there’s also the financial fear that comes with the drug charges. What you need is someone in your corner who has an extensive knowledge of the law and can fight for your rights.
State and federal laws cover a broad area of drug crimes. While essentially the same drug offenses are covered under state and federal laws, federal drug crime charges carry stiffer penalties and longer sentences. Federal drug crime charges typically involved interstate drug trafficking of larger quantities of illegal drugs. Drug crimes cover illegal controlled substances, including, marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, and heroin. Federal drug charges can also be charged if the drug crime occurs on federal property or involves an undercover federal agent.
Types of federal drug crime charges:
- Drug possession
- Drug trafficking
- Drug manufacturing
- Drug conspiracy
- Drug cultivation
Federal drug crime penalties vary, often depending on the amount of illegal drugs in question. If the drug crime you are accused of involves serious bodily injury or worse, death, you could be looking at 20 years to life, as well as, some very stiff fines. Many federal drug crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences that limit the judge’s discretion.
Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney
The first step when you have been accused of a drug crime is hiring a criminal attorney. You need an attorney who is well versed in federal drug crime laws. You get one chance to mount a legal defense that can stand a chance against the extensive resources of the federal government. On the federal level, rules and evidentiary procedure differ than on the state level, which makes it crucial to hire a knowledgeable attorney.
Federal Drug Crime Charge Process
When federal drug crime charges are filed against you, you will stay in federal custody until your preliminary hearing. Within 72 hours, the preliminary hearing will be held, unless your attorney is granted a continuance in order to further bolster your defense. Remember, all the federal government has to show at the hearing is probable cause. They do not have to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt.
You also might face a bond hearing if your attorney requests that you are released prior to the case going to trial. There are multiple issues that factor in when the judge determines whether or not you should be released.
Before your drug crime case goes to trial, your criminal defense attorney will review evidence, come up with a sound defense strategy, and review information and witnesses relevant to the case. During the pre-trial phase, it is possible that a plea deal can be negotiated.
If a plea agreement is not reached, the case will move forward to trial. The prosecution will present their evidence, along with witness testimony. Remember, the prosecution will do everything in their power to make sure you are punished under the full extent of the law. You need an experienced and trusted attorney by your side, for the greatest chance of a positive outcome.