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Penalties for federal fentanyl trafficking

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Federal Crimes |

Federal fentanyl trafficking charges can carry severe penalties. Fentanyl is subject to strict regulation by federal law enforcement agencies due to its addictive and dangerous nature.

Those charged with trafficking fentanyl at the federal level may face a variety of significant legal consequences. The exact penalties they may face depend on various factors, including the circumstances surrounding their arrests.

Mandatory minimum sentences and hefty fines

Under federal law, fentanyl trafficking offenses often come with mandatory minimum sentences. They also come with hefty fines. These mandatory minimum sentences require individuals to serve a specified period behind bars. This period can range from several years to decades depending on the quantity of fentanyl involved and whether there are any aggravating factors present in the case.

Whether someone has past convictions for similar offenses also helps determine the severity of the penalties he or she may face for fentanyl trafficking. Defendants may also have to pay steep fines, further exacerbating the financial burden of a conviction.

Aggravating factors and enhanced penalties

In cases where aggravating factors are present, such as in cases involving allegations of trafficking near schools, federal prosecutors may seek enhanced penalties. These aggravating circumstances can result in even harsher sentencing outcomes, including longer prison terms and larger fines.

Per the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the average prison term for someone convicted of fentanyl trafficking at the federal level is about 74 months, with almost 90% of offenders having to serve time. Those facing such charges must be aware of the serious penalties they may face upon conviction.

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