What You Need to Know about Federal Drug Offenses

Posted on in Federal Crimes

Chicago, IL federal drug crime attorneyAny type of federal charge or conviction is typically more serious than state charges and has substantial penalties attached to it. Federal drug offenses are no different. 

If you face federal drug charges, securing the representation of an experienced Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer is imperative. Without an attorney who has represented clients facing federal charges, you are more likely to be subject to conviction and stiff penalties. However, there are many other things you should know concerning federal drug offenses. With competent representation, you can fight a federal drug charge or even seek a plea agreement for a reduced sentence.

Federal Drug Charge Types

At the federal level, these convictions carry mandatory minimum sentences. But keep in mind that convictions for federal drug crimes often result in more than just a prison sentence. You could be stripped of any federal benefits, your right to vote or own firearms, and your property. It may also be difficult to find employment and even housing in the future.


Drug possession is the most frequent drug charge that can be tried at either the state or federal level. This charge applies even if you are caught with a small amount of drugs. Mandatory minimum federal sentences depend on the type of drug and how much you were in possession of. Penalties increase after the first offense.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

Suppose you are found in possession of a large quantity of packaged drugs or items that are needed to sell drugs, like baggies or a drug scale. You could face Possession With Intent to Distribute charges, which are more severe than possession. You will be subject to a stiffer sentence if convicted, particularly if it is your second offense.

Distribution or Trafficking 

You will face felony charges for doing the following with illegal drugs:

  • Transporting

  • Selling 

  • Smuggling 

You can also face felony charges for the illegal distribution of prescription drugs. The sentence you could face will depend on:

  • The type of substance(s) you had

  • The amount you had

  • The location of distribution

  • Other factors

For example, suppose you are being charged with trafficking 5 kgs or less of cocaine. In that case, you could face as much as 40 years in federal prison and fines of up to five million dollars. If you are convicted of trafficking up to 50 kgs of marijuana, you could face a sentence of at least five years in prison and a quarter-million dollar fine for the first offense.


You can be charged with drug manufacturing if you are:

  • Selling equipment used to make drugs

  • Selling the chemicals used to make drugs 

  • Assisting in the process of making drugs

For instance, producing meth or growing marijuana can result in a manufacturing charge. The class of drugs manufactured, how much you were manufacturing, and the location where they were manufactured will influence the sentence you face on conviction.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing or suspect you may soon face federal drug offense charges, take the matter seriously and act promptly to protect your rights and secure the best outcome possible. Schedule a no-obligation consultation with a seasoned Illinois criminal defense attorney right away. Contact Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney online or by phone at 312-629-0669 today.

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