Drug Crimes in Chicago, IL
Federal drug crimes can have severe penalties and with previous drug related convictions and an arrest and charge for a federal drug crime can result in a life sentence. The federal government has imposed mandatory minimums for federal drug crimes and even first time offenders can be sentenced to prison for a very long period of time. Federal drug crime sentences are determined by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Under those guidelines you are assigned a number or base offense level that is based upon the amount of drugs that you are arrested with. The base offense level can be increased or decreased based upon certain factors. Once the offense level has been determine then that number is cross-referenced with your criminal history and a guideline range (range of months) is given for the judge to sentence you between. An experienced Chicago criminal lawyer can help you calculate your base offense level.
Chicago Federal Drug Crime Lawyer
The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are extremely complex and obtaining a proper sentence under the guidelines requires an experience and skilled attorney. Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael P. Schmiege handles federal drug crimes and has immense experience handling the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Federal Cocaine Sentences
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines if you have been arrested and charged with a federal drug crime that involves more than 500 grams of cocaine then you are facing a mandatory minimum of five years in prison. If the amount of cocaine is greater than 5000 grams or five kilos of cocaine then you are looking at a minimum of ten years in prison. In both cases if you have a previous conviction for a drug offense then the mandatory minimum is doubled. If you have two previous drug convictions and you are being charged with a federal drug crime involving more than 5000 grams of cocaine then you are facing a life sentence.
Marijuana Sentences in Federal Court
If arrested and charged with a federal drug crime involving marijuana or cannabis of an amount greater than 100 plants or 100 kilos then your will be facing a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and if that amount is greater than 1000 plants of 1000 kilograms then you will be facing a mandatory minimum of ten years imprisonment. With a previous conviction for a drug offense the sentence will double and with two previous convictions you could be facing a sentence of life in prison.
Heroin Federal Sentence
Heroin charges in federal court are extremely severe. If you a facing a federal drug charge that involves heroin and the amount is greater than a mere 100 grams than you are facing a mandatory minimum of five years in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and if that amount charged with is greater than five kilos then your will be looking at a minimum of ten years in jail. If you have a previous drug offense conviction then those sentences will double and two previous convictions could land you in jail for the rest of your life.
Crack Cocaine Sentences under Federal Law
Crack cocaine is made out of cocaine – it is cooked and processed with other chemicals. There is great disparity in crack cocaine sentences compared to powder cocaine sentences. Under federal drug laws if you are arrested and charged with more than five grams of crack cocaine you are facing a mandatory minimum of five years of prison. The disparity is that you need 500 grams of powder cocaine to equal a five year prison sentence. If charged with a federal drug crime involving a mere fifty grams of crack cocaine then you could face a ten year sentence and this sentence will double if you have a previous drug offense conviction and could result in a life sentence if there are two previous drug convictions.
Crystal Meth / Methamphetamine
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines they separate the sentences based upon the meth was pure or a mixture. If charged with crystal meth under a federal drug offense and the amount is more than 5 grams of pure meth or 50 grams of a mixture of meth than the mandatory minimum sentence is five years in jail and if the offense involves more than 50 grams of pure meth or 500 grams of a mixture of meth then you could be facing ten years imprisonment with the sentences doubling with a prior drug offense conviction.
As you can see the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are very complex and difficult. If you are facing a federal drug charge it is important that you hire an attorney who has an understanding of the federal sentencing guidelines. Chicago criminal defense attorney Michael P. Schmiege handles federal drug charges throughout the country and has an understanding of how the complicated guidelines sentences work and knows the way around mandatory minimum sentences include the use of the safety valve. Mr. Schmiege will work on your federal drug charge case to get you the best possible disposition and sentence.
Contact Chicago criminal defense attorney Michael P. Schmiege if you are facing a federal drug charge and need assistance with getting the best possible sentence for a federal drug crime.