Defense of Drug Offenses
Tama Beth Kudman is an experienced, knowledgeable and aggressive criminal defense attorney with offices in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens Florida and New York City, NY. She has extensive experience defending individuals accused of drug-related offenses in both state and federal court.
Drug Offenses: An Overview
State and Federal Drug Offenses may include: Simple Possession, Possession with intent to distribute, Trafficking, Importing and Manufacturing of controlled substances, and Conspiracy. A Controlled Substance can include any prescription medication, medication without a prescription, pills, so-called “street drugs,” chemicals, natural substances and man-made substances. These include, but are not limited to: marijuana, cocaine, oxycodone, roxicodone, Xanax, meth, heroin, steroids, and Hgh,
If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a state or federal drug crime, it should be taken very seriously. Today, more than half of prisoners serving sentences of more than a year in federal facilities were convicted of drug offenses. It is therefore extremely important that you hire an attorney with extensive experience in defending drug cases.
Federal Drug and Narcotics Offenses
Generally, Federal Drug Offenses are prosecuted under Title 21 of the United States Code, otherwise known as The Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
The federal drug laws cover several different types of drug offenses. Federal law makes it illegal to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, create, or distribute controlled substances. It is also illegal to possess these substances with the intent to distribute them. The penalties depend largely on the amount of the drugs that were seized. Smaller amounts of drugs carry a less severe sentence.
Federal Drug Conspiracy Cases
Successfully defending a federal drug conspiracy case requires an understanding of what the government has to prove to convict someone of this offense. Of course, as in any criminal case, the government must prove all the required elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
A seasoned criminal defense attorney will seek to determine whether any search that led to the discovery of drugs, currency or other evidence was legal. If law enforcement violated a person’s rights in the pursuit of evidence, a skilled defense attorney may be able to suppress any evidence that was seized.
There are several other potential defenses available to a person accused of a drug conspiracy or another federal drug crime. In some cases, an affirmative defense, such as entrapment or duress, may be available and successful if diligently pursued. A good lawyer will also consider whether other affirmative defenses may apply, depending on the specific facts of the case.
Additionally, a qualified and experienced federal criminal defense attorney will seek ways to minimize a person’s potential prison sentence. This requires extensive experience and knowledge of federal law and the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
Being charged with a federal drug crime may result in the seizure and forfeiture of property, even if the person is never actually convicted of any offense. Such Forfeiture proceedings are governed by the Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000.
It is important to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience criminal forfeiture proceedings to protect your property interests.
Florida Drug and Narcotics Offenses
Generally, Florida drug offenses are prosecuted under Florida Statute, Chapter 893, which is known as the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. In addition, Florida Statute Chapter 775, outlines the minimum sentences for each degree of drug offense.
- A Misdemeanor of the Second Degree drug offense can result in a jail sentence up to 60 days and/or a fine up to $500.
- A Misdemeanor of the First Degree drug offense can lead to a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine not greater than $1,000.
- A Felony of the Third Degree drug offense can result in a prison sentence not more than five years and/or a fine not exceeding $5,000.
- A Felony of the Second Degree drug offense can lead a prison sentence not greater than 15 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000;
- A Felony of the First Degree drug offense can result in a prison sentence up to 30 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- A Life Felony drug offense can result in imprisonment up to 30 years or not more than life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $15,000.
- Penalties for specific drug offenses can increase if the offender’s crime involves the death or injury of another person, or if he or she is a habitual felony offender, or a violent career criminal. Penalties can also increase if an individual commits a drug offense near a school, a child care center, a public housing or assisted living facility, a public park or community center, a college or university, or a place of worship.
The Importance of Experienced Legal Help
The defense of drug crimes is extremely complex. Therefore, if you are charged with a drug crime, you need to have legal counsel with extensive experience in state and federal court.
Tama Beth Kudman has been representing individuals a accused of committing state and federal drug crimes for nearly 20 years. Ms. Kudman brings this experience and knowledge to every drug case that she defends.
Contact Tama Beth Kudman, the experienced, knowledgeable and aggressive criminal defense attorney today for help if you are charged with a federal crime, or if you believe you are under investigation.