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Last Updated on: 19th October 2023, 12:18 pm
If you have been charged with a federal drug crime in Nashville, you need an experienced defense lawyer on your side. Drug charges like possession, distribution, trafficking, and conspiracy carry serious penalties that can impact the rest of your life. But the good news is that a knowledgeable drug defense lawyer can help. They know how to examine the prosecution’s case for weaknesses, negotiate with prosecutors, and defend your rights in court. This article provides an overview of federal drug crimes and defenses in Nashville, and how a dedicated lawyer can assist you.
Some of the most common federal drug crimes include:
Marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, and prescription drugs like oxycodone are some of the most commonly trafficked narcotics. Under 21 U.S.C. § 841, federal trafficking penalties depend on the type and weight of the drug involved.
A drug trafficking conviction can lead to severe punishments like:
For instance, trafficking over 90 grams of a Schedule I or II drug like meth can trigger a 10 year mandatory minimum sentence. That jumps to 20 years for 400 grams, and life imprisonment for 1,000 grams. The stakes are extremely high, so building an aggressive legal defense is critical.
Federal drug cases are complicated, espeically when large trafficking amounts are alleged. So your best chance at beating the charges or reducing the penalties depends on having an experienced drug trafficking lawyer on your side. Here’s what a good drug defense attorney can do for you:
This requires an intimate understanding of federal drug laws and sentencing guidelines. A local Nashville drug trafficking lawyer knows the prosecutors and judges and how to craft the strongest defense strategy for your specific situation.
Some of the most effective legal defenses against federal drug trafficking charges include:
If police violated your 4th Amendment rights by searching you, your car, or your property without probable cause and a warrant, the evidence can be excluded. This could get the whole case dismissed. For example, in Florida v. Jardines, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that using a drug-sniffing dog on a homeowner’s porch without a warrant was an illegal search, excluding the marijuana found inside.
If police pressured or coerced you into committing a drug crime you otherwise wouldn’t have, that is entrapment. For example, in U.S. v. Hollingsworth, the U.S. Supreme Court found that government agents had entrapped the defendant by repeatedly inducing him to get morphine.
Mistakes and fraud at crime labs have led to many wrongful convictions. If the drug test results or weighing procedures were flawed, a good lawyer can get the evidence thrown out. For example, in U.S. v. Moon, the court excluded the drug evidence after finding issues with the lab’s methodology.
The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt you knowingly possessed or trafficked the drugs. But if the drugs were hidden or belonged to someone else, your lawyer can argue there is insufficient evidence you knew about them. In U.S. v. Mendoza, the court acquitted the defendant because the government failed to prove he knew cocaine was hidden in his truck.
Even if you plead guilty or are convicted at trial, an experienced attorney can advocate for a below-guidelines sentence. They can present mitigating factors like your minimal role, addiction, lack of criminal history, or other extenuating circumstances. This saved the defendant from a life sentence in U.S. v. Cabrera, where the court imposed a 20 year sentence instead.
Facing federal drug trafficking charges in Nashville can be overwhelming. But an experienced local drug defense lawyer can thoroughly evaluate your case, build an aggressive defense, and advocate for the best possible outcome. Take advantage of a free case consultation to discuss your situation and options. The right lawyer can make all the difference in getting charges reduced or dismissed, avoiding long prison sentences, and preserving your future.
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