Any type of drug charge is a serious matter and may lead to significant penalties, even if it is simple possession and a state charge. However, a federal drug crime is even more severe as there are mandatory minimum sentences. If you are facing a federal drug charge, whether it is simple possession or a major trafficking charge, knowing the federal drug charge penalties in Chattanooga could help you prepare for your case. To get qualified help, get in touch with a dedicated federal drug attorney right away.
The typical penalties in a federal drug case generally depend on the type and amount of narcotics seized. For nearly all federal drug convictions, a person will face at least some amount of time in federal prison and significant financial penalties.
Besides fines and time in custody, they may be sentenced to perform community service or make restitution if individuals were harmed as a result of the offense. Additionally, while it is not widely prosecuted, the Internal Revenue Service may bring a separate case from taxes that are owed as a result of illicitly gained income that was not claimed for tax purposes.
A great deal of mitigation in drug cases may occur during the course of negotiations with the prosecution very early on in a case. This can occur immediately following the discovery of an investigation. They may not have even been arrested yet when the mitigation phase can begin. It’s important to meet with a lawyer as soon as they suspect that they may be under investigation by any federal agency for a drug crime.
Taking steps early to understand what options may be available to them to mitigate even prior to an arrest may be the difference between facing an expensive jail sentence or jail time at all in a federal drug case. It may also prevent someone from making incriminating statements to law enforcement. Mitigation also occurs in the trial itself, even though most cases at the federal level are resolved during plea agreements and sentencing hearings. Even if a plea deal has been reached and a sentence is mitigated, the trial would still occur in a federal court.
If no plea bargain was made or a jury returns a guilty finding, there may still be options to mitigate federal drug charge penalties in Chattanooga. A defendant’s attorney could prepare a sentencing memorandum to accompany the United States Probation Offices sentencing report regarding their particular case.
This memorandum could look to mitigating factors and compare a person’s case with other cases like it to hopefully convince the judge that a departure from the sentencing guidelines for less punishment.
The range of reasons that a judge may use to justify extremely hefty penalties are vast, and having an attorney with experience at the federal sentencing level may make the difference in your case. In many situations, you may be facing hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of fines and even life in prison. If you are facing federal drug charge penalties in Chattanooga, it is essential that you reach out to a dedicated defense attorney right away. Call today to schedule a consultation for your case.