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Can federal drug charges lead to other consequences?

Oregon has strict drug laws, like most states do. An Oregon resident who has been charged with possession, use or distribution of prohibited substances can expect serious penalties. However, being charged by local authorities is not the worst possible scenario. An Oregon resident may face federal drug charges as well. However, not everyone who is charged with a crime is actually guilty. It is in the best interest of Oregon residents to understand the penalties and other nuances of a federal drug charge so they can prepare the best legal defense possible.

Which drugs are prohibited? Although there is comprehensive list of prohibited drugs, the more common include methamphetamine, heroin, crack, cocaine, marijuana and its synthetic counterparts, ecstasy, rave and date rape drugs. While the type of drug is essential, the amount of the drug and how it was handled can help determine if charges are local or federal in nature.

What is drug trafficking and what are the possible penalties? Drug trafficking refers to the possession with the intention to distribute, illegal distribution, and exportation or importation of a prohibited substance. The penalties will depend on the type of drug and the amount that was allegedly distributed by an accused person. For example, a person accused of trafficking 100 grams or less of heroin can result in a prison sentence of 20 years or fewer with fines ranging from one to five million dollars. On the other hand, PCP distribution can lead to a 10 to 50 million dollar fine and a life sentence.

Does this include distributing the drugs on the Internet? Yes. For example, date rape drug distribution can result in up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As distribution is not allowed online, it is similarly prohibited to place advertisements in newspapers, magazines and other publications. Oregon residents who have been charged with a federal drug crime may want to immediately seek legal and build a solid defense.

Source: Fas.org, "Drug Offenses: Maximum Fines and Terms of Imprisonment for Violation of the Federal Controlled Substances Act and Related Laws," Brian T. Yeh, Dec. 13, 2012

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