Houston Federal Drug Crime Lawyer

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Houston Federal Drug Crime Attorney

Being charged with federal drug crimes in Houston can be overwhelming, often taking those who are being incriminated by surprise. Federal drug crimes have serious associated consequences, inducing long periods of incarceration, hefty fines, and collateral consequences.

Therefore, if you are facing federal drug crimes in Houston and the surrounding area, you need a Houston federal drug crimes lawyer to fight on your behalf. They could have your charges reduced or even dropped and minimize your penalties.

The federal drug crimes legal team at Greco Neyland, PC, is made up of former Texas state prosecutors. We understand the tricks and the strategies of government court employees, including the strategies that they employ to try to incriminate defendants.

Our experienced and knowledgeable team can work closely with you to understand all the details of your case and your arrest, including the evidence being used against you. With that, we can build up a strong defense on your behalf.

Houston Federal Drug Crime Lawyer

What Are Federal Drug Crimes in Houston, Texas?

If you are being charged with federal drug crimes in Houston, it means that federal authorities are involved in prosecuting you for drug crimes that violate federal law. Federal drug crimes consistently apply the same to all Americans and individuals residing in the United States, regardless of whether they are located in Houston or not.

The federal law enforcement agency that focuses on federal drug crimes is known as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The DEA investigates and goes after drug crimes that are committed on a larger scale, including drug manufacturing and trafficking that involves crossing state lines. They also handle international drug-related schemes. It’s important to note, though, that some smaller offenses can be considered federal crimes.

Federal charges tend to be more serious than Texas state charges. Subsequently, they involve more serious penalties, such as long incarceration periods and hefty fines. Under Title 21 of the United States Code (USC), the following crimes can be considered federal drug crimes:

  • Drug Manufacturing: The illegal cultivation or production of federally controlled substances, including cocaine, methamphetamines, and marijuana, is a federal drug crime. The DEA typically handles drug manufacturing cases that are large in scale and require parties from two or more states or international actors.
  • Drug Trafficking: The unlawful distribution, transportation, or sale of a federally controlled substance across state lines or internationally is considered to be drug trafficking, which can result in serious, life-altering charges.
  • Conspiracy to Deliver: Even if the act of distributing or trafficking federally controlled substances in an illegal manner was not carried out, participating in a plan or agreement to do so is enough to constitute a federal drug crime.
  • Distribution in Drug-Free Zones: Selling or distributing controlled substances in zones that are demarcated as drug-free, such as playgrounds, schools, and other public areas, is a federal crime.
  • Fraud of Prescription Drugs: Forging prescriptions or fishing for a doctor who will prescribe you a certain medication that you do not need for medical purposes is a federal offense. Furthermore, the illegal trafficking or distribution of prescription medications is a federal drug crime.
  • Money Laundering: Attempting to conceal the origins of money that was illegally obtained through drug-related activity by passing it through various lines of accounts or organizations is a federal crime.

It’s important to note that Texans can be charged with federal drug charges without having carried out any drug-related activity. Being part of an agreement or plan to carry out illegal drug-related actions is the basis for conspiracy charges.

Whether you have been charged with maintaining drug-related premises or if you have been accused of conspiracy to commit drug-related crimes, our knowledgeable and loyal criminal defense team can take on your case and fight your charges.

Demystifying Federal Drug Classifications

The 1970 Controlled Substance Act was implemented to combine existing federal drug regulations and statutes. It provides the legal framework for identifying and prosecuting drug-related crimes in the United States. Federal drug schedules I through V were established under the Controlled Substance Act, passed into law under President Nixon.

Federal drug schedules were created based on criteria such as their medical use and their potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs, which include substances such as ecstasy, marijuana, and LSD, are the most controlled and have the greatest associated penalties. Schedule V drugs, such as some antidiarrheal medications and cough medications with codeine, are the least controlled and have minor associated penalties.

Schedule II drugs include Ritalin, PCP, cocaine, and morphine, while some Schedule III drugs are ketamine, Vicodin, and codeine. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs are Valium, Xanax, and Darvon.

While the federal drug schedules were intended to classify drugs based on their medicinal potential and addictiveness, this has been proven to be inaccurate with time. For example, marijuana, a Schedule I drug, is not considered to be as addictive as drugs in lower schedules, and it has a diverse range of medicinal uses.

Penalties for Houston Federal Drug Charges

It’s important to note that the penalties associated with federal drug offenses in Houston can vary widely, depending on the case factors, such as the federal schedule of the drug and the amount that was present.

While federal crimes involving possession of small amounts of highly controlled substances have lower associated penalties, other criminal offenses, such as drug-related RICO charges or drug manufacturing and trafficking, can have serious consequences.

Mandatory minimum sentences are required for many federal crimes, and the prosecuting judge can have a lot of discretion when determining prison sentences. Other factors that are involved in deciding on the criminal penalties for a federal drug case include:

  • A defendant’s existing criminal history
  • If there was a deadly weapon involved
  • If the case resulted in harm or death of other individuals

As former prosecutors in the area, our federal drug crimes criminal defense team deeply understands the processes and logic that go into incriminating, convicting, and sentencing individuals. Therefore, we can leverage our experience to negotiate with federal prosecutors, working to minimize penalties for our clients if they are convicted.

