Methamphetamines including cocaine, opium, and PCP are classified as Schedule II drugs due to their high risk of being abused by users. Federal law in the United States makes it a crime to handle these drugs in any way including distribution, manufacture, possession, transport, or sales. Despite the illegal nature of these drugs and the significant health complications caused by using the drugs, many people still use methamphetamines because they create a false sense of energy and powerful euphoria.
Federal Laws Against Methamphetamines
In 2006, the federal government created the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 to regulate the use of over the counter drugs including ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine, which can be used to manufacture methamphetamines. These drugs are common ingredients used to manufacture cough and cold products but the federal government believed that creating this law would help to decrease the creation of methamphetamines.
Penalties Associated With Federal Charges
The penalties associated with methamphetamine charges depend on the weight of the drug. They include the following:
- If the weight of the methamphetamines was less than five grams, a person faces one to five million dollars in fines and a maximum of 20 years in prison.
- If the weight of the methamphetamines was between five and 49 grams, a person faces five to 25 million dollars in fines and a maximum of 40 years in prison.
- If the weight of the methamphetamines was more than 50 grams, person faces 10 to 50 million dollars in fines and a maximum of life in prison.
Potential Defenses to Methamphetamine Charges
There are some defenses that a person can raise if they are charged with methamphetamine possession. These defenses include the following:
- Law enforcement must possess a valid reason to pull over a vehicle. As a result, if law enforcement threatens a person during the arrest, there is likely a strong Fourth Amendment defense that can be raised in response to these charges.
- Sometimes, strong defenses can be raised if defendants can argue that they were not aware that they possessed the controlled substance or were unaware of the nature of the substance and did not intend to possess it.
- The Fourth Amendment requires law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before searching a person’s home or other personal belongings. While there are exceptions to this rule, many situations require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before a search. If law enforcement conducts a search and finds methamphetamines but lacks a warrant, there is often a strong defense that can be raised that the search violated the Fourth Amendment.
Speak with a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one is charged with a methamphetamine related offense or any other type of drug crime, it is important to obtain the assistance of a strong criminal defense attorney. By contacting the Federal Criminal Law Center, you can make sure that you have the assistance necessary to increase the chances of your case resolving in the best manner possible.