Drug charges are typically brought at a state level in Ohio. However, the federal government also has laws against various drug crimes. In some situations, instead of being charged with violating Ohio law, you can be charged with violating federal law. Federal drug charges attract harsher punishments.
If you are facing federal drug charges, you should work with a Cincinnati federal drug crimes lawyer experienced in handling such cases. The federal crimes lawyers at Patituce & Associates are up to the task. We have represented numerous clients facing federal drug charges. We have the resources and experience needed to build a strong defense and fight for your freedom.
Call us today at 513-657-2440 to learn more about how we can help!
What Is a Federal Drug Crime?
Federal drug crimes are those that usually involve large quantities of drugs, large dollar amounts, conspiracies involving several individuals, and weapons. Interestingly, cases involving any of these components are regularly prosecuted at the state level.
However, the federal government is better equipped to handle more serious drug cases.
How Is a Federal Drug Crime Different From a State or Local Crime?
A federal drug charge will generally be brought if there’s a large quantity of drugs involved or there’s a large-scale trafficking conspiracy. A drug crime that doesn’t involve a significant quantity of drugs or numerous people will likely be prosecuted at the state level.
Here are other factors that can lead to a drug case being handled in federal court.
- You were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
- You’re accused of committing a crime on federal property.
- The crime involved more than one state, such as trafficking drugs across state lines.
What to Expect in a Federal Drug Crime Case
A federal drug crime case generally follows these steps.
You will be placed under investigation by federal agents if you are suspected of committing a federal drug crime. During this period, federal agents will gather evidence supporting their case.
Once federal investigators gather sufficient evidence, the case is handed over to a federal prosecutor that will present it to a grand jury and persuade them that there’s sufficient evidence to support a drug charge.
At the arraignment, charges against you will be formally read and you will have the option to enter a plea. If you have a lawyer representing you, they will recommend a suitable plea based on the circumstances in your case.
If you entered a “not guilty” plea at the arraignment. The next step in the process is the pretrial period for discovery and motions aimed at suppressing evidence or dismissing charges and are approved by the judge.
The prosecution may offer a plea agreement during the pre-trial phase. They can do that if they don’t feel confident that they can convict you of the charges or want to simply save resources by getting a “guilty” plea. If the case against you is strong, taking a plea deal may be in your best interest.
If no plea bargain is reached, the case moves to trial, which follows standard procedure just as is the case in other courts. A jury is first selected and once this is done, the trial proceeds just as it would at the state level.
If you are found guilty or aren’t satisfied with the verdict, you can file an appeal. A successful appeal won’t necessarily result in your release or overturning the verdict, but it can be your best option if you believe there was an error in the process.
Federal Drug Crime Penalties
The penalties for federal drug crimes are usually serious and most offenses carry mandatory minimum sentences that may be triggered based on the presence of certain factors in your case such as the involvement of a certain quantity of an illegal drug.
How Our Cincinnati Federal Drug Crimes Lawyers Can Help You
If you are facing federal drug crimes in Ohio, our Cincinnati criminal defense lawyers at Patituce & Associates can do the following to help you.
- Conduct an independent investigation of the evidence, facts, and possible charges
- Work with the prosecution to clarify your status as a witness, suspect, or person of interest
- Monitor the federal government’s investigation and grand jury testimony to have a feel of the evidence against you
- Advise you about your own testimony or cooperation with investigators should you receive a subpoena
- Challenge the validity of the case presented by the federal government
Facing Federal Drug Charges in Cincinnati? We Can Help!
If you are under investigation or have been arrested for a federal drug crime in Cincinnati, OH, you should never say anything to law enforcement without your lawyer present. One of our federal drug crimes lawyers can speak on your behalf and build the strongest defense possible to help get your charges dropped or reduced.