Examples of Houston, Texas, Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties

Federal drug trafficking charges are some of the more serious drug-related charges that can be imposed on a person in Houston, Texas. Penalties vary based on the drug schedule, the substance amount, and the defendant’s criminal history. A dedicated Houston federal drug crimes lawyer can help you understand the drug trafficking penalties that you could potentially be facing.

Federal Drug Trafficking Penalty Examples for a First Offense Involving Lower Amounts of a Schedule I or II Drug

Examples of drug trafficking charges involving lower amounts of Schedule I or II drugs could involve a 100-to-999-gram mixture of heroin or a 500-to-4999-gram mixture of cocaine. For a first offense, an individual would be facing a minimum prison sentence of five years, with a maximum of 40 years.

However, if the case involves serious associated assault charges involving bodily harm or death, it could result in a sentence ranging from 20 years to life. An individual who is convicted on these charges must pay up to $5 million, while an organization would have to pay around $25 million.

Federal Drug Trafficking Penalty Examples for a Second Offense Involving Higher Amounts of a Schedule I or II Drug

Examples of drug trafficking charges involving higher amounts of Schedule I or II drugs would include cases with one or more kilograms of a weighted mixture of heroin or a five-or-more-kilogram weighted mixture of cocaine.

For a second drug crime offense involving these circumstances, an individual can face a minimum prison sentence of 20 years, with a maximum of life in prison. A case of serious bodily harm or death automatically results in life imprisonment. An individual who is found guilty of these allegations must pay up to $20 million, while an organization would have to pay around $75 million.

For a third offense or greater for such a drug crime, individuals will be sentenced to prison for life. They can be fined up to $20 million, and organizations can be fined up to $75 million. Federal drug crime sentencing schemes are complex, and they can be even more difficult to understand if they involve more serious federal crimes. A compassionate lawyer from our firm can help you understand the federal drug charges that you are facing.

Federal Drug Charges Under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act

Individuals who are facing federal drug charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, or RICO Act, are facing serious penalties, including long periods of prison time and steep fines. RICO charges generally involve being a part of a criminal network or ring of drug-related activities. These can include drug-related offenses as well as other kinds of criminal offenses.

The RICO Act was established to more effectively incriminate racketeering, which encompasses a wide range of criminal activities that include money laundering and drug trafficking. An individual or organization can face RICO charges if they are accused of participating in a chain of racketeering activities. In addition to criminal penalties, civil penalties can also be imposed, which may involve giving up the assets that were obtained illegally.

To be convicted on RICO charges, federal prosecutors must be able to illustrate a clear connection between an individual or organization and patterns of criminal activity. If you are facing drug-related RICO charges in Houston, a criminal defense attorney from Greco Neyland, PC, can work closely with you to develop a meaningful and sustainable criminal defense strategy.

How to Fight Back Against Your Federal Drug Crime Charges

The strategies that are employed by federal drug crime attorneys depend on the specific details of each case, including:

  • The intent
  • The type of drug
  • The amount involved
  • The circumstances of the arrest
  • The severity of the charges

However, there are steps that you can take during each phase of a federal drug crimes incrimination process to help optimize your case outcomes. A dedicated federal drug crimes lawyer from Greco Neyland, PC, can help you with the following:

Arguments of Unlawful Arrest or Detainment

During your arrest, federal law enforcement may have carried out an illegal search and seizure. Law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to be able to carry out an arrest, and there are certain steps they must follow to carry it out legally.

An experienced Houston federal drug crime lawyer from our team can analyze the details of your arrest to determine whether your rights were violated. If they find violations, they can seek to file motions with the court or work to get your charges dismissed.

Challenge the Prosecution’s Evidence

Federal prosecutors must have sufficient quality evidence to convict a defendant. For example, if a large amount of the prosecution’s evidence relies on the testimony of an officer who has a record of being dishonest or reckless, then the lawyers at our firm can challenge the credibility of this evidence.

Bring Forward Entrapment Evidence

Entrapment involves law enforcement illegally attempting to coerce or entrap individuals into committing crimes that they would otherwise not commit so they can arrest and charge them. For such cases, a criminal defense attorney from our firm can help bring forward evidence that threats or coercive techniques were used.

At Greco Neyland, PC, our dedicated federal drug crime defense lawyers have the legal experience required to deeply understand your case. We can then work to plan an optimal defense strategy to fight back. We can analyze all key evidence, including details of your search and seizure, arrest, and detainment, as well as the evidence that the prosecution is bringing forward, to support you in achieving optimal case outcomes.

Contact Our Houston Federal Drug Crimes Attorneys Today

While facing one or multiple charges of federal drug-related crimes can cause individuals to feel hopeless, there are multiple techniques that can be implemented to fight back against these allegations. The US government may have vast resources to incriminate and prosecute individuals, but our Houston-based federal drug crimes team at Greco Neyland, PC, has the will, compassion, experience, and wit to help you maneuver your way around such charges.

From collecting counterevidence to arguing on your behalf in federal court, we can fight for you every step of the way. Contact one of our federal drug crime team members today to get started.


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