Drug Manufacturing & Cultivation
Drug manufacturing is the production of illegal, controlled substances such as methamphetamine, LSD and Ecstasy (or MDMA) that require certain, "precursor" chemicals and laboratory equipment. It's important to note that, in many cases, the possession of the "precursor" chemicals (such as saffron oil used to produce Ecstasy), is as illegal as the finished product.
Drug cultivation is defined as possessing, producing and growing naturally occurring elements such as plants and other items (cannabis seeds and marijuana plants) used to make illegal controlled substances. A person can be charged with drug cultivation just by having the ingredients necessary to cultivate marijuana, such as high-power lamps or cannabis seeds can lead to charges of drug cultivation.
It's not "Breaking Bad" ― it's real life
As with all Federal drug crimes, prospective prison sentences and their severity will be largely dependent on the amount of drugs involved in the charged offense. In drug manufacturing and cultivation offenses, be wary of advisory Guidelines "aggravators" that serve to enhance or "bump up" a defendant's Guideline sentencing range. For example, a defendant who's been selling small amounts of "crystal meth" from his apartment may very well be subject to a 2-level enhancement because "he maintained his apartment for the purposes of selling drugs." See U.S. v. Winfield, 846 F.3rd 241 (7th Cir. 2017).
Given the high stakes, defendants simply can't afford to hire an attorney who's not experienced defending Federal drug manufacturing and cultivation crimes, who's not versed in calculating the advisory, Federal sentencing Guidelines and who doesn't thoroughly understand "safety valve" relief and when it applies.
Making the Feds prove it
Thankfully, there are defenses to Federal drug manufacturing and cultivation crimes charges. Consider, for instance, lack of evidence, lack of intent, and improper police conduct. Think about it: the DEA can't raid a grow house or dismantle a laboratory without a warrant based on probable cause.
Which is why it's critically important to hire an experienced Federal criminal defense attorney to develop an effective defense strategy and to fight the Government on key issues such as knowledge and intent and to file motions to suppress evidence when practicable.
There is hope
If you or a loved one is arrested and charged with a Federal drug crime, please call our 24-hour telephone number 305-461-1066 to set up an appointment and free consultation so we can assess your particular case and provide you with the best legal advice on how to proceed.
We are solely a Criminal Defense Law Firm. That's all we do and all we have done since 1987.