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Federal Controlled Substance Possession Penalties


Columbus Controlled Substances Attorney

Law regarding Federal Controlled Substance Possession is extremely complex and the penalties can be quite severe. There are numerous defenses and mitigating factors your attorney can offer in your defense. The right defense attorney is critical to successfully guiding you to the best possible result in your case. Call Attorney Adam Burke today for a free consultation at (614) 208-9122.

Federal Controlled Substances Possession Penalties

Federal Controlled Substance Possession Penalties can range anywhere from nominal fines to 20 years in prison.

A critical factor in your case is the state of the evidence. If the evidence against you was seized illegally, that evidence may be ruled inadmissible based on a properly filed and argued motion.

Many people charged with Possessing Controlled Substances are not guilty of the offense. The government will frequently charge two people for the same drugs if law enforcement is uncertain of who actually possessed the drugs. Cases involving drugs seized with two or more occupants is a common example.

Federal Controlled Substance Possession Penalty Chart

Prior Offenses
Prison Term
Simple Possession
(Most Drugs)
1 Year Max.
$1,000 Min. *
15 Days -
2 Years
$2,500 Min.*
2 or More
90 Days -
3 Years
$5,000 Min.*
Crack Cocaine
( >5 gm)
5-20 Years
$1,000 Min. *
( >3 gm)
5 - 20 Years
$1,000 Min. *
(>1 gm)
2 or More
5 - 20 Years
$1,000 Min. *
Flunitrazepam (Roofies)
3 Year Max.
$1,000 Min. *
3 Year Max.
$2,500 Min.*
2 or more
3 Year Max.
$2,500 Min. *

*plus the reasonable costs of the investigation and prosecution of the offense unless determined unable to pay.

The Federal Government may charge you with Controlled Substance Possession if you:

  • knowingly or
  • intentionally
  • possessed a controlled substance
  • without legal authorization (such as a valid prescription)

ref:21 U.S.C. § 844.

Under federal law, drugs listed in one of five schedules listed in Title 21 Section 812 of the United States Code Section are considered Controlled Substances.

ref:21 U.S.C. § 812.

Even if you did not know you were in possession of the drugs in question you may still be charged with Possessing Controlled Substances if the government believes you were willfully blind to your narcotics possession.

The penalties listed in the chart above are not the end of the story. These penalties are subject to modification based upon the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines including specific factors related to drugs.

Attorney Adam Burke Llc — Columbus, OH Controlled Substance Lawyer

Avoiding a conviction and the most severe penalties is possible and it is incalculably important to your future. The most important factor in what happens to you is the handling of your defense. If you were charged with Controlled Substance Possession and you are truly innocent, you need a qualified criminal defense attorney to avoid a wrongful conviction. Regardless of your situation, Attorney Adam Burke is prepared to defend you. Contact Attorney Adam Burke Llc today for your free consultation at (614) 280-9122.

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Attorney Adam Burke Llc


625 City Park Ave, Suite 200A
Columbus, Ohio 43206