Fort Lauderdale Federal Drug Crime Attorney
Federal law enforcement agents devote significant amounts of time and resources to investigating and apprehending individuals suspected of distributing, importing or trafficking in illegal drugs in South Florida. Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), FBI and other agencies may spend months or even years compiling evidence against individuals or groups suspected of illegal drug activity. Moreover, federal sentencing guidelines call for severe penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences, for those convicted of certain drug crimes.
For these and other reasons, every person under investigation needs experienced legal counsel immediately. At Bruce L. Udolf, P.A., we provide tough, aggressive defense against federal drug charges in South Florida. Fort Lauderdale federal drug crime attorney Bruce L. Udolf has more than four decades of criminal law experience, including more than ten years as a federal prosecutor investigating and prosecuting some of the most significant narcotics cases in the country. He brings a wealth of experience and an aggressive approach to defending against these serious charges. Call Bruce L. Udolf, P.A., if you’ve been arrested on federal drug charges in Fort Lauderdale.
What makes a drug crime a federal offense?
The U.S. Constitution only gives Congress the explicit power to enact criminal laws in a few areas, such as counterfeiting, piracy and treason. However, the Constitution gives Congress many powers to act in many different areas, such as regulating interstate commerce, and Congress has the authority to enact any laws which are “necessary and proper” to carry out any of its powers. It’s impossible to know how many criminal laws Congress has passed, but they number in the thousands by the best estimates. The federal Drug Abuse Prevention and Control laws run over 100 pages, and legal scholars debate whether the code has only two offenses – possession and trafficking – or hundreds. Just about any drug crime that could be prosecuted in a Florida state court could be prosecuted in federal court as well.
What about double jeopardy?
Most people have heard of double jeopardy and know that the government is not supposed to try you twice for the same offense. This constitutional right has not been interpreted to apply to state governments and the federal government together, so you could possibly be prosecuted in Broward County court and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for the exact same act.
Are federal drug crimes worse than state crimes?
You probably already know that being charged with a federal drug crime in Fort Lauderdale is no joke. If convicted, you could be sent to federal prison and forced to pay thousands of dollars in fines. Federal law imposes harsh sentences for federal drug crimes, and the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, while no longer mandatory, don’t give federal judges a lot of room in determining punishments.
Another fact to consider is that the federal system does not have drug courts or diversionary programs like Florida does. In Broward County, you could avoid jail time for a drug conviction and might be able to receive treatment if needed. If you are convicted of a federal drug crime in Fort Lauderdale, about the only option for the judge is to send you to prison. Another feature lacking in the federal system is parole, so if you are sentenced to five, ten or 30 years, you are going to serve most of that time in custody, unless you are successful on an appeal.
Call Attorney Bruce L. Udolf for Help with Fort Lauderdale Federal Drug Charges
If you have been charged with cultivation or manufacturing of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute, narcotics trafficking or other federal drug charges in Fort Lauderdale, call the law office of Bruce L. Udolf, P.A., to discuss the best way to respond to those charges for a successful outcome in your case.