In this Federal Drug Penalties Introduction, you will see the basic penalties for common federal drug offenses. However, this is not an exhaustive list of offenses.
Actual sentences are affected by many factors, including the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines, aggravating and mitigating circumstances, defenses and plea agreements.
Generally, federal drug penalties are determined in two ways: (1) based on penalties in the United States Code (USC) and (2) Based on United States Sentencing Guidelines (USSG): both general factors and factors to specific to federal drug offenses.
Penalties for simple possession are not affected by USSG drug-specific factors. However, most other drug offenses involve looking at both the United States Code and all relevant USSG factors.
This Introduction to Drug to Federal Drug Penalties focuses on three Federal Drug Offense: Federal Drug Possession (aka Federal Controlled Substance Possession), Federal Drug Conspiracy, and Federal Drug Trafficking.