When you are faced with jail or prison time as a result of drug charges, an attorney who has regularly advised and represented clients in criminal drug law matters can help you to achieve a cost-effective and timely resolution. To learn more, call today to schedule a consultation and case evaluation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
If you are facing charges for any type of state or federal drug offense, you should seek the advice of an experienced Kissimmee criminal defense lawyer who knows the law and has the ability to protect your rights. I am attorney Richard Nick Kelley. As a former Assistant State Attorney in Orange County and Osceola County, I prosecuted countless drug crime cases on behalf of the state. My knowledge of these cases from both sides puts me in a strong position to provide the skillful representation you need.
I conduct a thorough investigation to find any flaws in the prosecution's case that could be used to your advantage. If any evidence was obtained illegally, I will work to have it suppressed. If I find that your rights were violated in any way, I will take immediate action to have the charges dismissed. If a dismissal is out of reach, I will pursue every available option in an effort to secure the best possible outcome in your case.
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A conviction for any type of drug crime can leave you with a permanent criminal record that could impact you for the rest of your life. Contact my office today to schedule a free lawyer consultation.
I have more than 30 years of experience in the practice of Florida criminal law. I utilize trial-tested strategies designed to beat the charges you are facing. Contact my office today to learn more about how I can help you.
Federal Drug Crimes
The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, also known as the Controlled Substances Act, classifies narcotics, marijuana and other drugs into five categories, or Schedules. Besides establishing requirements relating to manufacture and distribution of drugs, the law also defines penalties for violations of the Act. Depending on the nature and quantity of the substance involved, as well as the presence of sentence-enhancing factors, the criminal penalties can be severe. If you are facing federal drug charges, contact Richard Nick Kelley, P.A. in Kissimmee, FL, to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney for advice on the law, your rights and how to proceed.
Offenses at the federal level
Federal drug offenses differ from those at the state level, even though the conduct in question might be the same. In defining crimes, Congress' authority comes from its Constitutionally-granted powers over the areas of commerce, taxation and the postal service.
Some of the drug crimes under the Controlled Substances Act include:
- Drug trafficking: manufacturing, distributing or possessing with the intent to distribute illicit drugs
- Manufacturing: operating places for the purposes of manufacturing, distributing or using illicit drugs, or endangering human life while so doing
- Continuing criminal enterprise crimes: trafficking in illicit drugs by a person in concert with five or more other persons
- Conspiracy: involves attempts and the promoting and facilitating of manufacture, distribution or importation of illicit drugs
- Protected location offenses: distributing illicit drugs to persons under age 21 or within a school or playground zone; employing persons under age 18 in drug operations
- Simple possession: possessing controlled substances without a valid prescription from a licensed medical practitioner (unlike trafficking, simple possession does not involve intent to distribute the drugs)
Other drug offenses under the Act include investing illicit drug profits in businesses affecting interstate commerce and unauthorized importation of controlled substances. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enforces the federal controlled substances laws and regulations.
In addition, drug crimes at the federal level may include violations of tax law, such as tax evasion, or engaging in activities prohibited by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Federal drug laws specify minimum and maximum terms of imprisonment, based on the type and quantity of drug involved. Likewise, under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, these factors are taken into account, along with:
- Whether the offense involved injury to another person
- Whether a weapon was possessed or used
- The defendant's criminal history
While judges have discretion to depart from sentencing guidelines, they must still stay within the mandatory minimum and maximum terms specified by statute. Where the offense occurs in a school or other protected zone, penalties may be enhanced.
Contact a criminal defense attorney
Drug crimes can be charged and prosecuted under federal law, state law or both. Because federal drug crimes can carry significantly harsher penalties, it is important to contact a lawyer who is familiar with both federal and state drug laws. Contact Richard Nick Kelley, P.A. in Kissimmee, FL, today to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney who can explain the intricacies of both systems and vigorously represent your interests.
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