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Federal Drug Manufacturing

Federal Drug Manufacturing Overview

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California Lawyer for Federal Drug Manufacturing


The United States has been waging a war on drugs for several decades now. The prime goal of the war has been to eliminate the business of the drug trade by preventing the illicit materials from getting into the country, and from money to funnel back to the drug cartels. This means that they are very aggressive when it comes to prosecuting drug crimes related to manufacturing and intending to distribute illegal drugs. Have the police arrested you on suspicion of manufacturing drugs? In California, you could face serious penalties under both state and federal law.

Applicable Federal Laws Related to the Manufacturing of Drugs

The applicable federal laws related to drug manufacturing include the U.S. Criminal Code, Chapter 21, section 841. The law is complex and far-reaching, with the aim of eliminating drug manufacturing in the United States. There are many components to this law, including prohibiting creating traps on the property where the drugs are being manufactured. Here are some of the most important aspects of drug manufacturing laws for a defendant who is facing charges.

It is a criminal offense to intentionally:

  • Manufacture a controlled substance with the intent of distributing or dispensing it
  • Manufacture a counterfeit substance with the intent of dispensing or distributing it

The intent with which a defendant does something is an important aspect of the law. It means that you must fully understand that you are manufacturing, or attempting to manufacture illegal drugs.

How Federal Drug Manufacturing Crimes are Prosecuted

Federal crimes are prosecuted by a United States Attorney. They are similar to district attorneys, except they work on behalf of the federal government. If you are convicted of a drug manufacturing crime in federal court, it means that the U.S. Attorney has successfully proven certain things beyond a reasonable doubt. Those benchmarks include:

  • You manufactured or possessed a controlled substance with the intention of distribution or dispensation, or
  • You manufactured a counterfeit substance with intent to distribute or dispense, and
  • You did so intentionally and knowingly that these substances were illegal.

Possible Punishments Under Section 841 of the U.S. Code

Drug manufacturing punishments are very harsh under federal law. For a first offense, your sentence will depend on several factors, including how much of the controlled substance is involved, and how much you actually manufactured yourself or were involved with manufacturing. Prison sentences and fines increase with the amount of drugs that were manufactured.

In most cases, a prison sentence of up to 40 years may be applicable, and you could be fined as much as $5,000,000 as an individual if you are arrested with drugs involving these amounts:

  • 100 grams or more of heroin
  • 500 grams or more of cocaine or ecgonine
  • 28 grams or more of base cocaine
  • 10 grams or more of PCP, or 100 grams or more of a distilled version
  • 1 gram or more of LSD
  • 40 grams of more of N-phenyl-N
  • 100 kilograms of marijuana, or 100 plants more no matter what the weight is
  • 5 grams or more of methamphetamine, or 50 grams or more of a distilled version

Your sentence can get even higher if your actions are determined to have led to the death of someone else. You could face life in a federal prison in that case.

Federal Drug Charge Defenses

When it comes to the law, generally ignorance is not a defense. However, defense attorneys have been successful in arguing that their clients did not know that they were dealing with a controlled substance. Your knowledge and what you intended are very important factors when it comes to being charged with manufacturing a controlled substance. For example, perhaps you were making drugs but had been led to believe that you were working for a legitimate pharmaceutical company. In that case, you would not be convicted with a successful argument.

The conduct of the officers involved in your investigation and arrest can also be used by the defense. The police have very strict rules and regulations to guide how they must act and what rights they must allow you. This is why hiring an experienced attorney is so important. An attorney understands those rights, as well as the proper procedures for police officers, and can determine whether there was misconduct. If they did not use a search warrant, or if they did not properly read you your rights, then you may have means to dismiss certain evidence as being successful at trial.

Entrapment is also a common defense, as many drug manufacturing investigations involve informants and undercover work that could lead to potential entrapment situations. Entrapment applies when, if it wasn’t for the police putting them in a certain situation, the defendant would not have committed the crime for which they are charged.

There are several situations where this can bear itself out. For example, if someone is short on money, they may ask around to see about getting work. While asking around, this person is introduced to a businessman who seems legitimate and powerful. However, it turns out that the businessman is only offering work that involves manufacturing and distributing controlled substances. If the person declines but is asked several times by the businessman to reconsider. After a time, the person accepts and starts to work on manufacturing drugs. At some point, the businessman reveals himself to be a police officer, and everyone involved is arrested. The defendant may have a case since they did not seek out criminal activity. The undercover police officer asked several times and then placed them in that position. Situations like this are common and could open up the path to an entrapment defense.

Federal Drug Manufacturing FAQs

I created an illegal drug by accident while manufacturing a legal substance. Will I be convicted?

As with many drug charges, your intention is always very important. If you were trying to make a legal substance but instead created an illegal one by mistake, then you should not be liable. You were not intending to break the law and only did so because of other circumstances. You did not manufacture that controlled substance with the intent of doing something illegal.

What if I only manufactured enough drugs for my own use?

If you created drugs for your personal use, then you are not guilty of manufacturing a controlled substance under federal law. That said, California law is a completely different matter, and you may be guilty under those.

Do federal charges only apply when the drugs are transported over state lines?

Federal crimes apply for these crimes even if you were only charged for activities within the state of California.

Are you or a loved one facing federal charges in relation to the manufacturing of controlled substances? The best thing you can do is consult with an experienced and knowledgeable criminal attorney who can mount a vigorous defense. The federal criminal defense lawyers at Lamano Law Office will devise the best possible strategy to get a favorable outcome and fight for your constitutional rights every step of the way. Call today at (510) 842-0750.

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