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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

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Will I go to federal prison for federal drug charges in New York City?

By Spodek Law Group | October 16, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 04:55 pm

Will I Go to Federal Prison for Federal Drug Charges in New York City?

Getting charged with a federal drug crime in New York City can be scary. The penalties are harsh and the prosecution seems relentless. But having an experienced federal drug crimes defense attorney on your side can make all the difference.

I’m going to walk you through the most common federal drug crimes, penalties, and defenses so you understand what you’re up against. My goal is to educate and support you through this difficult time. You have rights and options – don’t lose hope!

Common Federal Drug Crimes

Here are some of the most common federal drug crimes charged in New York City:

  • Possession with intent to distribute – Possessing a controlled substance (like cocaine, heroin, meth etc) that you planned to sell or distribute
  • Distribution/trafficking – Actually selling or transporting drugs
  • Conspiracy – Making an agreement with someone to commit a drug crime, even if you didn’t actually follow through
  • Manufacturing drugs – Making drugs like methamphetamine or growing marijuana plants
  • Possession – Simply having an illegal drug in your possession

The specific charges and penalties depend on the type and quantity of drugs involved. Prosecutors will look at your history of prior drug convictions, possession of weapons, if minors were involved, and other factors that can increase your sentence.

Federal Drug Penalties in New York

Penalties for federal drug convictions are strict – much harsher than similar state charges. Even a first offense for trafficking a small amount of drugs can result in years in prison. For instance:

  • 5+ years for trafficking 5kg of cocaine
  • 10 years to life for trafficking 50kg of cocaine
  • 10 years to life for trafficking 1kg of heroin
  • 5 years for manufacturing methamphetamine

Second and third offenses ratchet the penalties up to 20 years to life in prison. Large scale trafficking or offenses involving violence/weapons can result in mandatory life sentences. Fines up to $10 million are also possible.

Unlike state courts, federal judges have less flexibility to give lighter sentences – they are bound by strict federal sentencing guidelines. So it’s critical to avoid conviction if possible.

What Will Happen After My Arrest?

If you’ve been arrested for a federal drug crime in New York, here’s a quick overview of what to expect:

  1. You’ll be booked, fingerprinted, and held until your arraignment (usually within 48 hours).
  2. At the arraignment, you’ll hear the charges against you and enter a plea (guilty, not guilty, no contest).
  3. If you can’t afford a lawyer, one will be appointed. Ask for time to find your own counsel.
  4. Prosecutors will present evidence to a grand jury to get an indictment.
  5. More hearings, motions and negotiations happen for weeks/months as your lawyer challenges the prosecution’s case.
  6. Your case ends in a plea deal, dismissal, or trial.

The whole process often takes over a year. Don’t panic in the beginning – a skilled lawyer can get charges reduced or dismissed as more evidence comes out.

Can I Avoid Prison for Federal Drug Charges?

It’s tough, but possible to avoid prison for federal drug crimes, depending on:

  • The amount and type of drugs involved
  • Your criminal history
  • Whether weapons were involved
  • Your role (leader/organizer versus low-level participant)

An experienced federal drug crimes lawyer will thoroughly examine the evidence and build the strongest defense to get charges dismissed or reduced. For example:

  • Argue an illegal search led to the evidence being found
  • Dispute lab tests used to identify the drugs
  • Challenge eyewitness testimony
  • Claim you were entrapped

If charges stick, your lawyer can argue for the mandatory minimum sentence instead of the maximum. First-time offenders with a minor role may also qualify for the “safety valve” exception to minimums. And they may negotiate alternatives like probation, house arrest, or drug rehab instead of prison.

But your best chance is avoiding conviction altogether through an acquittal at trial or a dismissal. Don’t plead guilty without exploring those options!

What Are the Long-Term Consequences?

Beyond prison time, a federal drug conviction also brings long-lasting collateral consequences:

  • Difficulty finding employment
  • Ineligibility for public housing and benefits
  • Loss of voting rights
  • Deportation (for non-citizens)
  • Travel restrictions
  • Difficulty getting loans, licenses, and education

These extra punishments make it so important to avoid conviction through an aggressive legal defense. Don’t just accept what the government accuses you of!

How Do I Find the Best Attorney?

The lawyer you choose can make or break your case. Look for someone with:

  • Extensive experience with federal drug cases specifically
  • A proven track record of positive outcomes
  • Knowledge of federal laws, procedures and players
  • A reputation for aggressive, innovative defense strategies
  • Resources to thoroughly investigate your case
  • Compassion and a commitment to their clients

Don’t just flip through the yellow pages – ask trusted friends for referrals. Search online reviews and lawyer rating sites. Interview multiple attorneys before deciding. This is a life-changing decision – invest the time to make the right one.

The bottom line is – do NOT accept defeat if you’re charged with a federal drug crime in NYC. Despite the steep penalties, an experienced lawyer can help you avoid prison and a devastating conviction. You still have rights and options, so fight back!

I hope this overview has helped you understand what you’re facing and empowered you to make the right moves. Please get in touch if you need more guidance during this difficult time. Stay strong!

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

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It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

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After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

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