There is no single, simple answer to the question of how long is a felony drug charge. It all depends on the circumstances surrounding the individual situation and the specifics of the charge.
Drug crimes can range from possession and DUI to manufacturing and trafficking. So the prison sentences and punishments vary greatly.
Whether a crime is charged — and sentenced — as a misdemeanor or as a felony is determined by how serious it is. A felony is considered the most serious type of crime and carries the most severe punishments.
Prison Sentences for Felony Drug Charges
In general, a felony crime has a minimum incarceration time of one year and usually has thousands of dollars in fines imposed on the perpetrator.
There are higher mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug charges, based on the kind and amount of drugs involved.
For example, 100 grams of heroin carries a 5-year mandatory minimum prison sentence while 1 kilogram of heroin carries a 10-year mandatory minimum.
Marijuana, on the other hand, carries a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence at 100 kilograms and a 10-year minimum at 1,000 kilograms.
The penalties are higher if death or serious bodily injury results from the use of the controlled substances.
And if someone has a prior conviction of a felony drug charge, the 5-year mandatory minimum is automatically increased to the 10-year minimum.
Other Punishments for Felony Drug Charges
In addition to time in prison, a felony drug conviction can result in fines and the loss of certain rights such as the right to vote (while imprisoned or on parole for a felony), the right to serve in the military, and the right to possess a gun.
You also will be required to disclose a felony conviction on housing and employment applications, as well as if you ever run for a public office.
Legal Defenses for Felony Drug Charges
There are legal defenses for felony drug charges, so it’s important to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience to fully understand your situation and the consequences you face. A criminal defense lawyer like Mark Broughton, who sees every individual’s situation with compassion and empathy. And who believes that every person has the right to a fair trial.
Some legal defenses may include illegal search and seizure, police misconduct, entrapment, and lack of knowledge.
Your criminal defense attorney will consider everything about your specific case in order to defend you and get you the best possible outcome.