Whenever administrations change, may they be presidential or otherwise, it is very likely that the new administration will have a different approach or strategy than the previous one. That's a not-so-veiled comment about the current political climate in our country, but politics aside, the sentiment does hold true. Now, why do we bring this up on criminal defense blog?
Well, the head of the Department of Justice sets the tone for the entire department, and under the Obama administration there was an inclination to refrain from filing federal drug charges in relation to marijuana. We're not saying they were never pursued -- but they were certainly de-emphasized. Given public sentiment and the growing number of states legalizing marijuana, it seemed logical.
But the new administration has made it seem as though they will pursue these charges going forward. Federal drug charges are incredibly punishing and carry far greater consequences than state-level crimes. In addition, federal drug charges are often paired with a bevy of other charges, including conspiracy charges and weapons charges, to achieve the maximum possible prison sentence while also providing some hefty leverage to get the defendant to agree to a plea deal.
The odds are heavily stacked in the prosecution's favor, but that doesn't mean that an accused individual should give up. Anyone accused of drug charges, may they be at the state or federal level, must consult with an attorney. Even those odds out and get your legal questions answered by contacting Lindsey & Ferry, P.A.