Prison terms for federal drug crimes can range from as few as one year to as many as life.
There are few cases where the defendant leaves without a minimum mandatory sentencing, which all courts are required to give.
Ultimately, how much prison time a person convicted of a federal drug offense will receive depends on the individual circumstances surrounding their case.
Here’s an overview of the terms:
- 15 days in prison for simple possession of a controlled substance with 1 previous conviction
- 90 days in prison for simple possession of a controlled substance with 2 or more previous convictions
- 1 year in prison for distribution of a controlled substance near a school or other prohibited area (unless a higher minimum applies)
- 5 years for trafficking 100 grams or more of a Schedule I substance (20 years in prison if death or serious injury results)
- 10 years for a repeat offender
- 10 years for trafficking one kilo or more of a Schedule I substance (heroin, marijuana, acid, etc)
- 20 years if death or serious injury results
- 20 years if a prior felony drug conviction exists
- Life with a prior felony drug conviction if death or serious injury results (or with 2 or more felony drug convictions)
- Life for a repeat offender if death or serious injury results