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 who have invested significantly in the investigation and prosecution of such offenses. Federal drug crimes have far more serious consequences than the traditional state charges.
If you or your loved one were arrested or believe that you might be under investigation for an alleged federal drug crime in Fort Worth, 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 (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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 acceptable 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).
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:
Lack of knowledge can be a winning defense in a federal drug crime case when an alleged offender is accused of possessing drugs that were not actually theirs. This defense may prove useful when a person is charged with a drug crime stemming from drugs found in a shared home or vehicle.
Another defense could concern how law enforcement discovered and obtained the drugs. If there was an illegal search and seizure in your case, then the evidence will not be admissible in court and your criminal charges will likely have to be tossed.
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.
Were you or your loved one arrested or do you think that you could be under investigation for a federal drug crime in Fort Worth or another community in Tarrant 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 (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.