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Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
John D. Kirby in San Diego, CA

Federal sentencing guidelines for drug trafficking were enacted in the 1980s. They were imposed so there were significant penalties to those that are convicted of these crimes. Under federal law, those found in possession of illicit substances can be convicted of a trafficking crime based on the number of drugs that are in their possession. At the Law Offices of John D. Kirby, we represent those facing drug charges in the State of California.

Drug Trafficking and Drug Possession

Under federal statutes, trafficking means that someone committed the crime of drug trafficking when manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing any amount of a prohibited narcotic. This means that trafficking can even apply to merely possession.

Drug trafficking offenses occur when a defendant is in possession of more than a specific amount of a prohibited substance. The number of drugs a person has to be within the minimums to apply to this crime. Those who possess amounts below the minimum amount for drug trafficking can face drug possession charges with lower penalties.


There are no longer mandatory minimum sentences for drug trafficking crimes. When determining a sentence, the court will take into consider certain factors such as criminal history, if someone was hurt during the crime, or if the crime occurred in a school zone. In addition to larger penalties when contributing factors are present, the federal sentencing guidelines also allows for lesser penalties when someone substantially helps federal prosecutors. “This means that they provided federal prosecutors or law enforcement agents with information that helped them to prosecute other criminals. Ultimately, the federal sentencing guidelines for drug trafficking are complicated, so it’s important to have an experienced attorney by your side when you’re facing these charges.

Call to Schedule a Free Consultation With a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been charged with a federal drug crime, call to schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of John D. Kirby today. These charges can lead to hefty fines and a long time in jail or prison. Schedule a legal consultation by calling 619-557-0100.