The Definition of Federal Drug Crimes

May 28, 2013

In addition to state law penalties, certain drug offenses may violate federal law. A federal criminal defense lawyer can go over your charges with you. Federal drug crimes are defined under 21 USC §§841-865. The following is a basic summary of the knowledge and intent requirement for each of these charges.

Simple Drug Possession

Federal law prohibits a person from knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription.

Drug Dealing

Drug dealing (trafficking) includes the manufacture, distribution, dispensing or possession of a controlled or counterfeit drug substance. A separate charge may be brought against whoever owned or maintained the “drug house” used in the manufacture or sale of these drugs. Stiffer penalties can be triggered if the dealings were allegedly made to someone under 21, or in a location where children are likely to be present (school, playground, etc.).


Charges may also be brought against a defendant if the prosecutor feels that he or she can prove that two or more people conspired or agreed to commit a violation of federal drug law.

Continuing Criminal Enterprise

If you are charged with profiting from supervising five or more people through a series of continuing drug violations, you can face a stiffer penalty.

Sale of Drug Paraphernalia

The sale of drug paraphernalia can also subject a defendant to federal drug charges. Federal drug crimes carry fairly complicated sentences and penalties, including sometimes mandatory minimums.

Contact a New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Certain drug offenses violate federal as well as state law. An experienced New Jersey federal criminal defense lawyer can explain what the federal prosecutor must prove to convict you. If you have been charged with a federal drug crime, contact Tim Anderson today at 732-212-2812 for more information and to learn about your options.


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