Seek Defense From a Chicago Drug Crime Lawyer
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, convictions for federal drug crimes, including drug trafficking, have increased nearly 20% in the last thirty years. The number of individuals who are imprisoned as a result of a drug trafficking conviction has increased by almost 30% and federal sentencing guidelines have resulted in longer prison terms. The U.S. Attorney’s Office works closely with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other federal law enforcement agencies to detect and prosecute individuals suspected of engaging in drug trafficking. When you’re facing federal drug crimes charges, it’s vital that you choose the right Chicago criminal defense attorney to represent you.
What is federal drug trafficking?
Drug trafficking refers to the cultivation, manufacture, sale or distribution or illegal drugs for commercial gain. Drug trafficking activity that crosses state lines or extends across the U.S. border is a federal offense. Some of the most common types of drugs that are involved in trafficking operations include
Large-scale drug operations may involve hundreds of people working together as part of a global network in order to produce illegal drugs, smuggle them into the country and distribute them to dealers who are directly responsible for the sale of the drugs. Federal law enforcement is also responsible for investigating smaller-scale operations that may involve fewer than 20 people. Regardless of how large or small the operation is, the federal government is zealous in its efforts to prosecute those individuals who are involved.
Federal penalties for drug trafficking
Conviction on federal drug trafficking charges can result in a lengthy prison sentence as well as a substantial fine.
There are a number of factors which may determine the type of sentence you receive, such as:
- The type and quantity of drugs involved
- Whether you have prior convictions for federal drug crimes
- Whether any individual was seriously hurt or killed as a result of the drug trafficking scheme
- Where the drugs were distributed and who they were distributed to (i.e. near a school or to minors)
- Whether you were a minor or an adult when the alleged offense occurred
Under federal sentencing guidelines, the penalty is also determined by the offense level involved and your prior criminal history. The higher the offense level, the more severe the penalty you will face. The same is also true if you have previous convictions for federal drug offenses.
A conviction for a first offense may be punishable by a prison term of between 5 and 20 years. A second offense is punishable by a term of 10 to 20 years. If you have two or more previous drug trafficking convictions, you may face life in prison, depending on the type and amount of drug involved. In addition to a prison sentence, the federal government may also impose hefty fines and take action to seize your bank accounts, home, cars or other assets that are believed to have been obtained by or used for illegal drug activity.
Fighting federal drug trafficking charges in Chicago
The prospect of years in prison can be frightening and it’s important that you have an experienced Chciago criminal attorney on your side. Your attorney can thoroughly evaluate the facts of your case in order to build the strongest defense possible. In cases where a conviction is likely, your defense lawyer will work diligently on your behalf to reduce the charges and negotiate a reduced sentence if possible.
Contact a qualified federal drug crime attorney today
Federal Drug Crimes Attorney Michael Schmiege specializes in representing individuals accused of drug trafficking at both the state and federal level. He has both the knowledge and expertise necessary to ensure that your rights are protected at every stage of the criminal process. Call (312) 906-7800 today to schedule your free case evaluation with a criminal defense lawyer who understands how important your future and your freedom are.