NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
Last Updated on: 11th October 2023, 11:28 am
Boston Cocaine Trafficking Charges: What to Expect in Federal Court
Hey there! Dealing with drug charges is scary — I get it. But you’ve come to the right place. I’m here to walk you through what to expect if you’re facing cocaine trafficking charges in Boston federal court. I know it’s a lot to take in, so I’ll break things down in a simple, conversational way. My goal is to educate and support you through this difficult time. You got this!
Trafficking basically means distributing or possessing with intent to distribute illegal drugs. For cocaine, you can be charged with trafficking if you’re caught with as little as 18 grams. The more coke you have, the more serious the charges:
- 18-36 grams – 2-15 years in prison
- 36-100 grams – 3.5-20 years in prison
- 100-200 grams – 8-20 years in prison
- 200+ grams – 12-20 years in prison
As you can see, the potential prison time gets longer as the drug quantity increases. The minimum mandatory sentences (the least amount of time you’d serve) also go up. Like, with 200+ grams of coke, you’d have to serve at least 12 years before parole.
What Happens After You’re Arrested
After getting popped, you’ll be booked and held until your arraignment. This first court appearance happens pretty quickly, usually within 24 hours. Don’t worry if you don’t have a lawyer yet — the judge will appoint a public defender. You’ll be formally charged, enter a plea (not guilty is standard), and find out if you can be released on bail.
The Role of Your Attorney
Having a knowledgeable lawyer in your corner is crucial. An experienced federal drug crimes attorney will thoroughly investigate your case, look for ways to get charges reduced or dismissed, negotiate with the prosecution, and defend you in court if necessary. Some of the ways a lawyer can help:
- Challenge improper police procedures
- Suppress evidence from illegal searches
- Negotiate plea deals
- Advocate for bail/pretrial release
- File motions to dismiss
- Mount a strong defense at trial
Bottom line — don’t go it alone. The stakes are too high. Hire a lawyer you trust to be your voice in this process.
There are several defenses that could potentially beat cocaine trafficking charges. For example:
- Illegal search and seizure – If police didn’t have probable cause or a warrant, evidence may be thrown out.
- Entrapment – You can argue the drugs were obtained through improper police pressure.
- Misidentification – Mistaken identity does happen!
- Lack of knowledge – You didn’t knowingly possess the drugs.
An experienced lawyer will thoroughly examine the facts of your case to determine the best defense strategies.
The Pre-Trial Process
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes between arrest and trial. Your attorney will be investigating, filing motions, meeting with prosecutors, and working to get charges reduced or dismissed. If a plea deal is offered, your lawyer will discuss whether it’s in your best interest to take it. More than 90% of federal cases end in a plea bargain.
We already touched on the possible prison sentences for cocaine trafficking, but there are other penalties too:
- Large fines, often $250k or more
- Forfeiture of assets connected to the crime
- Supervised release after prison
Your lawyer’s job is to negotiate for the least damaging outcome possible.
If Your Case Goes to Trial
Fewer than 5% of federal criminal cases go to trial. But if yours does, your attorney will continue zealously defending you. Prosecutors must prove the charges “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Your lawyer will highlight any holes in their case. If convicted at trial, you’ll face harsher penalties than a plea deal.
Dealing with Stress and Anxiety
It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed. Being charged with a federal crime is scary! Lean on loved ones for support and don’t be shy about asking your lawyer questions. They’re there to help guide you through the process. Take things one step at a time — you’ll get through this!
I know I covered a lot here! The main takeaways:
- Cocaine trafficking means big penalties, especially as quantities increase
- Hire an experienced federal drug crimes lawyer ASAP
- Possible defenses include illegal searches, entrapment, misidentification
- Your attorney will investigate, negotiate, and defend your case
- Few cases go to trial – most end in plea deals
- Don’t go through this alone – ask for help and take care of yourself!
You’re not defined by your charges. Stay strong and keep your head up! I’m rooting for you.
Article by Alex Johnson