Since the inception of the war on drugs, the government has targeted individuals of its own nation as the enemy. It has put forth significant resources toward fighting this war through aggressive prosecutions of drug offenses.
Being involved in a federal drug case, either as a defendant, witness, or target of a federal investigation, can be a life-altering event. The laws, prosecutors, and procedures are completely different than that of state cases, and the punishments are more serious. If you are involved with a situation like this, you want an attorney who has experience and who understands how federal prosecutors operate. At the Law Offices of Jason Goldman, we have represented many clients charged with a multitude of federal drug violations. We have represented defendants charged in some of the nation's most notorious federal criminal cases and gotten positive results including reduced sentences and acquittals. This type of experience is invaluable when your livelihood is on the line. Our exhaustive investigation and trial preparation in servicing our clients is one of the reasons for our positive reputation. Our tenacious advocacy oftentimes leads to favorable plea deals from prosecutors who do not want to risk a trial they might lose.
There are differences regarding sentencing as well. The United States Sentencing Guidelines contain many opportunities for downward variance, or a sentence lower than that which is estimated by the government upon conviction after trial, or called for in your plea deal. The nuances of these variances are quite complex and must be handled with care and precision. Your attorney should be familiar with the sentencing factors contained in 18 U.S.C. § 3553 (a).
Even if you aren’t the main actor, you can still face the same penalties. Anyone involved in trafficking can be charged with conspiracy under 21 U.S.C § 846. This includes people who are alleged to have purchased or provided chemicals or other materials for manufacturing substances, assisted in the manufacture of substances, transported drugs, provided space for the manufacture of drugs, or laundered drug money. If Conspiracy charges carry the same penalties as the primary offense, including mandatory minimum sentences.
Oftentimes, these crimes have minimum sentences that the judge has little discretion in lowering. For example, distribution to a person younger than 21 or near a school carries a mandatory minimum of at least one year. But, a good attorney can find ways to avoid these penalties, such as utilizing Title 18 U.S. Code § 3553(f). This allows the court to impose a sentence without regard to statutory minimum sentences if the defendant meets certain criteria such as not having more than one criminal history point, not using a weapon in connection with the offense, not acting as a leader of the conspiracy, and providing the government with true and complete information.
There are also many other pieces of legislation that defendants might be able to use to their advantage, such as the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act or FIRST STEP Act, which was passed into law in December of 2018. The FIRST STEP Act reforms the federal prison system of the United States of America and seeks to reduce recidivism of inmates and decrease the inmate population.
If you are being prosecuted for either state or federal drug crimes, whether it be for the sale, possession, trafficking, or manufacturing of a controlled substance, hire a seasoned defense attorney and former prosecutor who has dealt with these charges on both sides of the courtroom. Being charged with a drug crime is extremely serious and can have a lasting impact.
What your NYC Federal Drug Attorney does in the face of these accusations, by way of investigation and creative advocacy, will both increase your chances of successfully walking away from these accusations and shape the rest of your life.
The sooner you put your case in the hands of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the more likely your matter will end favorably.