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Federal Drug Charges Defense Lawyer

Results-Driven Criminal Defense Lawyers Zealously Advocate on Behalf of Clients Facing Federal Drug Charges in Essex County, Union County, Morris County, Middlesex County, Bergen County and Somerset County, NJ

Technically, any drug charge prosecuted in New Jersey can be elevated to the federal level if the federal prosecutors decide to step in.  Federal drug charges are much more severe than drug crimes prosecuted at the state level because in federal court, the defendant will almost always be facing time in prison, while New Jersey state courts have developed several options to allow certain first-time offenders to avoid jail and even conviction in some cases.  The most severe federal drug charges carry a mandatory ten-year minimum prison sentence, and can result in life in prison in extremely serious cases. The federal government can even seize your assets and freeze your bank accounts.

If facing federal drug charges, it is vital that you retain an experienced lawyer who understands the federal court system and the federal sentencing guidelines.  At Zegas Law, we have been handling high profile cases at the federal level for years, and our skilled lawyers know what it takes to effectively negotiate with federal prosecutors both with respect to the charges alleged and the potential sentence involved.  We are committed to providing the highest possible quality legal representation for every client we take on—and we know what’s at stake when you’re facing federal drug charges. 

If you have questions or wish to explore your legal options with respect to federal drug charges, don’t waste another minute–call or contact our dedicated federal drug charge defense lawyers today.

Understanding the Interaction Between New Jersey Drug Charges and Federal Drug Charges

Technically, any New Jersey drug charge can be elevated to the federal level, where it will be prosecuted in federal court with the nearly unlimited resources of the federal government to back the prosecution’s case.  Practically, only a relatively small fraction of drug crimes become federal drug charges. Circumstances that may attract the federal government’s interest include:

  • Severity.  Sometimes the federal prosecutors step in and pursue federal drug charges based on the severity of the drug crime alleged—for example, when large quantities of a particularly dangerous drug are involved, when a large group of defendants is implicated or in cases involving drug trafficking or large-scale manufacturing.
  • Type of charge.  If the prosecution’s evidence against you supports a certain type of drug charge, such as money laundering of drug proceeds, conspiracy or violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO), the drug charges may be elevated to the federal level.
  • Jurisdictional grounds.  When drugs are transported across state lines, federal drug charges are likely to apply, especially if the quantity and type of drug involved justify elevation to the federal level.  If you brought drugs across international borders or were found in possession of drugs at an airport, federal drug charges will apply.
  • Violent offenses.  When a drug charge is combined with a particularly violent crime, such as homicide or a weapons offense, the case may be elevated to the federal level.

Dedicated Federal Drug Charge Lawyers Stand by Clients Throughout the Entire Criminal Justice Process in North Jersey

Unlike in the case of state-level offenses, federal drug charges will result in an indictment by a grand jury as one of the initial phases in the prosecution.  Our lawyers are not legally entitled to participate in this phase, but we will watch the grand jury testimony, as well as the prosecution’s investigation, closely to determine the evidence that the federal government has against you.  

We begin crafting our defense strategy in these early phases to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.  In the subsequent phases of your case we will:

  • Work to secure your release from jail on bail if you are currently in custody,
  • Conduct our own investigation into your case to identify any holes or discrepancies in the prosecution’s case, as well as to obtain any exculpatory evidence that can work in your favor,
  • Take all steps possible to challenge the prosecution’s evidence, including how physical evidence was obtained and the credibility of any prosecutorial witnesses,
  • Use the results of our investigation and our own witnesses to develop the strongest and most effective defense strategy possible in your case,
  • Advocate vigorously on your behalf every step of the way, including in our negotiations with the prosecution and before a judge or jury at trial.

Schedule a Confidential Consultation for Expert Legal Guidance if You Face Federal Drug Charges

When you’re facing decades in prison based on federal drug charges, you don’t have the luxury of choosing an inexperienced lawyer.  You need a hard-hitting federal criminal defense lawyer who understands the intricacies of the criminal justice system and takes the potential penalties involved in your case to heart.  At Zegas Law, we offer both the experience and the personalized support that our clients need and deserve when facing federal drug charges. Call or contact our offices today to set up a confidential consultation with a lawyer who will stand by your side throughout the entire criminal process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Federal Drug Charges

FAQ: How can the federal drug sentencing guidelines impact my punishment if convicted on federal drug charges? 

The federal drug sentencing guidelines are designed to give the courts a range of permissible sentences in any case involving federal drug charges.  However, these guidelines are only advisory, meaning that the judge has the discretion to depart from the guidelines if he or she has good reason. Because the risk of jail time in federal cases is significant and the prosecution has substantially more resources than at the state level, you need a federal drug charge lawyer with the experience, resources and innovative spirit necessary to craft a strong argument that the judge should depart from the guidelines and impose a lesser sentence where the prosecution’s case is strong.

FAQ: When should I contact a lawyer if I learn that I’m being investigated on federal drug charges? 

Immediately.  If you are under suspicion for committing a drug crime prosecuted at the federal level, you need a skilled federal drug crimes lawyer the moment you learn that you are being investigated.  If federal law enforcement officials attempt to question you in any way—whether formally or informally—request to speak to your lawyer immediately. You may not understand the full extent of the case they are investigating and any statement you make can incriminate you unexpectedly.

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