Drug smuggling refers to the moving of controlled substances across borders or past regulation points. Smuggling over state and country borders falls under federal jurisdiction, and federal penalties are much more serious than state penalties. If you have been arrested and charged with smuggling controlled substances in Staten Island, it’s essential to obtain effective legal representation from a drug smuggling attorney.
The severity of drug smuggling charges depends on the amount of a controlled substance, the type of substance, the borders being crossed, and whether the circumstances included a larger smuggling operation. Conviction of drug smuggling charges can have a severe impact on your future, affecting your ability to gain housing, jobs, and educational opportunities. The sooner you begin to work with a qualified drug lawyer who is experienced in criminal law, the more likely a positive outcome is for your case.
At The Vitaliano Law Firm, we have been defending people like you from drug charges for years. Thanks to our prosecutorial background, we know how the prosecutors assigned to your case operate, so we can more effectively defend your rights. We work hard to limit the severity of the charges against you with our years of criminal defense experience.
Drug smuggling is the illegal transportation of controlled substances over borders and regulations. Drug trafficking is illegal by the New York penal code, but because smuggling is done across state or country borders, it is a federal offense. Federal charges carry with them more significant penalties and can be more severe depending on the type and amount of drug being smuggled. A conviction for many drug smuggling charges includes a mandatory minimum prison sentence.
Controlled substances are classified into schedules based on widely accepted medical usage and their potential for misuse and dependency. Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse. Schedule I substances have an extremely high potential for abuse and no current medical uses, including MDMA, LSD, and heroin.
Controlled substances are any substance or chemical regulated under federal law. Controlled drugs and substances are classified into five schedules based on medical uses and the potential for abuse of a drug.
Because drug smuggling is a federal offense, penalties for conviction are severe. If you are convicted of drug smuggling, it can impact the rest of your future. The greatest chance you have at limiting these penalties is to work with a skilled Staten Island drug smuggling lawyer. With a dedicated defense and a professional investigating the charges against you, you stand a better chance of having a positive outcome for your case.
An attorney can help you determine available legal avenues for the drug smuggling case and may even find a defense that helps you avoid conviction. Facing drug smuggling charges is overwhelming, and it can be reassuring to know that a professional is in your corner and providing you with exceptional legal counsel and defense.
Sentencing for federal drug smuggling depends on the type of drug and the amount smuggled. For a first offense of smuggling Schedule I or II controlled substances, the minimum sentencing is five years. A second offense has a minimum sentence of 10 years. Fines may be anywhere from $5 million to $20 million.
If you are federally convicted of smuggling over country borders, there may be a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, with a minimum of 20 years with prior drug crime convictions. Penalties increase if you are believed to be part of an organized drug smuggling operation.
To effectively defend against charges levied by federal agencies, you need an experienced attorney. An attorney will look at all possible options of defense in your case to find the ideal scenario for your case. The prosecutor must prove that you were involved in smuggling a controlled substance, knew or should have reasonably known it was being smuggled, and that it was going to the US.
Potential defenses include:
A: Drug trafficking is the possession or sale of large amounts of controlled substances. This is both a state and federal offense. Trafficking certain amounts of a Schedule I or II controlled substance results in a minimum sentence of five years on the first offense. Excessive amounts of controlled substances result in a minimum sentence of 10 years.
A: Operating as a major drug trafficker can result in a maximum sentence of incarceration for life. First-degree possession or selling of controlled substances are both considered class A-1 felonies, which result in a minimum of eight years of incarceration. These felonies also carry up to $100,000 in fines.
A: Because smuggling refers to drug trafficking over state lines or country borders, it is always a federal offense. Drug crimes that remain within a state’s borders are charged by the state. Transportation of illegal drugs across regulatory lines to or from the US will be a federal charge. Federal offenses are more severe and carry a mandatory minimum sentence.
A: This depends on whether the drug charge is considered a felony or misdemeanor. This is influenced by the type of controlled substance, the amount, whether the charge is part of a larger operation, and whether the charge is possession, trafficking, or something else. Under New York law, most misdemeanors have a statute of limitations of two years, and felonies have a statute of limitations that lasts five years. If the charge in question is a class A felony, then there is no statute of limitations. This means you can be charged at any time.
You shouldn’t face federal drug charges without a skilled Staten Island drug smuggling attorney. Contact the professionals at The Vitaliano Law Firm today to see how we can provide you with a legal defense.