Texas upholds very strict drug laws mandated by the federal government. When it comes to federal criminal defense, understanding the penalties for a drug offense can help you understand a potential sentence. Even first-time drug offenses come with strict mandatory penalties. Many people are surprised to learn possession of any amount of drugs can result in the same sentence as a much higher quantity.
The harsh penalties for a first, second and third offense
Federal criminal laws provide severe penalties for a first offense. A person who held just 5 grams of cocaine base can expect to serve no less than five years in prison. This is the same sentence for someone who possesses 4,999 grams of cocaine. LSD only requires an individual to possess one gram. Similar sentences are handed out for small amounts of heroin, methamphetamine and PCP.
If death or serious injury occurs as the result of possession, the sentence may be greatly increased to 20 years or more. This represents a major percentage of a person’s life, and it’s important to fight any drug charges to get the best possible outcome. Second and third offenses are even more forgiving, and individuals can get life imprisonment for a second or third offense.
Federal drug laws can mandate lengthy sentences and fines, and it makes sense to seek the support of a qualified federal criminal defense attorney to review your case.
Understanding your rights in federal drug cases
If you or a loved one has been convicted of possession, you need to understand your rights. A qualified attorney can challenge an arrest, search warrant and other circumstances that led to a possession charge. Learn about your rights and select counsel that can help you manage your case.