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Federal Drug Crimes

Delivering Outstanding Results Since 1987

Kalamazoo Federal Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys

When Facing Federal Drug Charges, Turn to Levine & Levine

If you have been charged with a federal drug crime, you need to secure legal representation from a skilled lawyer experienced in handling federal criminal cases. Even if you only suspect you are under investigation, you must seek trusted legal counsel. Federal prosecutors have extensive resources at their disposal, and they will not hesitate to throw everything they have at a case. Additionally, with mandatory minimum sentencing for many drug offenses, you potentially face years in federal prison.


Levine & Levine is well-known for our creative and rigorous defense strategies. Call us at (269) 218-8880or send us a message onlineto schedule a free case consultation. 


Since 1987, our federal drug crime defense lawyers in Kalamazoo have been defending cases in federal court. Our practice is rooted in an intellectual understanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and we are experienced, aggressive litigators. Every aspect of a federal case is vitally important, and our lawyers treat every case with the care and seriousness it deserves. We are tireless in pursuing justice for our clients, and we don’t back down from a fight.

Fighting Federal Drug Charges

Many clients facing federal drug charges report feeling overwhelmed. The federal judicial system is vast and complicated, and federal drug laws are notoriously harsh. When investigating and prosecuting a federal drug offense, several government agencies are likely to be involved. From the FBI and DEA to ICE and the ATF, the federal government has a wide range of available resources. They use everything they have to prosecute drug offenses, and it takes a strong and creative defense strategy to fight these charges effectively.

Examples of federal drug charges include:

  • Drug Manufacturing: This involves the production or cultivation of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, or marijuana, in violation of federal law. Manufacturing can include growing plants, synthesizing chemicals, or producing controlled substances in any way.
  • Drug Importing: Importing drugs involves bringing controlled substances into the United States from another country. This can involve various methods, including smuggling drugs across borders or using international mail services to transport illegal substances.
  • Drug Exporting: Exporting drugs is the opposite of importing and involves sending controlled substances from the United States to other countries. It often involves large-scale operations and can be prosecuted under federal law.
  • Drug Trafficking: Trafficking refers to the illegal distribution, sale, or transportation of controlled substances. It encompasses a wide range of activities, from street-level drug dealing to large-scale drug trafficking organizations that operate across state or international borders.
  • Unlawful Possession: Possession of controlled substances without a valid prescription or authorization is illegal under federal law. This includes both actual possession (having drugs on your person) and constructive possession (having control or dominion over drugs even if they are not physically on your person).
  • Conspiracy to Commit a Drug Offense: Conspiracy charges can be brought against individuals who conspire or agree with others to commit a drug-related crime. Even if the underlying drug offense does not occur, individuals can be prosecuted for conspiracy if there is evidence of an agreement to engage in illegal activity.
  • Prescription Drug Fraud: This involves obtaining or distributing prescription drugs through fraudulent means, such as forging prescriptions, doctor shopping (obtaining prescriptions from multiple doctors without their knowledge), or using false identities to obtain controlled substances.

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing for Drug Convictions

The United States Sentencing Commission develops sentencing guidelines for the federal court system, including the mandatory minimum penalties for drug crime convictions. The minimum compulsory penalties you may face for a federal drug crime depend upon the types of drugs involved in your case, as well as the volume of drugs in question. For example, the triggering thresholds for 5- and 10-year mandatory minimum sentences for a heroin conviction are 100g and 1kg, respectively.

There are two ways a defendant may avoid the mandatory minimum penalty. Firstly, if the defendant meets the substantial assistance exception, a motion may be filed by the prosecution attesting to the defendant’s assistance in investigating or prosecuting another offender. Secondly, if the defendant meets the Safety Valve exception criteria, they may avoid mandatory minimum sentencing penalties.

To meet the Safety Valve exception, the defendant must:

  • Have a minimal criminal record
  • Not be the leader, organizer, or supervisor of the offense
  • Not have used violence in the commission of the current offense
  • Reveal all that they know about the current offense and related misconduct before sentencing
  • Be able to prove that the offense in question did not result in serious injury

In 2019, 68.1% of drug offenders were convicted with a mandatory minimum penalty. Average sentencesfor these convictions were: 

  • 133 months
  • 58 months for those who received relief of some kind

Common Legal Defenses Against Federal Drug Charges

Legal defenses against federal drug charges can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, but some common defenses include:

  • Unlawful Search and Seizure: The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. If evidence was obtained through an illegal search or seizure, it may be suppressed and rendered inadmissible in court.
  • Lack of Possession: Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly possessed the drugs in question. If the defendant can show they had no knowledge of the drugs' presence or lacked control over them, it can be a defense.
  • Lack of Intent to Distribute: If the prosecution is alleging intent to distribute, the defense may argue that the defendant had no intention to sell or distribute the drugs and instead possessed them for personal use.
  • Entrapment: This defense argues that law enforcement induced the defendant to commit the crime they are charged with. To succeed with an entrapment defense, the defendant must show that they were not predisposed to commit the crime and that law enforcement's actions were the primary reason for their involvement.
  • Duress or Coercion: If the defendant can show that they were forced or threatened into possessing or distributing drugs, it may serve as a defense. However, the defendant must demonstrate that the threat was imminent and that there were no reasonable alternatives to committing the crime.
  • Violation of Constitutional Rights: Defendants may challenge the constitutionality of laws or procedures related to their arrest, questioning, or prosecution. This could include arguing that their Miranda rights were violated during interrogation or that they were denied the right to counsel.
  • Medical Necessity: In cases involving the use of drugs for medical purposes, such as marijuana for medical conditions, the defense may argue that the defendant's use was justified by medical necessity.
  • Chain of Custody Issues: The defense may challenge the integrity of the chain of custody of the evidence, arguing that there were breaks or inconsistencies that raise doubts about the authenticity or reliability of the evidence.
  • Insufficient Evidence: Ultimately, the prosecution must prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If the evidence presented by the prosecution is weak or insufficient to meet this standard, the defense may argue for dismissal or acquittal.

Each case is unique, and the effectiveness of these defenses depends on the specific facts and legal principles involved. It's essential for individuals facing federal drug charges to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to evaluate their options and develop a strategy tailored to their case.

You Are Not Alone

If you are accused of a federal drug offense, you may be feeling scared and isolated. In addition to damaging your personal and professional reputation, you also face heavy fines and lengthy prison sentences. However, you do not have to fight these charges alone.

Our Kalamazoo federal drug crime lawyers offer reputable legal representation in the following Michigan counties:

  • Calhoun
  • St. Joseph
  • Van Buren
  • Berrien
  • Cass
  • Kalamazoo
  • Branch
  • Eaton
  • Ingham
  • Barry
  • Allegan
  • Ottawa

Levine & Levine has an exceptionally high acquittal rate, and our success rate speaks for itself. We are well-respected within the legal community, and we are known for our dedication to our clients. Because federal cases can take significantly longer to resolve than those at the state level, resilience and attention to detail are key to developing a strong defense strategy. We work hard for our clients, and we stick by them every step of the way.


We are honored to provide our clients with the experienced advocacy they need to feel confident in court. To discuss your federal drug crime case with a professional, dedicated legal team, call us at (269) 218-8880 or connect with us online.


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    "Attorney Markou does all he can to get you the best possible outcome."
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