For 26 years now I've defended people both at the state and federal level related to drug crimes. Obviously, if you know anything about drug crime prosecution in California — even the United States — the amount of drugs is a big factor in how the case is dealt with.
Obviously, if you have a very small amount of drugs, you may well have the argument you're just simply possessing the drugs and not selling them. Then you can avail yourself to a bunch of different Propositions, especially in California, that have been passed.
The federal government is not likely to even prosecute a case where there's a small amount of drugs unless they have some overriding interest that would make them do that.
Federal Drug Crime Charges in California
So, the more drugs that are involved, the more likely the feds will become involved in a federal drug case and the more likely you will be looking at their 10-year mandatory minimum sentence in a lot of cases.
It's really easy to meet that mandatory minimum sentence, depending on what type of drugs and the amount of drugs that you have.
There's a federal table that's basically a sentencing table that gives you an idea of when those mandatory minimums — the 5-year, the 10-year, the 20-year are triggered for purposes of a drug crime case across the United States.
Major Narcotics Unit in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, California, there's thousands of drug crime cases prosecuted each year. There's a major narcotics unit in downtown Los Angeles that prosecutes the big cases where there's a lot of drugs involved.
It's very difficult to tell the fine line between when the major narcotics unit in Los Angeles is going to prosecute a case and when the federal government is going to step in and deal with the case in the Central District of California which is basically located in downtown Los Angeles on First Street, Roybal Building.
It even covers Orange county. There's a federal criminal courthouse that prosecutes cases in that neck of the woods as well and it's all divided up by jurisdiction.
So, the more drugs you have, the more likely you are to go to prison. The more drugs you have, the longer the sentence will be in a federal drug crime, or even in a state drug crime prosecution.
Drug Crime Enhancements
There are also enhancements that apply to drug crime cases depending on how many drugs are involved and the amount, quantity, weight of drugs that you're talking about — that applies at both the state and federal level.
At the federal level, a lot of times you're going to see that 10-year mandatory minimum apply. At the state level they also have enhancements depending on how much drugs you're talking about.
They can range as far as 5 to life, 10 to life, 15 to life, 20 to life, 25 to life. So, you can really get a feel that these drug cases are serious business.
The legislature who has enacted a lot of these laws that are being enforced by the local authorities are the ones who just decided that they want to get rid of the drug trade in America.
To that end, in addition to tasking federal tasks forces, giving more money for federal prosecutors to prosecute drug crimes, and even funding state law enforcement, just for the purpose of prosecuting drug cases.
They are really taking things seriously and have been for quite some time.
Experienced Drug Offense Lawyer in California
So, if you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a case with a lot of defendants involved, there's a lot of drugs involved, you're going to need somebody like me who has experience.
You need someone who knows this area of law and can make the right moves at the right time and get the best result in a large federal or state drug crime prosecution.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.