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How Can the Safety Valve Help You in a Federal Criminal Case?

There are a lot of mandatory minimum crimes in federal law.  You’re mainly talking about the safety valve coming into play when you’re charged with a drug offense with a mandatory minimum sentence.  Let’s say, for example; you have more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.  That triggers a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence. What that means is, everything aside, if you get convicted in a jury trial, or you plead guilty to the charge of possessing a lot of methamphetamines, for example, then the judge must give you a sentence of at least ten years.  They could give you a higher sentence,...

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Does the Weight of Drugs Matter in a Criminal Prosecution?

In federal drug crimes, weight is huge because every drug has a specific weight that if you have that weight or greater, it can trigger a five or ten-year mandatory minimum in federal prison.  So, when you’re talking about that kind of number, you begin to realize that weight is crucial. Sometimes, a person will be caught with methamphetamine, for example, and look at a mandatory ten-year minimum because they have over 50 grams. The amount of methamphetamine is very close to that 50-gram marker. Suppose the person believes that they may have under 50 grams. In that case, it’s...

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Wiretap Information in a Federal Drug Case

Many people charged with moving drugs end up being caught on a wiretap.  Sometimes their phone is tapped by the federal government; other times, someone else’s phone is tapped, and they end up speaking to that person and getting caught on the wire. To challenge a wire tape situation, your attorney would have to file a motion saying that the wiretap was illegally obtained. What ends up happening is a federal agent will go to a judge and ask them, based on information they have collected, to put a wiretap on your phone or someone else’s phone or a group...

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Are you Facing Prison if Charged in a Federal Drug Case?

A lot of these big drug conspiracy cases that are charged, not only are people facing prison, they’re facing mandatory minimums. That’s the killer when it comes to federal drug prosecutions. There’s a whole chart and a whole table that I go through with my clients when we sit down and meet if they’re charged at the federal level with drug conspiracy or drug-related offenses. Mandatory Minimum Sentences in Federal Drug Cases Basically, what it does is, it lays out mandatory minimum sentences for each type of drug that somebody could be caught conspiring to sell, transport and a lot...

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Federal or State Charges in Large Drug Seizures?

How is it Determined Whether a Case is Filed at the Federal or State Level in a Large Drug Seizure? In these big drug seizures where kilos of cocaine, methamphetamine or some other drug are found and the person is taken into custody, the question becomes, is the case going to be state or federal? A lot of these big drug cases end up being federal because the feds are usually the ones who are sophisticated enough to be able to investigate these cases. They will get wiretap search warrants on numerous people that are involved in these cases. Then,...

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What to Do If You Are Facing Federal Drug Charges?

This is a big issue that I’ve had to deal with over the course of the last 26 years that I’ve been a federal criminal defense attorney.  A lot of people or their families have been arrested and they’re in custody and they’re trying to find a lawyer. Sometimes, they are even the actual person themselves who’s been charged or arrested give me a call and we have to figure out what we’re going to do, step-by-step to best deal with your federal drug charge. Sometimes you can’t even get to an attorney right away, so you have to make...

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How to Beat the 10-Year Mandatory Sentence in a Federal Drug Case

One of the big stings about all the drug laws that were changed and passed in the 1980s during the Regan administration had to do with 10-year mandatory minimums being placed on some drug offenses. Really what they’re looking at is the type of drug that’s being sold, trafficked, transported for purposes of sale. Then, depending on what type of drug it is, they put a certain weight on each drug. If it meets that weight and they can prove that you or any of your individuals associated with you are conspiring to traffic drugs and it meets a certain...

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Modern Federal Drug Conspiracy Defense

I call this the modern federal drug conspiracy because I’ve been doing drug conspiracy cases now for the last 26 years and I’ve seen them develop in a lot of different ways. The federal government has to keep pace with those individuals who are moving drugs throughout not just California or the United States, but internationally.  There’s a lot of drugs, and I’ve defended people who are alleged to be bringing drugs in from out of the country. In order to track this type of movement and the sophisticated ways that drug traffickers use to be able to avoid police...

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How are Huge Federal Criminal Drug Cases Resolved Before Trial?

If you or a family member has been indicted in a big federal drug conspiracy case and you’re wondering how if there’s more than ten individuals indicted that case is going to end up resolving itself?  I can give you an idea having been doing these cases for the past 26 years. Our federal criminal defense lawyers are providing an overview below. I was on one of the original indictments in Los Angeles many years ago, so I have an idea of how these cases end up getting resolved. Federal criminal prosecutions that involve drug distribution often include accusations under...

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Prosecuting Drug Activity Outside the United States

Can the Federal Government Prosecute Someone For Drug Activity Outside the United States? I do have a number of clients who come to me and ask this question because they’re involved with drug trafficking in other countries outside the U.S. and the don’t understand how the U.S. government has jurisdiction over their case if the drug activities they were involved in took place outside the United States. Where the federal government would get authority and jurisdiction to charge people under these circumstances would be if the drugs in question were being moved into the United States.  That would then be...

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