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With a 91% success rate on cases announced for trial since 2002, our attorneys are prepared to fight hard in your name.

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Federal Drug Charges

While most drug crimes are tried in state courts in Texas, cases involving large amounts of controlled substances or arrests that were made by federal agents or on federal property can result in federal charges. In some cases, people may be prosecuted by both courts.

State drug crime convictions certainly have serious penalties, but the consequences of a federal drug crime conviction can often be even more severe.  Fines and the amount of prison time can be dramatically increased if a person is found guilty.

Dallas Federal Drug Charges Lawyer

If you are facing any type of federal charges relating to drugs, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has been fighting for more than a decade to protect the rights of clients all over the Dallas area, including Balch Springs, Carrolton, Garland, Grand Prairie, Irving, Mesquite, and Richardson.

Richard C. McConathy is admitted to practice in Texas courts, and also handles federal cases in the Northern District of Texas. You can have him review your case during a free consultation as soon as you call (972) 233-5700.


Federal Drug Charges Information Center


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Types of Federal Drug Charges in Texas

Just as there are multiple drug crimes that may be prosecuted under Florida state law, there are several charges that may be pursued in federal court. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy helps clients facing one or more of the following charges:

  • Conspiracy — An agreement by two or more people to violate federal drug laws.
  • Cultivation — The growing, production, and possession of naturally occurring elements such as plants (like marijuana or psychedelic mushrooms) or other items used to make controlled substances.
  • Delivery — The actual or constructive transfer of a controlled substance to another person, meaning that the physical exchange of money is not required but a person who merely arranged a transaction can be charged.
  • Distributing materials — Providing chemicals, chemical mixtures, components, or any other materials used to make illegal drugs, regardless of whether the person supplying the materials is directly involved in the actual making of the drug.
  • Distribution — Illegal delivering, furnishing, providing, or selling of controlled substances.
  • Fraud — May relate to illegal prescription drug possession or instances of bank, mail, tax, or wire fraud.
  • Manufacturing — Participating or offering to participate in any part of the process involved in creating a controlled substance.
  • Possession — The actual care, control, custody, or management of a controlled substance, possession may be either actual (physical possession of drugs) or constructive (drugs found in area over which person had access or control).
  • Racketeering — Violations of federal statutes such as the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute (CCE or “The Kingpin Statute”), the Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering Statute (VCAR), or the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
  • Smuggling — Importation or transportation of an illegal drug with the intent to distribute or sell.
  • Trafficking — Knowingly dispensing, distributing, manufacturing, or possessing with intent to dispense, distribute, or manufacture controlled substances.

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Controlled Substance Schedules in Federal Drug Charges

Illegal drugs that are considered controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) are placed into one of five schedules based on whether they have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, their relative abuse potential, and likelihood of causing dependence when abused. The five schedules and some examples of the substances in them are as follows:

  • Schedule I — Controlled substances with no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse, examples include 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or Ecstasy), gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (marihuana, cannabis, weed, or pot), mescaline, methaqualone, peyote, psilocin, and psilocybin.
  • Schedule II — Controlled substances with high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence, examples include Adderall®, cocaine, codeine, Dexedrine®, fentanyl (Sublimaze®, Duragesic®), hydromorphone (Dilaudid®), meperidine (Demerol®), methadone (Dolophine®), methamphetamine (Desoxyn®), methylphenidate (Ritalin®), morphine, opium, oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®), and pentobarbital.
  • Schedule III — Controlled substances with potential for abuse less than substances in Schedules I or II and abuse that may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence, examples include anabolic steroids such as Depo®-Testosterone, benzphetamine (Didrex®), buprenorphine (Suboxone®), combination products containing less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin®), ketamine, phendimetrazine, and products containing not more than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with Codeine®).
  • Schedule IV — Controlled substances with low potential for abuse relative to substances in Schedule III, examples include alprazolam (Xanax®), carisoprodol (Soma®), clonazepam (Klonopin®), clorazepate (Tranxene®), diazepam (Valium®), flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), lorazepam (Ativan®), midazolam (Versed®), phenobarbital, temazepam (Restoril®), and triazolam (Halcion®).
  • Schedule V — Controlled substances with low potential for abuse relative to substances listed in Schedule IV and consisting primarily of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics, examples include cough preparations containing not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams (Robitussin AC®, Phenergan with Codeine®), diphenoxylate (Lomotil), pregabalin (Lyrica), and retigabine (ezogabine).

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Federal Drug Crime Penalties in Dallas

A conviction for a federal drug offense can result in significant prison time and fines, and many sentences involve mandatory minimum sentences. You may face aggravated charges depending on your criminal history, your age, the ages of people you distributed controlled substances to, and the location of the alleged offense.

Because trafficking can involve illegal distribution, possession with intent to distribute, manufacture, importation or exportation, it is most common charge brought in federal cases. 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


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Defenses to Federal Drug Crimes Charges in Texas

There are numerous defenses that may be available to an alleged offender. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, these can include, but are not limited to:

  • Drugs belonged to a different person
  • Drugs were legally prescribed
  • Entrapment or other police misconduct
  • Illegal search and seizure or other constitutional rights violations
  • Inaccurate drug quantity
  • Insufficient evidence
  • Misidentification
  • Mistakes in crime lab analysis
  • No probable cause

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Find a Federal Drug Charges Lawyer in Dallas

It is extremely important to work with a skilled and knowledgeable Dallas criminal defense attorney if you are facing federal charges relating to drugs. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy represents clients all over Dallas County as well as surrounding areas like Collin County, Denton County, Ellis County, Johnson County, Rockwall County, Tarrant County, and Wise County.

Our firm offers a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case and evaluate all of your legal options. Call (972) 233-5700 today to see how we can help obtain the most favorable outcome to your case.


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*Free consultation applies only for active criminal cases seeking to retain the office

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