Penalties Associated With Federal Drug Trafficking Convictions

Jan 18 2023

While a state-level drug conviction in New York may lead to serious penalties, the consequences typically become even more severe if you wind up receiving a conviction for trafficking drugs at the federal level. The penalties you might face, if convicted, tend to vary based on certain factors, including the nature of the substance involved and whether you have ever faced such a charge in the past.

Per the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, “trafficking” charges involve large amounts of a particular illegal substance. The following are some of the penalties you may face if you receive a federal conviction for trafficking cocaine, fentanyl, LSD, PCP or heroin.

Penalties for a first offense

The first time you receive a conviction for drug trafficking any of these substances at the federal level, you face a sentence that falls somewhere between five years and life. Exactly how much time you must serve is going to depend on how much of the substance authorities say you trafficked. You may also have to pay fines of up to $10 million after a first-time trafficking conviction.

Penalties for a second offense

If convicted of trafficking cocaine, fentanyl, LSD, PCP or heroin at the federal level for a second time, the penalties, as you might expect, become more severe. This type of conviction carries a prison sentence that falls somewhere between 10 or 20 years and life, depending on the amount trafficked. You should also expect to have to pay fines that fall somewhere between about $8 million and $20 million.

While drug trafficking convictions carry criminal charges, you may also face various collateral consequences following a conviction for drug trafficking.

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