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Federal Cocaine Sentencing

Federal Cocaine Sentencing Guidelines Simplified By The Legal Research Team At NLPA

Federal drug crimes are the most common federal convictions in this country. Among the most popular drugs resulting in convictions is cocaine. Make no mistake, though the disparity in crack-cocaine sentences compared to powder cocaine had always been more severe (and have since been amended), the sentencing guidelines for federal cocaine charges themselves still carry hefty weight and can result in a very lengthy sentence.

The sentencing guidelines vary in range based upon the nature of the charge. For example, a defendant can be charged in a federal indictment for one or any of the following violations involving cocaine:

  • Unlawful manufacturing;
  • Importing;
  • Exporting;
  • Trafficking;
  • Possession;
  • Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE);
  • Intent to Distribute

Federal cocaine charges can be also enhanced based upon the other factors, the location of the violation or other items/individuals involved (ie, attempt or conspiracy, near a school or protected location, involving underage or pregnant individuals, with use of a weapon or if a weapon is found, with use of a communication facility, paraphernalia, etc).

Federal cocaine sentences are based upon the United States Sentencing Guidelines released for the appropriate year. The United States Sentencing Commission releases the new guidelines each year on November 1st. To view the latest guideline manual it can be seen here.

Each federal cocaine sentence is imposed through the calculation of that defendant’s base offense level and any additional points are added to that base offense level for enhancements. Each gram of cocaine involved in the case has an equivalency on the drug table of 200 grams of marijuana.

If you have a federal cocaine case and are not sure of the defenses that can be raised, NLPA can help. Our researchers have more than 75 years of combined experience in these very types of cases. We have what we believe to be one of the best track records in the country in defending cases such as this. For more information about these research results, click here.

NLPA offers assistance at virtually any stage of your federal cocaine case including pretrial, plea negotiations, sentencing, appeal, post conviction relief. We also offer detailed case analysis services to determine what options and issues may be available at this point in the case.

If you are interested in learning how NLPA can assist with your case, contact us today!


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