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Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:22 pm
Drug Importation and Exportation: Know Your Rights and How to Defend Them
If you are facing drug importation or exportation charges, it’s essential that you contact an experienced and knowledgeable drug charge defense attorney as soon as possible. This is a serious federal offense, and every minute counts. You need an expert in your corner who can help you navigate the complex legal system and fight for your rights.
At the Spodek Law Group, our federal lawyers have many years of experience defending clients charged with drug-related crimes like drug importation and exportation. We understand the challenges you’re facing, and we can help you build a strong defense to expertly defend yourself against these charges. Our firm is based in San Diego, and we serve clients throughout California and the United States.
Understanding Drug Importation and Exportation Charges
Drug importation and exportation charges fall under the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (Title 21 of the U.S. Code Subchapter II – Import and Export § 951-971), which regulates the import and export of controlled substances, including illicit drugs, prescription medications, and potentially dangerous chemicals. Anyone who violates this law by importing or exporting controlled substances without authorization, either for personal use or for commercial sale, can face serious criminal charges at the federal level.
Under 21 U.S. Code § 952, the unlawful importation of controlled substances into the United States from another country is a violation. Federal drug importation charges can range in severity from a person illegally importing a small amount of a prescription medication for their own personal use to a person involved in a criminal enterprise importing large quantities of narcotics or unapproved prescription drugs intended for commercial sale. If you’re accused of the latter, you could also face charges for drug trafficking, drug distribution, or drug smuggling.
Similarly, the unlawful exportation of controlled substances from the United States to another country is a violation of 21 U.S. Code § 953. This law covers any illegal activity in which illicit drugs or unauthorized prescription drugs are transported across the boundaries of the U.S. into another country without permission.
Understanding Federal Drug Schedules
The Federal government has classified illegal drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs into five separate categories or schedules, based on their accepted medical use and abuse or dependency potential. Understanding these schedules is crucial in building your defense against drug importation or exportation charges.
• Schedule I – Heroin, marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, peyote, and others
• Schedule II – Cocaine, methamphetamine, Vicodin, oxycodone, fentanyl, Adderall, and others
• Schedule III – Testosterone, anabolic steroids, ketamine, Tylenol with codeine, and others
• Schedule IV – Xanax, Ambien, Tramadol, Valium, and others
• Schedule V – Lyrica, Lomotil, Robitussin AC, and others
Penalties for Drug Importation and Exportation
Federal drug importation and exportation charges carry mandatory minimum sentences assigned to drug-related crimes under federal law, and are based on the type and quantity of the drugs involved. For example, the mandatory minimum sentence for a crime involving the unlawful importation of 500 grams or more of cocaine, 100 grams or more of heroin, or 100 kilograms or more of marijuana is five years in prison (and up to 40 years).
For a drug importation crime involving the unlawful importation of five kilograms or more of cocaine, one kilogram or more of heroin, or 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, the mandatory minimum sentence is 10 years in prison (and up to life in prison). Pursuant to 21 U.S. Code § 960, any person who knowingly or intentionally imports or exports a listed chemical for the purpose of manufacturing a controlled substance in violation of federal law, or who imports or exports a listed chemical knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the chemical will be used for the unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance, faces a term of imprisonment not to exceed 20 years.
Drug importation and exportation charges are often connected to other federal drug-related charges like drug trafficking, drug distribution, drug conspiracy, drug smuggling, and money laundering, which carry their own potential prison sentences and fines.
Why Hiring an Experienced Attorney is Essential
If you’re facing criminal charges for drug importation or exportation, hiring an experienced attorney is essential. Drug importation and exportation offenses are always charged at the federal level, since only the federal government has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals accused of transporting drugs across the boundaries of the United States, whether they are entering or exiting the country.
At the Spodek Law Group, we know that drug importation and exportation charges have the potential to cause serious problems for you and your loved ones, and we are committed to protecting your rights and freedoms as thoroughly and efficiently as possible. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you build a strong defense and achieve a favorable outcome in your case.
Possible Defenses Against Allegations of Drug Importation or Exportation
The federal government takes drug-related crimes extremely seriously, and if you’re facing charges under the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act, you’ll need the assistance of a knowledgeable drug crimes defense attorney. The following are some possible defense strategies that our lawyers may be able to use in your federal drug importation/exportation case:
• The controlled substance did not cross the border of the United States.
• You did not know you were in possession of the controlled substance.
• The prosecution’s evidence was obtained during an illegal search of your person or property.
• You were the victim of entrapment.
• You were forced to commit the crime against your will or under duress.
• The government failed to follow proper protocol in handling evidence related to the drug importation/exportation charge.
• You were legally prescribed the controlled substance.
Contact the Spodek Law Group Today
At the Spodek Law Group, our goal is to provide our clients with the best possible legal representation. We understand the complex nature of drug importation and exportation charges, and we’re committed to fighting for your rights and freedoms. If you’re facing drug importation or exportation charges, don’t wait to contact us for help. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you build a strong defense and achieve a favorable outcome in your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
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