There is no question that anyone who is accused of committing a drug crime needs to take action to defend against the charges. This is particularly true when the charge is in a federal court. Convictions in federal courts are generally much more severe than comparable charges in state courts. A Little Rock, Arkansas, man knows this all too well.

The 46-year-old man recently admitted to selling cocaine, marijuana and heroin which he obtained from his cousin, who was a state trooper and stole it from the evidence room which he supervised. As a result of the man’s admissions, he was sentenced to 70 months in prison.

While in state drug cases there may be some wiggle room with sentencing, where federal cases are concerned, the federal sentencing guidelines dictate the period of time someone will spend in prison upon conviction. In this particular case, due at least in part to the fact that the man had previous criminal convictions on his record, the guidelines provided for between 70 and 87 months.

The man’s lawyer was hoping that because the man had played a more minor role in the crime as compared to his cousin, as well as the fact that the man was homeless due to an attack that left him with a brain injury, he could secure a sentence below the guideline range. The prosecution disagreed with those reasons however and asserted that despite having previously suffered the head injury, the man was in good enough shape to commit the crimes for which he pled guilty.

Ultimately the judge provided a sentence that was on the low end of the prescribed guidelines.

Those who face federal drug charges should not assume that all is lost. A criminal defense lawyer who understands how the system works can still help to try to secure a positive outcome.