While state penalties for drug trafficking, distribution and manufacturing are severe, federal penalties surpass even those of the stricter states. The Drug Enforcement Agency aggressively pursues those it believes to be high-level drug players and can quickly bring your business and your life to a halt if they target you. These agents are particularly active in Broward County and throughout Florida. Therefore, it is wise to contact an experienced federal drug defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale at the first sign you have been singled out by the DEA or U.S. Attorney’s Office.
What makes it a federal drug case?
There is a great deal of overlap between federal and state jurisdiction when it comes to drug crimes. However, federal authorities generally leave smaller drug prosecutions to the states, even when they could choose to exercise jurisdiction. The DEA and federal prosecutors concentrate their efforts on cases involving the importation, manufacture or transportation of substantial amounts of controlled substances, especially those coming from outside the United States. Federal authorities may also bring conspiracy charges against those who have aided drug traffickers.
Federal agents and prosecutors are aggressive in this area of federal criminal law and have significant resources at their disposal. Their investigations are methodical and can last months or years. Therefore, if you wait until you have been formally charged to seek a Fort Lauderdale federal drug attorney to help with the defense of your case, you may have already compromised your options.
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.
Controlled substance penalties
Federal penalties for drug trafficking are extremely severe. These laws provide penalties of between five and 40 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million for individuals and $25 million for enterprises for trafficking. The severity of the penalties available depends on several factors:
- The type of drug
- The number of prior offenses
- The quantity involved
- Whether there was death or serious injury
Larger quantities and repeat offenses carry even more severe penalties, up to and including life in prison. In cases involving death or serious bodily injury, the minimum sentence, even for a first offense may be 20 years in federal prison. Federal authorities may permanently seize any property used in or derived from criminal conduct. Upon conviction, asset forfeiture is in addition to all other penalties and fines.
Potent defense: Your best chance in Broward County court
While any drug charge is serious, federal drug charges are in a class by themselves. If you are under investigation by the DEA or have been charged with drug trafficking, manufacturing or conspiring to commit the same in Florida, the experienced Fort Lauderdale federal drug crime lawyers at Joffe Law, P.A. can use our decades of combined experience to construct a comprehensive defense strategy to protect your rights, freedom and reputation.