Federal drug crimes involve the possession, sale, transportation, and manufacture of illegal drugs across state lines. When illegal drug activity is wholly operated within a state, then state authorities prosecute crimes related to that activity. If illegal drug activity violates a federal law or crosses state lines in any way, then the federal government gets involved.

Federal violent crimes include such things as gang violence, human trafficking, and bank robbery. The federal government will routinely step in and try to stop any activity that it deems threatening to American society. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) are two of the main federal agencies who are tasked with investigating and helping prosecute those suspected of federal drug or violent crime.

If you are being investigated by a federal agency for a drug or violent crime, then it is important to understand that these cases are of the highest level of importance for federal authorities. The federal government has unlimited resources to investigate and prosecute federal drug and violent crimes.

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Common examples of federal drug or violent crime include:


  • Importing illegal drugs from other countries
  • Possessing illegal drugs
  • Helping transport illegal drugs
  • Helping sell or distribute illegal drugs
  • Helping manufacture illegal drugs
  • Violence involving gang activity
  • The trafficking of women or children
  • Bank robbery


The different activities that could be present during the commission of a federal drug or violent crime can lead to various criminal charges. Specific charges related to federal drug and violent crime can be found below. This is not a complete list, as federal drug and violent crimes can come in many forms.


  • Drug Trafficking (21 U.S.C. § 841)
  • Drug Possession (21 U.S.C. § 844)
  • Drug Paraphernalia (21 U.S.C. § 863)
  • Drug Trafficking Close to a University (21 U.S.C. § 860)
  • Drug Trafficking Conspiracy (21 U.S.C. § 846)
  • Bank Robbery (18 U.S.C. § 2113)
  • Human Trafficking (18 U.S.C. Chap. 77)
  • Gang Activity (18 U.S.C. § 521)


If you are facing indictment any of the above federal drug or violent crimes, then it is important to seek the advice of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney immediately. 

Jail/Prison: A first offense methamphetamine trafficking conviction over five grams can result in a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison. For powder cocaine trafficking over 500 grams you can receive a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison up to life. A conviction for human trafficking can result in a 20-year prison sentence. As you can see, many options are on the table in terms of potential prison sentences for a federal drug or violent crime conviction.


Probation: Probation is an alternative to jail that a judge can sentence someone for a federal drug or violent crime conviction. As part of any probation sentence, the offender will have to follow certain guidelines. These guidelines include submitting for drug or alcohol screenings, and an inability to travel among other requirements. Offenders will have an assigned probation agent that they will need to stay in close contact with as violations of probation can result in lengthy prison sentences.


Restitution: A judge can order an offender to pay back the money improperly obtained due to illegal drug or violent crimes. This number can easily end up in the millions of dollars when there are multiple defendants involved.


Fines: Anyone convicted of a drug or violent crime is subject to hefty fines. Drug trafficking committed by an individual can lead to a $2 million fine. Fines for human trafficking and illegal gangs can also be significant. These fines can easily end up in the tens of millions of dollars given the right circumstances.


Other: A drug or violent crime conviction can result in forfeitures of any money or property the government believes is connected to drugs or violence in any way.

For a prosecutor to secure a conviction against someone for a drug or violent crime, they have to prove that the crime was intentional. In proving intent, a prosecutor has to demonstrate that you had a criminal intent during the commission of a drug or violent crime. What that means is that the prosecutor has to use whatever evidence they have to show that you intended to commit that illegal act.  A common defense is that of mistake. If it is shown that the alleged act was not intentional and/or without a criminal intent, then a jury could properly find you not guilty of a drug or violent crime. 


If investigators violated your constitutional rights during the investigation, then you can bring those issues in front of a judge in the form of a motion to suppress to potentially have the evidence against you thrown out. Evidence that could be suppressed includes things like guns, drugs, or any statements you might have made. There are a variety of potential defenses to drug and violent crime and this is not a complete list by any means. A seasoned drug and violent crime attorney will look to these and other defenses specific to your case in building your defense if you are accused of a federal drug or violent crime.

If you or someone you love is facing the possibility of being charged with a federal drug or violent crime, it is natural to have a number of questions. Finding a website like this one can be a great resource, but it is not a substitute for the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you have more questions about drug or violent crime, then the attorneys at Oakes Law Group are available to you.


A federal drug or violent crime requires a prosecutor to show that you were a knowing participant in the illegal activity. Was there a genuine, honest mistake in what happened? Are you able to explain that even though things appear a certain way, there was nothing illegal going on? In order to present your best defense, your attorney has to be able to answer these questions. The only way to answer these and other necessary questions is for your defense to conduct its own investigation. Just as the prosecutor builds a case against you with their resources, you are able to build your defense in the same way.

At Oakes Law Group, we pride ourselves on not limiting your defense to simply trying to explain the prosecutor’s version of events. We defend cases by going on offense, by advancing your version of events based on our in-depth investigations.


If you are facing a federal criminal charge involving drugs or violent crime or are currently being investigated, then it is important to speak to an experienced federal drug and violent crime defense attorney immediately.

If you are in the process of choosing your attorney or are looking for an honest assessment of your legal situation, then our attorneys are available to help you now. Feel free to contact us anytime at 1-888-886-5711 or email. Our advice is free, and our conversations will always be protected by attorney-client privilege. Make your first choice towards freedom with a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Oakes Law Group today.