Columbus Drug Importation and Exportation Lawyers
Assisting Individuals Facing Charges of Drug Importation or Exportation in Columbus, Ohio
Illegal activities that involve interstate commerce or cross state lines are subject to criminal prosecution at the federal level. Such is the case with buying, selling, processing, manufacturing, distributing, and transporting controlled substances. If you are caught in the middle of an illegal drug transaction or trafficking scheme, a federal prosecutor could charge you with many different drug-related offenses.
If you are ultimately convicted of a federal drug crime, you could be looking at extremely high monetary fines, along with many years in a federal penitentiary, in accordance with the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines. This is true even if you are charged with or convicted of a relatively “minor” drug offense.
If you have been charged with drug importation or exportation at the federal level, you need an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who can handle every aspect of your federal criminal case from beginning to end. The Joslyn Law Firm is ready to assist you with handling your criminal legal matter and helping you pursue the best possible result given the status of your case. Call us today at (614) 444-1900 or contact us online to discover how we can assist you with your criminal legal matter.
Federal Laws Prohibiting Importing and Exporting Illegal Drugs
The federal statute that governs importing and exporting illegal drugs in the United States is the Federal Controlled Substances Import and Export Act. This law prohibits individuals from exporting controlled substances out of the United States and from bringing controlled substances into the United States, without first obtaining the required licenses from the Attorney General of the United States.
Not only are the import and export of controlled substances illegal under the Act, but so are importing and exporting the materials that are used to manufacture and produce these controlled substances.
What Must the State Prove to Obtain a Conviction?
In a federal criminal case, the federal prosecutor has the burden of proving all elements of a charge beyond a reasonable doubt, such as the existence of a controlled substance and its transportation by a defendant. In order to prove this offense, however, the federal prosecutor is not required to demonstrate that any controlled substances actually crossed the border. Instead, any of the following will suffice:
- Possessing a certain amount of controlled substances in a warehouse before the controlled substances leave the United States
- Loading the controlled substances on a ship that is set to leave the United States
- Manufacturing the controlled substances in the United States so that they can subsequently leave the country
- Loading the controlled substances on an aircraft that is expected to leave the United States
Under many circumstances, if you take part in any of these actions, you could also be charged with drug trafficking. Although one component of a drug trafficking offense is importing and exporting one or more illegal substances, there are other components as well, such as potentially delivering, selling, possessing, manufacturing, or illegally importing the controlled substance or substances. You could conceivably be charged with both offenses if you take part in multiple stages of an illegal drug operation.
In addition to drug trafficking charges and importing and exporting charges, you could also face federal drug conspiracy charges if you agreed with one or more other individuals to take part in an illegal drug scheme. RICO charges are also possible if you are suspected of being part of a criminal enterprise that engaged in two or more racketeering offenses.
An experienced Columbus drug importation and exportation lawyer can help you determine whether the federal prosecutor is likely to satisfy his or her burden of proof in your criminal case and can help you present your best legal defense. For example, an attorney might be able to argue that the federal prosecutor has not satisfied all of the legal elements of your criminal charge and could move for a dismissal of your federal case. They may also negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor.
What Penalties Could I Face for an Importing or Exporting Drugs Conviction?
Convictions for importing or exporting controlled substances without the necessary permits or permission can result in extremely serious penalties in line with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Unlike state courts where there is more discretion in setting a criminal penalty upon conviction, a federal court judge is bound to follow the Federal Sentencing Guidelines when imposing a penalty upon conviction. Potential penalties for a conviction of importing and exporting controlled substances could include the following:
- A minimum period of 20 years of incarceration in a federal penitentiary up to life imprisonment
- A maximum fine of four million dollars
Following a conviction in federal court, your personal and professional life will never be the same again. Your reputation in the community could suffer irreparable harm, and you could find it difficult to find gainful employment in the future. Furthermore, if you hold a professional license, such as a medical license or a law license, you could lose that license. Finally, if you are interested in furthering your education, you could find it hard to gain admission to an educational program at a college or university. If you are a current student, you could lose financial aid or scholarship funding upon conviction, or even face expulsion.
A knowledgeable Columbus drug importation and exportation attorney can review all of these potential consequences with you and work to minimize the chances that you will suffer any of these harmful consequences.
Talk to a Columbus Drug Importation and Exportation Attorney Today
Federal charges for illegally importing and exporting controlled substances are some of the most serious criminal charges that you could face at the federal level. If you have been charged with or convicted of illegally importing or exporting drugs, let attorney Brian Joslyn and our legal team at the Joslyn Law Firm assist you with your criminal mater today. Time is of the essence in federal cases, and often, there are many time-sensitive deadlines that must be satisfied.
To schedule a free legal consultation and case evaluation with a skilled Columbus drug importation and exportation lawyer, call us today at (614) 444-1900 or contact us online about your legal matter.