What is the likely punishment for a federal drug trafficking crime?
Dallas criminal defense attorney, John Teakell, discusses sentencing standards for federal drug offenses.
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Well, under the US sentencing guidelines in the federal system, cases that are drug cases go up quicker, so to speak, go up higher quicker than they could for say, federal fraud cases. The guidelines are harsh in regard to a lot of cases in the federal system, but especially drug cases, again, whether it’s trafficking distribution or possession with intent to distribute, because usually quantities in federal court to become a federal case are going to be quite a few ounces and often in usually kilos and multi kilo cases. So, it’s not unusual for someone to be facing 15, 20, 25, 30 years or life, literally because under the sentencing guidelines you often find those in drug cases and keep in mind that there is no parole in the federal system.
And another thing too regarding the punishment for drug cases in the federal system, most of the cases that come through statutorily carry a mandatory minimum of ten years. Ten years to life if they are not a ten year to life case, if it’s a lower quantity for a federal case then it would be a mandatory minimum five. Five to four years, but often times and usually it’s a ten to life case.