In recent years, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has been cracking down on drug trafficking, distribution, and other similar crimes across the nation. This means that federal level drug charges are now treated more severely than ever before. Even compared to some of the strictest state laws, federal drug charges carry significantly longer sentences, higher fines, and more severe penalties. If you have been accused of a federal drug crime or believe that allegations may be raised against you, having an experienced federal defense attorney is critical. Drug crimes may even be tried at both federal and state levels, leading to multiple charges, lengthy sentences, and life-altering consequences.
Joffe Law, P.A. has an experienced staff team of drug defense lawyers on available who are ready to investigate your unique situation. These seasoned professionals can give your case the care and attention that it demands. Our lawyers have defended a wide array of vastly different and unique cases at both state and federal levels. If you are in the Tampa, FL area and find yourself facing possible federal or state drug charges, the sooner you gain legal representation, the better. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court, so the earlier you have a reliable and dependable attorney on retainer, the better. Lawyers at Joffe Law, P.A. have defended clients from federal drug charges including but not limited to:
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.
Prescription drug fraud
Prescription drug fraud can be prosecuted at both federal and state levels, depending on the circumstances surrounding a case. Federal prescription drug charges involve the unlawful use, gain, or distribution of controlled substances in the United States. Essentially all prescription drugs are classified as controlled substances. Controlled substances are defined as illegal substances that may have detrimental effects on a person’s physical or mental health if used incorrectly. Federal and state governments both regulate the distribution of controlled substances and thus, prescription drug fraud may be prosecuted at federal and state levels simultaneously. This can lead to higher fines, more charges, and longer prison sentences. Prescription drug fraud involves the intentional misrepresentation of your symptoms to a doctor or pharmacist in order to obtain controlled substances. It also can involve the distribution of prescription substances illegally or fraudulently. Since prescription drugs and controlled substances, they are listed and classified in the schedules of the Controlled Substances Act passed in 1970. There are five different schedule categories in this act. Understanding the different scheduling classes can help you figure out how severe the charges you may be facing are or might be.
- Schedule I: These are substances that have no medical use and are considered extremely unsafe. No schedule I drugs fall into the category eligible for prescription drug fraud, though all schedule I drugs carry stiff criminal penalties. This class includes LSD, ecstasy, heroin, and other street drugs. If you have been found in possession of any schedule I substances, you will likely be subject to criminal prosecution.
- Schedule II: This is the most common category of drug that has stiff penalties associated with federal prescription drug fraud. This scheduling class includes narcotics such as methadone, morphine, hydrocodone, Demerol, OxyContin, and other dangerous prescription-only substances. These are the most powerful and dangerous prescription drugs available and being found in possession of any of them illegally can lead to serious legal consequences.
- Schedule III: Another category with many prescription drugs included in it, this class includes a variety of dangerous substances that aren’t quite as powerful as the schedule II drugs. This class includes drugs like codeine, anabolic steroids, ketamine, and other less dangerous substances that aren’t quite as problematic as schedule II drugs but still are powerful enough to become addictive.
- Schedule IV: This class includes drugs with less potential for abuse such as Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, and the like. Schedule IV class drugs are less severely penalized than schedule class III drugs.
- Schedule V: This is the least severe schedule class, this category includes cough syrups with codeine, small quantities of weaker narcotics, or large amounts of OTC medication that you may possess suspiciously.
The crime of drug trafficking is responsible for almost one-third of all illegal drug charges. It’s also referred to as distribution and can be prosecuted at both state and federal levels by state agencies or the DEA. Drug trafficking is the illegal transportation, sale, importation, or unlawful division of controlled substances. The scheduled class and amount of the controlled substance involved in a drug distribution case will impact the severity of possible charges. For example, if you were found to be illegally carrying anabolic steroids in separate packages as you traveled on a Tampa bus, your charges would probably be less severe than if you were found to be carrying small bags of cocaine as you attempted to board a plane. The situational circumstances have a large impact on what the outcome of your case will be. For that reason, retaining an experienced Tampa drug defense lawyer is imperative.
Drug manufacturing is a very serious charge and can have stiff penalties. Drug manufacturing is often prosecuted in federal court. Depending on the situation, it is usually an imprisonable offense. Under both federal and state drug laws in Florida, the United States government can charge any person with a drug manufacturing charge if they are found to be involved in any form of the manufacturing of any controlled substance. This doesn’t just mean that you will get a drug manufacturing charge if you yourself are actively manufacturing controlled substances. Bystanders and unlucky or unwilling participants who are found in areas where drugs are being manufactured may also be charged with counts of drug manufacturing. This means that if you are found in any unlicensed marijuana grow house, you may be charged with drug manufacturing if you don’t handle the situation properly. Drug manufacturing laws can be a bit murky and have many different implications. For that reason, if you are accused of drug manufacturing, stay silent and ask to speak with your lawyer. Immediately contact an experienced federal drug defense attorney and explain the circumstances of your situation. This will help to protect your rights and may keep drug manufacturing charges at bay.
Act now: Time is of the essence
Don’t wait. If you are living in the Tampa, FL area and find yourself facing possible drug charges, the experienced professionals from Joffe Law, P.A. can help to protect your rights. Our federal crime attorneys will be in your corner and can impact the outcome of your case dramatically. The earlier you seek legal aid, the better your chances of reducing or avoiding charges will be. Federal drug charges can have life-altering consequences and should be taken seriously. Our lawyers have decades of experience protecting the legal rights of our clients and are ready to investigate your case thoroughly.