Whether you have never been arrested for a drug offense or you have only faced drug charges in New York State Court, you face a much more serious situation if you are a target, suspect, or witness in a federal heroin case. Federal prosecutors generally do not focus on simple possession charges. The objective of federal law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), is to establish connections between people who are involved in the manufacture, sale, or distribution of large amounts of heroin. While your worries and concerns are justified because federal drug charges are very serious, our federal heroin defense attorneys can help you understand what to expect so the situation is a little less scary.
If you suspect that you may be a target, suspect or witness in a federal investigation involving heroin-related crimes, you must act promptly in seeking legal representation. Federal drug cases involve exceptionally skilled federal prosecutors, harsh federal sentencing requirements that can include mandatory minimums, and expansive use of drug conspiracy law to entangle parties who have very little involvement in the alleged criminal enterprise.
When you are facing the special challenges of Federal Court, you cannot afford to face federal law enforcement agencies and the Assistant United State Attorney without a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience representing clients in federal drug cases. At Greco Neyland, PC, our founding partners Jeff Greco and Dustan Neyland have experience navigating federal procedures and evidentiary rules. Our attorneys bring the experience of former prosecutors, combined with success challenging the government in Federal Court in New York’s Southern and Eastern Districts.
Federal law enforcement agents use a number of strategies to encourage cooperation that may ultimately be used to link you to a criminal conspiracy. One common tactic used by federal law enforcement authorities is to approach you as though you are only a “witness”. Another approach is simply to leave a business card at your door, asking you to contact the agent. The federal agent may even follow you in the hopes that you will decide to talk to the agent to ease the anxiety of being followed. However, the federal agent often will possess incriminating documents or statements from others, so the claim that you are “just a witness” is disingenuous.
When you are confronted with this scenario, you should NEVER talk to the federal agent without speaking to an experienced federal heroin crimes attorney. If you have already talked with an agent, then you should immediately cease any further communication without a federal heroin attorney to protect your rights.
The penalties for the manufacture and distribution of heroin in Westchester County, NY depend on the quantity of heroin-mixture, prior offenses, and whether the distribution caused serious bodily harm or a fatality.
Quantity: Less than 100 grams of heroin
First Offense: Maximum 20 years
Second Offense: Maximum 30 years
Quantity: 100 grams to 1 kilo (2.2 lbs.)
First Offense: 5-40 years
Second Offense: 10 years to life
More than 1 kilo or causes serious injury or death = Maximum life sentence even for 1st offense
These sentencing terms are extremely harsh, so you need an experienced federal drug defense attorney when dealing with exposure to this type of lengthy maximum term or mandatory minimums. These standards are only the very basics in terms of sentencing in federal heroin crimes cases because the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are very complex and filled with exceptions. An experienced federal drug defense attorney specializing in crimes relating to the manufacture or distribution of heroin can provide you with all the assistance that you need.
Given the strict sentencing scheme in federal cases involving the manufacture, sale, and distribution of heroin, you cannot afford to wait to hire an experienced federal heroin defense lawyer. Whether the FBI or DEA is investigating you, or you are merely a “witness,” your freedom and future hang in the balance. Because our attorneys at Greco Neyland, PC devote a significant amount of our practice to federal criminal defense, our offices are conveniently located close to the Southern District Federal Courthouse and the Eastern District Federal Courthouse.