Federal Drug Crimes

Drug crimes in Texas usually involve arrests made and prosecutions directed by state agencies. The drug trade, however, is a global enterprise and certain crimes may cross state lines.

Major drug crimes are frequently handled by federal agencies that have invested significantly in the investigation and prosecution of such offenses. Federal drug crimes have far more serious consequences than the traditional state charges.

Federal Drug Charges

Dallas Federal Drug Charges Attorney

If you or your loved one were arrested or believe that you might be under investigation for an alleged federal drug crime in Dallas, do not say anything to authorities until you have legal representation. Make sure you contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as possible.

Our firm can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. We can discuss all of your legal options with you when you call (972) 233-5700 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Federal Drug Schedules

Five different classifications for illegal drugs called schedules are established under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the federal law largely dictating drug policy in the country. Schedules are based on a controlled substance’s abuse or dependency potential and accepted medical use.

Drug schedules are defined as follows:

  • Schedule I — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Examples include lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), peyote, marijuana, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy, or Molly), heroin, methaqualone, mescaline, and gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).
  • Schedule II — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. Examples include hydromorphone (Dilaudid), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), meperidine (Demerol), cocaine, methamphetamine, opium, methylphenidate (Ritalin), Dexedrine, fentanyl, and morphine.
  • Schedule III — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Examples include ketamine, anabolic steroids, and products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine).
  • Schedule IV — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Examples include carisoprodol (Soma), lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), and alprazolam (Xanax). 
  • Schedule V — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for analgesic, antitussive, and antidiarrheal purposes. Examples include diphenoxylate (Lomotil), pregabalin (Lyrica), and cough preparations containing not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams (Robitussin AC).

Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties

Possession, delivery, distribution, cultivation, manufacturing, conspiracy, and fraud are common examples of the types of federal drug crimes people can be charged with. The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) reported that 19,222 of 67,742 cases reported to the agency were for drug trafficking and 95.7 percent of offenders in drug trafficking cases were sentenced to prison.

Federal drug trafficking conviction penalties are as follows:

The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) lists the following penalties for trafficking convictions:

Controlled Substance

Amount

Prison Sentence

Fine

Cocaine

500-4,999 grams

First Offense: Mandatory minimum five year sentence up to 40 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum 10 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $5 million for individuals, $25 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $8 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Cocaine base

28-279 grams

Fentanyl

40-399 grams

Fentanyl analogue

10-99 grams

Heroin

100-999 grams

LSD

1-9 grams

Pure methamphetamine

5-49 grams

Methamphetamine mixture

50-499 grams

Pure PCP

10-99 grams

PCP mixture

100-999 grams

Cocaine

5 kilograms or more

First Offense: Mandatory minimum 10 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

Third or Subsequent Offense: Life in prison.

First Offense: Up to $10 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Third or Subsequent Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Cocaine base

280 grams or more

Fentanyl

400 grams or more

Fentanyl analogue

100 grams or more

Heroin

1 kilogram or more

LSD

10 grams or more

Pure methamphetamine

50 grams or more

Methamphetamine mixture

500 grams or more

Pure PCP

100 grams or more

PCP mixture

1 kilogram or more

Other Schedule I and Schedule II Substances

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 30 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment.

First Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $2 million for individuals, $10 million for non-individuals.

Any drug product containing gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)

Any amount

Flunitrazepam

1 gram or more

Other Schedule III Drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 10 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, up to 15 years in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, up to 30 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2.5 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

All other Schedule IV Drugs (other than one gram or more of Flunitrazepam)

Any amount

First Offense: Up to five years in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 10 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $250,000 for individuals, $1 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2 million for non-individuals.

All Schedule V Drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Up to one year in prison.

Second Offense: Up to four years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $100,000 for individuals, $250,000 for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $200,000 for individuals, $500,000 for non-individuals.

Marijuana

1,000 kilograms or more marijuana mixture, or 1,000 or more marijuana plants

First Offense: Mandatory minimum 10 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $10 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Marijuana

100 to 999 kilograms marijuana mixture, or 100 to 999 marijuana  plants

First Offense: Mandatory minimum five year sentence up to 40 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum 10 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $5 million for individuals, $25 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $8 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Marijuana

50 to 99 kilograms marijuana mixture, or 50 to 99 marijuana plants

First Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 30 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment.

First Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $2 million for individuals, $10 million for non-individuals.

Hashish

More than 10 kilograms

Hashish Oil

More than 1 kilogram

Marijuana

Less than 50 kilograms marijuana (Not including 50 or more marijuana plants, regardless of  weight), or 1 to 49 marijuana plants

First Offense: Up to five years in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 10 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $250,000 for individuals, $1 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2 million for non-individuals.

Hashish

10 kilograms or less

Hashish Oil

1 kilogram or less

Dallas County Federal Drug Crime Resources

Drug Offenders in Federal Prison – Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — According to this October 2015 Department of Justice Report, nearly all (99.5 percent) drug offenders in federal prison were serving sentences for drug trafficking. More than half (54 percent) of drug offenders in federal prison involved cocaine (powder or crack) as the primary drug type. Federal drug offenders had an average prison sentence of over 11 years.

United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) — The mission of the DEA is to “enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States.” On this website, you can find drug fact sheets, view the entire CSA, and learn more about drug scheduling. You can also access information about the DEA’s Community Outreach, Office of Diversion of Control, and other programs.

Find a Federal Drug Charges Lawyer | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Were you or your loved one arrested or do you think that you could be under investigation for a federal drug crime in Dallas or another community in Dallas County? You are going to want to be quick to retain legal counsel.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy defends clients in state and federal courts all over Texas. Call (972) 233-5700 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.