Federal Drug Trafficking Charges Just The Beginning

by Five Fantastic Lawyers™ on March 28, 2013

Federal drug enforcement actions produce a high number of convictions and incarcerations in federal courts, but drug charges are often just the tip of the iceberg for defendants. Large-scale drug trafficking operations often include the importation or manufacture, transportation and distribution of controlled substances. Often, distribution routes involve many jurisdictions and may cross both state lines and international borders.

Drug Crimes Account For Half of Federal Incarcerations

Currently, about half of all individuals incarcerated in federal prisons are in custody as the result of convictions for drug-related offenses.  Most incarcerations (more than 90%) are related to drug trafficking.  Very few convictions stem from simple possession.  Simple possession convictions may be used to help guarantee a conviction or extend a defendant’s sentence, but generally, federal law enforcement agencies are most interested in obtaining convictions for trafficking.  Trafficking convictions, depending on the circumstances, can net sentences of up to life in prison.

Drug Crimes Can Lead to Other Charges Against Defendants

Since large-scale drug trafficking operations often involve several types of federal crime, they are of particular interest to law enforcement officials.  Aside from drug trafficking offenses, drug operations can also lead to other serious charges, including money laundering, weapons offenses, drug manufacturing, conspiracy and tax evasion charges. All of these types of offenses have the potential to carry significant prison sentences and fines.

Drug Crimes Can Lead to Other Offenders

Drug trafficking operations are also of significant interest to law enforcement officials because they can lead agencies to other offenders who may be involved in similar (or very different) criminal enterprises.  By following the relationships between operations, law enforcement officials can learn about new criminal organizations, new criminal operations among known offenders, and previously unknown criminal activities.

Aggressive Criminal Defense Is Paramount

If you’ve been arrested by a federal law enforcement agency on drug-related charges, it is imperative that you mount an aggressive criminal defense.  To do that, you need the assistance of an experienced federal criminal attorney like Robert Helfend. Robert Helfend has practiced in the federal court system nationwide, as well as in the California state court system, since 1984.

Mr. Helfend exclusively handles all of his cases. He does not hand over your legal matter to an associate attorney, so you’ll always have the benefit of his experience and counsel in the federal criminal court system.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Attorney

Having an attorney that you know and trust is critical for first-time defendants in the federal court system. Federal penalties for drug related offenses escalate for those who have any prior felony convictions and especially prior drug convictions. Therefore, having an experienced attorney is an absolute requirement if you have any previous felony conviction.

If you’ve been arrested on federal drug charges, you could be facing a long prison term and be incarcerated anywhere in the federal prison system. The Bureau of Prisons has the authority to send you to a facility that is thousands of miles away from your home and family!

If you have been arrested anywhere in the United States, or in the Los Angeles or Ventura County areas by federal agents on charges related to the trafficking or manufacture of controlled substances, do not talk to the police or federal law enforcement officials. Instead, exercise your Constitutional right to legal counsel and contact a lawyer for a consultation.

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Eileen Peck is a content contributor for Robert Helfend Attorney at Law.  Eileen enjoys writing about criminal cases and new laws. Robert Helfend is an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who can help defend you against serious federal drug charges.

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