Federal Criminal Defense – Robberies and Burglaries Involving Controlled Substances

What is a Robbery or Burglary Involving Controlled Substances?

Robbery and/or burglary involving controlled substances are federal offenses punishable under 18 USC § 2118. These are serious crimes, and those found guilty can be subject to significant criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment. If a person takes or attempts to take material or compounds containing any amount of controlled substances from someone registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration by force, violence, intimidation, or any other means – they will face criminal prosecution.

Someone can also be charged under this section for entering the premises of a person registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration with the intent to take a controlled substance.

There are three factors that can result in a federal charge, including:

  • The minimum replacement cost for the materials taken must be at least $500,
  • If someone was killed or suffered significant bodily injury as a result of the taking or attempt, or
  • The person engaged in the theft crossed state lines to facilitate the attempt.

If you are facing a federal criminal charge or are being investigated for one, then it is critical to speak to an experienced federal criminal defense attorney immediately.

What if There is a Conspiracy to Commit a Robbery or Burglary Involving Controlled Substances?

If two people conspire to commit a robbery or burglary involving controlled substances under 18 USC § 2118, then they face a maximum possible penalty of fines and up to ten years in prison if any member of the conspiracy commits an overt act to forward the purpose of the conspiracy. An overt act can be any type of action or activity that takes a step towards accomplishing the goals of the conspiracy. It is important to note that an actual attempt at a robbery or burglary of controlled substances does not have to take place for a conspiracy conviction.

What are the Potential Penalties for Robbery or Burglary Involving Controlled Substances?

Anyone who violates 18 USC § 2118 by committing a robbery or burglary involving controlled substances can face a fine, up to 20 years imprisonment, or both. If while committing an act that violates 18 USC § 2118, an individual uses a dangerous weapon, then that person can face a fine, up to 25 years imprisonment, or both. If while committing an act that violates 18 USC § 2118, an individual kills anyone, then that person can face a fine, or any term of years of imprisonment, up to life.

What are Some Common Defenses to a Robbery or Burglary Involving Controlled Substances?

An individual accused of committing a robbery or burglary involving controlled substances under 18 USC § 2118 may have a few potential defenses available. These include an argument that there was no interstate commerce involved in the alleged incident, as well as not being involved or part of any conspiracy. Interstate commerce requires part of the alleged activity to cross state lines in some way. Additionally, if the evidence obtained against the person was obtained illegally, then a motion can be filed to seek suppression of the evidence by the judge. In some cases, having evidence suppressed can result in a complete dismissal.

In What Court Will Your Case Be Heard?

Depending on where a crime involving a robbery or burglary involving controlled substances takes place in Pennsylvania, it will be prosecuted in the appropriate federal District Court. There are federal district courts throughout the country, and Pennsylvania is no exception with its three federal districts: Central, Middle, and Eastern. A case will be heard in the district court based on where the alleged crime occurred.

What If I Want to Appeal?

Appealing a decision from a federal district court can be done by filing an appeal to the relevant appellate court. For appeals from the Middle or Eastern Districts of Pennsylvania, that would be the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. It's important to remember that appeals are based on records and evidence presented in the district court and new evidence is rarely considered by the court. The highest possible level for an appeal is the United States Supreme Court.

The United States Supreme Court is the highest court in the US and its rulings are absolute. It has no obligation to hear each case that is presented to it, rather it chooses which cases to take based on their potential effect on matters of national interest. Careful consideration is taken before any decision is made. In most cases, the decision of an appellate court will stand since there is no right to be heard in the Supreme Court.

How Hiring an Experienced Attorney Can Help

If you have been charged with a crime, such as a robbery or burglary involving controlled substances, having experienced legal representation is critical. An experienced lawyer can properly assess your case and advise you on the best course of action to take. This may include deciding whether to go to trial or attempt to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor.

If you need help with this serious matter, reach out to the Lento Law Firm as soon as possible. Our team of professional lawyers is here to answer any questions and provide skilled guidance every step of the way.

Why Hiring the Lento Law Firm is the Right Choice

If you are being prosecuted for robbery or burglary involving controlled substances, then it is important to speak to an experienced federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped people defend countless criminal charges in several jurisdictions. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or contact them online to learn why hiring the Lento Law Firm is the right choice to help defend your federal case.

Contact Us Today!

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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