Drug Offenses


Drug offense charges can lead to stigma and disgrace. Even for a first-time offender, Texas and federal law provide for serious punishments if you are found guilty of a drug offense.

Many drug charges are procedurally deficient. Because it is very difficult for the government to investigate, the government at times goes too far and violates a suspect’s constitutional rights.

For example, our lawyers carefully review whether the search and seizure met the law’s demands. Were the warrants executed correctly? Was the use of an undercover agent in accordance with state and federal law? Were the confiscated substances in fact illegal? Were the substances properly confiscated? Were the substances properly tested? Did the government use surveillance tactics? Were the wiretaps done correctly?

Already these initial concerns should exemplify that just because the police or the DEA accuse you of a drug crime, you are by no means guilty. Instead, if you hire the experienced lawyers at the Oberheiden Law Group PLLC, we will fight for your case to be dismissed or to obtain a not-guilty verdict.
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Drug possession
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Drug trafficking
Drug cultivation

Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics/Drug Trafficking

Federal drug charges often include an allegation of drug trafficking and/or a conspiracy to distribute the drugs in question. These are very serious charges that may allow the government to seek a much stiffer sentence if the defendant is found guilty.

Description:

The prosecutions of most federal drug crimes are brought under the following statutes:
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21 U.S.C. § 841 Prohibits the manufacture and distribution of, and possession with intent to distribute, controlled substances;
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21 U.S.C. § 846 Prohibits attempts and conspiracies to manufacture, distribute or possess with intent to distribute controlled substances;
21 U.S.C. § 952 Prohibits the importation of controlled substances;
21 U.S.C. § 953 Prohibits the exportation of controlled substances;
21 U.S.C. § 963 Prohibits attempts and conspiracies to import/export controlled substances

Prohibited Activities

In order to be found guilty or being convicted of a Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics/ Drug Trafficking, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a conspiracy existed. A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to violate the law through a joint course of action.

Thus, the three elements of a conspiracy to distribute narcotics are:
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Two or more persons reached an agreement or came to an understanding to distribute a controlled substance;
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The accused voluntarily and intentionally joined in the agreement or understanding, either at the time it was first reached or at some later time while it was still in effect; and
At the time the accused joined in the agreement or understanding, the Accused knew the purpose of the agreement or understanding.

Punishment

The punishment for a conspiracy to distribute narcotics or drug trafficking may involve substantial prison time and serious fines. The federal statutes provide for penalties for drug offenses of up to life in prison and a $ 10 million fine for individuals, and a $50 million fine for organizations. Repeated violations may carry fines of up to $ 20 million and $ 75 million, respectively. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/chapter-13/subchapter-I/part-D

The penalty structures for these and other drug crimes are set out in 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b) and 960(b). The minimum and maximum statutory penalties are driven by the type and the quantity of the drug involved, but may be increased if the offense involved death or serious bodily injury, or if the offender has a prior conviction for a felony drug offense. For example:

Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b)(1)(A) and 960(b)(1), a statutory range of ten years to life applies to offenses involving at least: 1 kilogram of Heroin; 5 kilograms of Cocaine (powder); 280 grams of Cocaine base; 1,000 kilograms of Marijuana or 1,000 plants; 50 grams of actual Methamphetamine; or 500 grams of mixture or substance.

Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b)(1)(B) and 960(b)(2), a statutory range of 5 to 40 years applies to offenses involving at least: 100 grams of Heroin; 500 grams of Cocaine (powder); 28 grams of Cocaine base; 100 kilograms of Marijuana or 100 plants; 5 grams of actual Methamphetamine; or 50 grams of mixture or substance.

Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b)(1)(C) and 960(b)(3), a statutory range of zero to 20 years applies to offenses involving lesser quantities of drugs. A statutory maximum of 5 years is provided for offenses involving less than 50 kilograms of marijuana and for certain other lesser offenses. See 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b)(1)(D) and 960(b)(4).
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