What would the penalty likely be for distribution of a controlled substance on federal property? 14 Answers as of April 14, 2011

I know someone who was recently arrested on suspicion of distribution of a controlled substance on a military base. The alleged offense was the sale of under a gram of marijuana. The offender is 18 and the buyer is under 18. What kind of punishment is he likely to face?

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Bloom Legal, LLC
Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
First Offense Marijuana Possession is treated as a misdemeanor charge in Louisiana. It carries penalties of jail time of up to 6 months and fines of up to $500. It is fairly common that sentences in such cases can be reduced to lesser crimes and that the penalties can be reduced in return for certain arrangements including the possibility of probation, drug counseling classes, etc. If you are seeking legal representation in this matter in Louisiana, we invite you to contact our firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation to determine whether or not we would be able to assist you in this matter.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 4/14/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Penalties are determined by either a plea bargain with the federal prosecutor, or a sentence issued by the judge after conviction at trial. Your speculation is as good as mine without full knowledge of the charges and all the facts. This is a federal felony with potential prison time. There are consequences to our actions, intended or not. If this defendant is serious about hiring counsel to try to keep him out of jail/prison, feel free to have him contact me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/13/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
It depends. The penalty for Federal Drub Possession is convoluted and there are multiple factors to consider, including if the offender was in the military. If so, this could be charged under the UCMJ and the actual charge will either be Non-Judicial Punishment (Captain's Mast) or the offender can be referred to court martial. Court martial will depend on several factors, if the offender's Commanding Officer has Special Court Martial Convening Authority or not, and the CO's opinion of the military member in general, admin remarks in his or her Service Record Book, etc. The CO has a lot of discretion, which is exercised based on the offender's past conduct. If he or she has been a model soldier/sailor/airman or Marine, then the CO may handle this with NJP (punishment can range from taking one rank if the the offender is enlisted, up to 60 days confinement to quarters or extra duties, or a combination of 45 days confinement with extra duties, forfeiture of up to one month's pay (spread over two months) and if a junior enlisted up to 30 days in correctional confinements (think the brig meets bootcamp - this is 30 days of hard labor at the brig with a guard that gets to act like a drill instructor from bootcamp). Court martial may be a Summary, Special, or General depending on the officer convening and the punishment varies accordingly. A General Court Martial is convened by a General and the punishment can be up to life in Ft. Levanworth or Dishonorable Discharge, Special Court Martial authority is with the Base Commander and anyone he has granted the authority to - generally Lt. Col or above but can be limited to Flag grade officers. Maximum punishment is 2 years confinement and Bad Conduct Discharge. Summary Court Martial is available to any commissioned officer in command and it stronger than NJP, but no where near as strong as a Special Court Martial. Okay, if the person is not subject to the UCMJ things get even more complicated. The civilian delivering drugs on Federal property in a small amount can be charged one of two ways, depending on whether or not he got remuneration (did he get paid for the marijuana, or was he merely a delivery guy) and depending on the answer, 5 years in a Federal Pen is possible.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 4/13/2011
Andersen Law PLLC
Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
That would depend on whether either of them are charged under military or civilian law. If both parties are military, they may be offered an Article 15 disposition in lieu of court marshal. IF it is in state court, The party who delivered the marijuana will be charged with a class C felony (the least serious) and probably get a few days in jail. He may also be offered diversion if this is a first offense.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/13/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
This is not an easy answer, the penalty will vary depending upon the person's prior criminal history and the exact severity level of the crime of conviction. The Federal and State sentencing guidelines have a grid to help determine the presumtive sentence in each case.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 4/13/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    This response is general information only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. However, I would need further information such as exact charges and whether the person is a member of the military because military punishment may be different than civilian punishment, and if civilian it depends on whether it is brought in Federal or state court and other factors such as prior record of the person.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/12/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Really depends on what the charge is. I would suggest the friend be cooperative buy not say anything, I mean anything to anyone. Get a lawyer, it may not be as bad, but by talking in will become worse very quickly.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 4/13/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I am a criminal defense lawyer who was a federal prosecutor here in Augusta for over 20 years. We would have to know more of the facts to be able to advise as to potential outcomes here. Of course, no one can predict what a court will do at sentencing in any case. I recommend you hire a lawyer with federal court experience as soon as possible. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/13/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If he has no prior convictions he will probably get a sentence of probation. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines he would receive a jail term if he had a prior criminal record and the prosecutor did not offer a reduced plea, but they will usually give a minor a reduced plea so that the Court can sentence him to probation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/12/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Offender could be looking at possession with intent to distribute that would be a class c felony carrying a potential sentencing range from one year and a day to ten years, but offender should request youthful offender status that caps sentencing at 3 years. If offender has a clean record, probation is likely. I am unaware of additional penalties because of the location being a military base. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/12/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    It depends on whether the state or feds pick-up the charge, and the quality of the attorney he hires.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/12/2011
    Attorney Paul Lancia
    Attorney Paul Lancia | Paul Lancia
    This is a federal offense. An 18 yr old is an adult, and the person who is under 18 may face possible youth offender. Both need lawyers, Don't wait.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/12/2011
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