Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys who have an unparalleled track record of successful representation in the United States District Courts in Michigan. We are not afraid to win!
Can Any Defense Attorney Handle a Federal Drug Case?
Yes and no. Any lawyer admitted to practice before the federal bar may represent a client on a federal drug case. Simply being represented is far different than being represented well. For the best results, persons facing federal drug charges need a top-rated, effective attorney who has had extensive experience in federal court and experience dealing with federal prosecutors, judges, and court procedure. Many attorneys who handle state drug cases are not familiar with federal procedures and this can result in terrible consequences for a client.
Federal Drug Prosecutors and Judges
Federal defense is a highly specialized practice and drug charges carry heavy penalties. And unlike the state court system, there is no parole in the federal system. The Assistant United States Attorneys who routinely handle drug prosecutions in the US District Court are highly trained, aggressive, and will do everything within their power to secure a conviction and stern sentence. The judges in federal court are generally conservative and used to handing out lengthy prison terms. Is there hope? Yes! The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has been effectively and aggressively defended clients in federal felony and misdemeanor drug cases for decades and they are ready, willing and able to help you or your loved one today.
Types of Controlled Drugs
Federal law divides drugs into 5 “schedules,” depending upon the dangerousness and medical usefulness of the drugs. An attorney must be aware of the schedules and the penalty their use or manufacture or sale carries.
Schedule I drugs are those that the law has determined have no legitimate medical use, and which are highly dangerous and/or highly addictive. Virtually all of them are illegal to possess or use. Examples of such drugs are Heroin, Ecstasy, LSD, and Marijuana. It should be noted here that although many states have legalized the use of marijuana to some degree, federal law does not permit the use, possession, manufacture, or sale of marijuana. A medical marijuana card carries no weight in a federal court. Convictions for the sale or distribution of Schedule I controlled substances can result in long prison sentences.
Schedule II drugs are similarly dangerous and highly addictive, but they are still in use in the medical field. Examples of such drugs are Methamphetamine, Methadone, Dilaudid, Oxycodone, Morphine, and Codeine. A prescription is required for use of these drugs, or they are administered in person by a doctor or nurse. Prescriptions may not be refilled, and a doctor must prescribe these drugs to you one prescription at a time, due to the danger they pose. Like Schedule I cases, judges and prosecutors frequently seek to impose harsh penalties for cases involving Schedule II controlled substances.
Schedule III drugs are potentially habit-forming. Examples are Ketamine and Flunitrazepam (commonly referred to as the “date-rape” drugs), anabolic steroids, and Tylenol with Codeine. A prescription is required for use and possession of these drugs.
Schedule IV drugs are drugs commonly prescribed as part of a mental health treatment program for things such as anxiety and depression, and include drugs such as Lorazepam, Diazepam, Halcion, and Xanax. A prescription is required for possession and use of these drugs.
Schedule V drugs are drugs considered relatively safe and have a low potential for dependence, such as cough medicine with low does of Codeine. A prescription is required for possession and use of these drugs. Although cases involving the sale or distribution of Schedule III, IV and V substances are less serious than Schedule I and II cases, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southeastern District of Michigan is notoriously tough on all controlled substance cases.
What Are the Penalties for the Sale or Distribution of Controlled “Scheduled” Drugs?
The penalties for drug convictions are very complex, and depend on the amounts and types of drugs involved. Suffice it to say that the penalties are harsh, even for first offenders. For instance, a first offense for possession with intent to sell or distribution of cocaine carries a penalty of 5-40 years in prison and a $2 million fine. If a death or serious injury is involved, the mandatory minimum is 20 years up to life, and a $4 million fine. The penalties rise rapidly when larger amounts are involved.
The penalties for drug offenses typically are more severe in the federal system, and as stated above, the is no parole. A state sentence is often less severe and prison terms end up being less. If you are looking for a federal drug defense attorney, you had better find a great one. Your life, for all practical purposes, depends on it. A federal defense attorney must know what the penalties are and be familiar with the federal prosecutor and judge who are on the case. It takes decades of experience for an attorney to achieve consistent and reliable results in federal court.
Federal Drug Charges Involving Firearms
The most serious drug offenses are those involving or connected to firearms. Federal firearms laws provide severe penalties for firearms use by the violent offender or drug trafficker. For example, possession of firearms by convicted felons or drug users can provide punishments of up to ten years imprisonment. If such possession occurs after one is convicted of three violent felonies or serious drug trafficking offenses, the violator must serve a minimum of fifteen years in prison.
Whenever a firearm is allegedly used or carried during the course of a violent offense or drug trafficking crime, this is called a “924 violation” and a conviction will result in mandatory prison time. The use of a shotgun or assault weapon adds 10 years and if an automatic weapon, silencer or destructive device is used, 30 years imprisonment is added to the underlying charges.
It goes without saying that the right representation in these cases can make the difference between decades or years in prison. In some cases, an experienced, respected and supremely effective lawyer can get this charges reduced or dismissed.
How Can I Tell if an Attorney is Experienced with Federal Cases?
You can start by asking an attorney about his or her experience in federal court. There is no reason to be shy in a conversation with an attorney because you need to know that the attorney is trustworthy, zealous, and effective. You can also go to www.avvo.com to research the attorney and see if and how they have been rated.
In times of unexpected legal trouble, too many people panic, and call an attorney they happen to know, such as a divorce lawyer, probate lawyer, or business lawyer, for example. This is a huge mistake. If you face a criminal drug case, especially in federal court, you absolutely must hire a top lawyer that exclusively handles criminal cases. Many lawyers occasionally handle criminal cases and also practice in other areas of the law. These lawyers are not doing you any favors. It’s this simple: you don’t hire a heart surgeon if you need brain surgery.
LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. – Federal Drug Case Defense Attorneys
The dedicated, experienced and zealous criminal defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented numerous clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in federal court. We are well-known and well-respected by federal judges and prosecutors, and have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation. Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.
“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!“
– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.