Orlando Law Firm

Federal Criminal Defense

Federal Drug Charges, Penalties & Defense Strategy


In the State of Florida there are many criminal attorneys but there are very few that have handled federal drug crime cases.  Being charged with a federal drug conspiracy charge has many components.   The law states that anytime two or more people work together in pursuit of a criminal objective, it’s a conspiracy.  Conspiracy charges can be on the State or Federal level.  Drug crimes are common place to see conspiracy charges because it is very rare that a drug distribution or trafficking involves only one individual.  Federal drug crimes typically are multi-defendant cases and conspiracy is a very easy charge for the government to throw on to a group of defendants in order to increase their leverage to obtain cooperators and pleas.

Explaining the conspiracy charge to a person accused can be difficult. Conspiracy charges often accompany other charges in most federal drug crime cases.  These other charges include trafficking in controlled substances, possession of controlled substance, possession with intent to sell, money laundering and computer crimes involving the internet.  In a conspiracy case the government only needs to prove very simple elements including that the accused was a member of a conspiracy, that person was aware of the nature of the activities the conspiracy was undertaking and that the accused committed some act in furtherance of the illicit nature of the conspiracy.  The act in furtherance is often disputed but the law states the act can be very minor and still allow a defendant to stand accused of a conspiracy.  For example the act of arranging a meeting with known drug conspirators could constitute involvement in a conspiracy or making a single telephone call or a single drug deal for a very small amount of money could cause a person to become a defendant in the conspiracy.

These are cases that can be made or broken due to the representation you hire. It is critical to consult with an attorney with extensive federal trial court experience.

Attorney Joe Knape offers the knowledge and experience of having defended clients facing federal drug charges.  His goal with any criminal case is to have the charges dismissed.  Even in drug cases where the law enforcement agency has strong evidence the leverage can be shifted by having the aggressive Joe Knape fighting for your goals.

Contact us today online or by telephone at 407-508-7774 | 850-CALL-JOE to speak with an experienced Orlando Federal Drug Charge Attorney.

So What Makes Federal Drug Crimes Different?

First off many state drug cases could be prosecuted in Federal Court based on the amounts and size of the network.  Typically Federal Drug cases are most often charged when the drugs are imported from another jurisdiction, cases involving money laundering violating Federal banking laws or drug cases involving the internet.

The difficulty in defending federal drug crime cases depends on a number of factors.  Typically two of the most important factors that set these cases apart from traditional state prosecution are (1) the lengthy mandatory minimum prison sentences even for less involved co-conspirators and the law provides little discretion for Federal Judges to deviate from these harsh and lengthy sentences.

And (2) the law enforcement agencies that tend to charge drug crimes and conspiracies in federal court have traditionally underwent lengthy, expensive and extensive investigations.  Multiple agencies including the FBI, DEA, DHS, and local police departments may have discovered critical and substantial evidence against defendants before those individuals know they are under investigation.  This factor causes the leverage and dynamics of the defense to shift in attacking the investigation and discovery of evidence that may date back several months or years.

Attorney Joe Knape has extensive experience handling drug crime cases in federal courts throughout the State of Florida.  Whether your drug crime is charged on the State or Federal level he has demonstrated a proven record of success.  His goals are the same as your goals in that he wants to have the charges dismissed and if that goal in not reachable to avoid mandatory minimum sentencing.

Federal Drug Conspiracy Charges

When the government presents a case to the grand jury for an indictment it is almost a guarantee that a conspiracy charge will be included. Government prosecutors use the broad scope of the conspiracy statute because it makes the prosecution easier to convince codefendants to cooperate and increases the potential exposure to prison.  If you are charged in an indictment along with others in a conspiracy you need a determined and aggressive attorney with the kind of experience to fight the power and resources of the federal government.

Attorney Joe Knape has the experience to understand every aspect and detail of a criminal controlled substances case from investigation to plea bargaining to pre-trial motions and trial.

If your case involves a questionably unconstitutional search and seizure or other available defense it will be explored and used to leverage your position.  If your case requires presenting mitigation to garner a favorable plea bargain, Joe Knape has the strong relationships with the local State Attorneys Offices in Central Florida, as well as the United States Attorneys Office.  In Florida, state courts have recently found a variety of diversion, drug court and alternative sentences to keep offenders from jail sentences and convictions for conspiracy and drug crimes.

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