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Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties

Federal Trafficking Penalties

Federal Drug Sentencing Guidelines Lawyer

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 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.

The federal drug sentencing guidelines but most judges use them as a starting point in determining how to sentence someone convicted of a drug crime. They provide a baseline to which additional years in prison may be added if there are other factors involved in the crime, such as:

  • Crossing state or national borders
  • Whether weapons were used or present
  • The extent of the drug operation — conspiracy or racketeering charges
  • Your role in the operation

It's essential that your defense lawyer understand the federal drug sentencing guidelines in order to effectively argue for a downward departure, should you be found guilty. The goal is always to minimize the consequences you face.

For more than 30 years, Mr. Rubino has been fighting for the rights of people accused of the most serious felony drug crimes — clients at high risk for lengthy prison sentences. He has handled numerous high-profile drug cases for clients in the U.S., and those extradited to the U.S. from various South and Central American countries.

If you have been charged with a felony drug crime in federal court in Texas or elsewhere, contact defense attorney Frank Rubino.

The following table details the penalties for federal drug trafficking crimes in the U.S. It can be found at the website of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

NOTE TO DEVELOPER: REMOVE YELLOW COLOR from table below

DRUG

QUANTITY

PENALTIES

QUANTITY

PENALTIES

Cocaine

500 - 4999 grams mix

First Offense: 5 to 40 years in prison; if death or serious injury resulted, 20 years to life.

Fines up to $2 million for an individual; $5 million if not an individual

Second Offense: 10 years to life in prison; if death or serious injury resulted, life imprisonment.

Fines of up to $4 million for an individual, $10 million if not an individual

5 kgs or more mix

First Offense: 10 years to life in prison; if death or serious injury resulted, 20 years to life.

Fines of up to $4 million for individuals, $10 million if not an individual.

Second Offense: 20 years to life in prison; if death or serious injury resulted, then life imprisonment.

Fines up to $8 million for individuals, $20 million if not an individual.

2 or More Prior Offenses: Life imprisonment

Cocaine Base

28-278 grams mix

279 grams or more mix

Fentanyl

40 - 399 grams mix

400 grams or more mix

Fentanyl Analogue

10 - 99 grams mix

100 grams or more mix

Heroin

100 - 999 grams mix

1 kg or more mix

LSD

1 - 9 grams mix

10 grams or more mix

Methamphetamine

5 - 49 grams pure or 50 - 499 grams mix

50 grams or more pure or 500 grams or more mix

PCP (Schedule II)

10 - 99 grams pure or 100 - 999 grams mix

100 grams or more pure or 1 kg or more mix

DRUG SCHEDULE

QUANTITY

FEDERAL DRUG PENALTIES

Other Schedule I & II drugs (and any drug product containing Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid)

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 20 yrs in prison; if death or serious injury results, 20 yrs to life. Fines of up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million if not an individual.

Second Offense: Up to 30 yrs in prison; if death or serious injury, not less than life. Fines up to $2 million for individuals, $10 million if not an individual

Flunitrazepam
(Schedule IV)

1 gram or more

Other Schedule III drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 5 years in prison; fines up to $250,000 for individuals, $1 million if not an individual.

Second Offense: Up to 10 years in prison; fines up to $500,000 for individuals, $2 million if not an individual

Flunitrazepam (Schedule IV)

30 to 999 mgs

All other Schedule IV drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 3 years in prison; fines up to $250,000 for individuals, $1 million if not an individual.

Second Offense: Up to 6 years in prison; fines up to $500,000 for individuals, $2 million if not an individual.

Flunitrazepam (Schedule IV)

Less than 30 mgs

All Schedule V drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 1 year in prison; fines up to $100,000 for individuals, $250,000 if not an individual.

Second Offense: Up to 2 years in prison; fines up to $200,000 for individuals, $500,000 if not an individual.

QUANTITY OF MARIJUANA

FEDERAL DRUG TRAFFICKING PENALTIES

1,000 kg or more mix or

1,000 or more plants

First Offense: 10 years to life in prison; if death or serious injury resulted, 20 years to life. Fines up to $4 million for individuals, $10 million if other than an individual.

Second Offense: 20 years to life in prison; if death or serious injury resulted, mandatory life imprisonment. Fines up to $8 million for individuals, $20 million if other than an individual.

100 kg to 999 kg mix or

100 to 999 plants

First Offense: 5 to 40 years in prison; if death or serious injury resulted, 20 years to life. Fines up to $2 million for individuals, $5 million if other than an individual.

Second Offense: 10 years to life in prison; if death or serious injury resulted, mandatory life in prison. Fines up to $4 million for individuals, $10 million if other than an individual.

More than 10 kgs hashish; 50 to 99 kg mix

More than 1 kg of hashish oil; 50 to 99 plants

First Offense: Up to 20 years in prison; if death or serious injury resulted, 20 years to life. Fines of $1 million for an individual, $5 million if other than an individual.

Second Offense: Up to 30 years in prison; if death or serious injury resulted, then mandatory life sentence. Fines of $2 million for individuals, $10 million if other than individual.

1 to 49 plants; less than 50 kg mix

First Offense: Up to 5 years in prison; fines up to $250,000 for individuals, $1 million if other than individual.

Second Offense: Up to 10 years in prison; fines of $500,000 for individuals, $2 million if other than individual.

10 kg or less

1 kg or less

Contact Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Frank A. Rubino

Frank A. Rubino is prepared to represent you in federal court against serious criminal accusations. Contact Mr. Rubino online or call his Houston law office at 713-574-7716 or toll free at 1-866-718-3994.

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Frank A. Rubino
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Miami, FL 33131

305-858-5300
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Frank A. Rubino
712 Main St
Houston, TX 77002

713-574-7716
Toll Free: 1-866-718-3994
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  1. disclaimer.

Frank A. Rubino has appeared in courts throughout the United States, including New York, California, Texas, New Jersey, Georgia, Michigan, Florida and Washington D.C. He also assists clients in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and many Central and South American countries, including Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador and Guatemala. His office staff is fluent in Spanish.

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