Federal Drug Trafficking - What to Expect

August 2018

Drug trafficking cases are more common than you may think. In fact, almost a third of federal criminal cases involve drug trafficking. The most commonly trafficked drug, according to the United States Sentencing Commission is Meth. Being charged with drug trafficking can be scary – you don’t know what to expect, don’t know who to talk to or what to do next. For many people, this is their first experience with the criminal justice system – almost half of all drug traffickers have little or no criminal history. We have been handling these cases for years and can help you understand the process and prepare for your case.
 


 

Federal courts take drug trafficking seriously – 95% of drug trafficking offenders are sentenced to some amount of imprisonment. It’s important to take your case seriously and prepare the best defense possible to mitigate the effect on your life and the lives of your loved ones. Some drug trafficking cases carry mandatory minimum sentences, if convicted. This means that there is little discretion for the court to hand out a lower sentence than what the law requires.

Drug trafficking cases account for more than two-thirds of all mandatory minimum cases. That being said, 40% of people convicted of a crime carrying a mandatory minimum were relieved of that minimum sentence. Why? A few reasons. Some individuals provided government assistance in other case, while others qualified under a “safety valve” provision. The “safety valve” provision comes into play if an individual meets 5 criteria:
 

  • No more than one criminal history point;
     
  • There was no use of violence or threats of violence in connection with the offense;
     
  • There was no death or serious bodily injury as a result of the offense;
     
  • The individual was not an organizer, leader, manager or supervisor of others in the offense and;
     
  • The individual provided information the government of all offenses that were a part of the same scheme or plan.
     

On the flip side, in some cases, people had their sentences enhanced, or increased, from the sentencing guidelines. This tends to happen when a weapon is involved or the person was a leader or supervisor in the offense.

We can’t tell you what to expect in a blog post because, as you can see, the outcomes of these cases depend largely on the circumstances and facts of the specific case. Our goal is to achieve the best outcome for you, taking into account what is most important to you. If you are facing a federal drug trafficking charge, call us today – the sooner we can start to prepare your defense, the better chance of a positive outcome.