Skip to main content

What is the time frame for a person facing federal charges of 5 counts of drugs conspiracy and a firearm?

Warren, OH |
Attorney answers 5


Answers to questions like these can sound like a broken record, but as far as potential sentences in the feds, the possibilities might not be endless, but there are a ton of them. Federal sentencing depends on a variety of factors, some of which, like prior record and the use of a firearm, you mentioned, some of which, like the quantity of drugs involved in the ALLEGED conspiracy, you did not. It is an incredibly fact intensive situation, so consultation with an attorney is an absolute must. The charges you are describing are, I'm sure you understand, are very, very serious. The involvement of a firearm in the conspiracy ups the ante for sure. Whoever you are asking for needs to consult a very good criminal defense attorney and do so sooner, rather than later.


It all depends on the exact section they are convicted of and what the priors are. The risk for prison is substantial with that record and a good criminal defense attorney should be hired immediately.

Attorney Chris Beck
Beck Law Office, L.L.C.
Beavercreek, Ohio
(937)510-6110 phone

The responses of Attorney Chris Beck to any questions posed on Avvo do NOT establish an Attorney-client relationship. Attorney Beck is available for private hire and consultation for a fee. Only after Attorney Beck is retained as counsel, or agrees to discuss this matter with you privately, shall he be legally deemed to be your Attorney. His responses herein are an attempt to assist persons temporarily based upon the very extremely limited amount of information provided by the questioner


You need an experienced Federal Criminal Lawyer. Conpiracy in violation of title 18 USC 846 carrys long sentences based on "Relavant Conduct". That means drug quantity. It included 5 year and 10 year minimum mandatory sentences. A firearm also inhances sentences by adding 5 additional years to any 846 sentence. A skilled defence attorney can negotiate a plea and perhaps avail you to a 5K benefit and the safety valve provisions of the sentencing guidelines. Three misdemeanors could make you a catagory 2 or 3 offender. You need to contact a lawyer immediately.


21 U.S.C. § 846 prohibits the conspiracy to commit a federal drug crime, an offense for which the penalty is the same as the drug crime that the defendant conspired to commit. The most common drug offenses are found in 21 U.S.C. § 841(a), and include the manufacturing, distribution, and dispensation, and the possession with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense a controlled substance. The penalties for the offenses prohibited by 21 U.S.C. § 841(a) are prescribed in 21 U.S.C. § 841(b), and depend upon the type of controlled substance and its quantity. Those penalties range from 0-5 years, 0-10 years, 0-20 years, 5 years-40 years, 10 years-life, 20 years-life and mandatory life imprisonment. The mandatory minimum penalties are based upon the quantity of the controlled substance and/or the defendant's criminal history of felony drug offenses, state and federal.

18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) prohibits the possession, receipt, shipment or transport in interstate commerce of a firearm or ammunition by a person who has, among other things, been convicted of a felony offense, with very limited exceptions (certain business crimes are excluded), and is punishable by no more than 10 years of imprisonment. However, if the defendant has been convicted of three felonies involving certain drug offenses or crimes of violence, he or she may be considered an armed career criminal, and will be punished, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), by a term of imprisonment of 15 years-life. Furthermore, if the defendant is charged with the possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), the prescribed penalty is 5 years-life imprisonment for the first count, and 25 years of imprisonment for each subsequent count, to run consecutively to any other sentence imposed.

The above-stated statutory penalties, however, only establish the parameters within which the district court is bound at sentencing; the actual sentence will be determined in significant part by the defendant's advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines ("Guidelines") range. The Guidelines consider the amount of drugs involved in the offense, the defendant's criminal history, the defendant's specific role in the offense, and any other factor that may be relevant to the particular case (including the defendant's cooperation in the investigation or prosecution of another person who has committed and offense). The court will first determine the statutory parameters; it will then determine the applicable Guidelines range; and after considering the factors in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) (nature and circumstances of the offense, personal history and characteristics of the defendant, for example), it will determine whether a sentence within, above or below that advisory Guidelines range is "sufficient, but not greater than necessary" to accomplish the goals of the sentencing statute (18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)), and is otherwise "reasonable."

Although your question is very reasonable, it cannot be answered without a thorough analysis of all of the facts and circumstances of the case.

Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.


Asking, "How much federal time," is not an easy question.

This is yet another example that what appears to be a relatively simple question is not simple to answer unless ALL the facts and an actual (not a paraphrasing) review of the court record is conducted by an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.

The first part of a complete analysts is reviewing the government's investigation. This must be followed by the defense investigation of the events that tests the government's conclusions and pursues any new leads.
The defense must ascertain if the government can meet it's burden of proving it's case beyond a reasonable doubt.

A determination of alternative sentencing and the viability of plea negotiations must be methodically considered. A detailed review of the advisory guidelines and Sec 3553 factors must also occur.

This is a cursory review of what good lawyers do every time they accept a new federal ocriminal case.

Consult an experienced federal criminal defense in this and in all cases.

Of course, every answer is based on the question asked and requires a more complete context. This answer should not be relied upon to make a legal decision. Seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney before acting. Law Offices of Raymond G. Wigell, Ltd. Defenders of the Constitution since 1975/ Aggressive Creative Defense Strategies/ Website: 24/7 call (708) 481-4800 text (708)218-0923

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer