If you are facing federal drug offense charges, the first thing that you should do is consult with a federal drug crime attorney.
An experienced and skilled attorney who is familiar with handling federal offenses involving drug crimes in Virginia is crucial to obtaining a lesser sentence, or potentially having the charge dismissed altogether. The law firm of Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico is unique in that they have extensive experience handling a wide range of federal drug offenses. They have proven their skill at using the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to obtain the best possible sentences for clients.
Federal drug offenses are very serious and often carry long prison terms if convicted. These charges are often more challenging and complex than drug offenses handled in Virginia General District and Circuit Courts. A federal drug offense not only puts your freedoms and privileges in jeopardy, but also puts your reputation, family and financial well-being at risk.
Pre-Indictment Federal Drug Defense in Virginia
The federal government has extensive resources available to investigate and prosecute drug crimes. It is important to be aware than they can often act quickly when gathering evidence and information to file charges. If you anticipate a federal drug offense charge, the best time to negotiate a favorable outcome is before you are indicted. Once an indictment is issued, the federal government has an aggressive zero-tolerance approach when prosecuting federal drug offenses. This is why it is imperative that you consult with an experienced and determined attorney such as the Roanoke Criminal Attorneys of Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico who will leave no stone unturned to fight for you.
Federal Drug Offense Penalties in Virginia
Every federal drug offense case is different with a unique set of facts and circumstances. It is important to be aware that not every attempt to suppress evidence will be successful. Penalties and sentencing for federal drug offenses largely revolve around the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which specify the range of imprisonment.
The following are a list of factors the Federal Guidelines address when determining your sentence:
- The kind or type of drug involved
- The amount of drug involved
- Whether the offense involved another individual being injured
- Whether a weapon was involved at the time of the offense
- Where the offense occurred
- Whether you have a prior criminal history
Some of these factors can be negotiated or challenged so the resulting sentence and penalties provide for a more favorable guideline in your case.
For example, cooking or manufacturing meth is extremely dangerous, so meth guidelines will add points if the cooking puts additional people at risk or occurs near children. Powder cocaine carries different penalties than crack. In heroin conspiracies, if someone overdosed and/or died, that will trigger a significant mandatory minimum sentence.
Guns are another huge issue in federal drug cases. Having a gun in the house, or even in the room is different than using a gun in the sale of drugs, although most often whenever a gun is present you are usually charged with using a gun in the sale of drugs. Guns and drugs carry harsh mandatory minimums and deny first offenders the right to a “safety valve,” which lets the judge override the Sentencing Guidelines.
The federal drug crime attorneys at Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico have extensive experience defending many individuals facing federal drug offenses in the Roanoke area as well as throughout Virginia. They are committed to fighting vigorously for your legal rights and best interest and when successful, can reduce prison time and fines. Give them a call today.
Facing Federal Drug Charges in Virginia?
If you’ve been charged with a federal drug crime in Virginia, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico can help evaluate the details of your case and your options. For an appointment at our Roanoke office, call us at (540) 343-9349.