From President Joseph Biden to governors to local mayors, government officials across the board have made it clear that they do not want drug crimes to plague their communities. Although some of these officials have more power than others to put these words into action, it is important to note that the overall push is one of an aggressive response to crimes involving illegal drugs.
This push can have disastrous consequences. Enforcement officers can feel the pressure to make arrests and push for changes in their communities. This can lead to confusion and increase the potential for false allegations of wrongdoing. Whether you are the victim of a false arrest or made an honest mistake, it is important to do some research to better understand your position. Three things to know if you or a loved one is in this situation include the following.
#1: The government is cracking down on these offenses.
The words above about an aggressive approach to drug crimes are more than just rhetoric. The number of prosecutions for federal drug offenses has started to rise. This is of note compared to years and years of decline. These numbers show the government is doing more than just saying it will take aggressive action, they are following through.
#2: The penalties are serious.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently announced the sentencing of a man who plead guilty to using a cell phone to conduct drug trafficking. The court sentenced the man to 21 months imprisonment for this crime. He is just one of thirty individuals charged by the government in connection to Operation Monroe Doctrine, a law enforcement operation targeting a Georgia drug trafficking ring.
The sentence highlights another truth about these types of crimes. The penalties are harsh. In addition to potential imprisonment, they can also come with steep financial penalties.
#3: The initial drug charges are likely just the beginning.
Those who face allegations of drug charges like drug trafficking are wise to prepare for additional allegations of wrongdoing. Prosecutors often tie these charges to other crimes. Examples can include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, distribution of an illegal substance, and money laundering. Additional charges could apply if the individual had a firearm in their possession at the time of the arrest.
#4: BONUS: Defenses are available.
No one is infallible. Everyone makes mistakes. This is true on both the part of the individual facing the accusations of wrongdoing and the enforcement officers. The laws provide strict protocols when making an arrest. It is important to make sure that officers follow these rules and to review the investigation process. A failure to follow these rules can mean your rights were violated.
This is just one line of defense to consider when facing these charges. An attorney experienced in this niche area of criminal law can review your case and discuss these and other options.