Common Defenses to Federal Drug Crimes

Many people are under the mistaken impression that federal crimes are only those consisting of white collar crimes or crimes against the U.S. like terrorism. In fact, a majority of federal prisoners are in jail because they have been convicted of federal drug offenses.

Almost all federal drug crimes are serious, carrying sentences of anywhere from three years to life in prison and fines up to the millions of dollars. Being convicted of a federal offense can have serious personal consequences as well, disqualifying you for a job in a number of employment sectors.

There are several defenses to federal drug crimes that seasoned criminal defense attorneys can employ, including:

Unlawful search and seizure — the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unlawful search and seizure. This right may be violated if there was not probable cause or a valid warrant.

Faulty crime lab analysis — In 2013, it was discovered that a former Texas Department of Public Safety analyst fabricated evidence in a number of drug convictions, many of which were subsequently reversed.

Lost/tampered with evidence — Police may misplace or even intentionally tamper with evidence which, if proven, can devastate a prosecutor’s case.

Entrapment — If a defendant would probably not have committed the crime without the intervention or encouragement of government agents or governmental conduct, then entrapment may be proven.

Unintentional blindness — If a defendant was not aware that he or she was involved in a drug crime, this can be a valid defense to a federal drug charge.

In addition, if your attorney is able to prove that the drugs were planted or belonged to someone else, charges against you may be dropped.

Depending on the charge, the government may also offer a plea deal that could greatly lessen or even discharge any potential jail time or exorbitant fines.

The Cogdell Law Firm is a full service criminal litigation and appellate law firm. We provide client-focused representation at all stages of the process, whether our clients are seeking to avoid charges, have been charged, or are seeking reversal of a conviction on appeal. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or