Cheronis & Parente LLC

Criminal Defense Blog

ON BEHALF OF CHERONIS & PARENTE LLC   /   November 2, 2015

Interesting statistics on federal drug convictions released

Facing federal drug charges brings with it the real possibility of having to do time in a federal prison. A recent report regarding some of the facts surrounding people who were incarcerated for federal drug convictions shows some startling trends.

Over half of the people who were serving federal sentences for drug convictions were convicted of selling crack cocaine or powder cocaine. They accounted for 54 percent of all inmates serving federal time for drug convictions. The second most common drug, accounting for 24 percent of those incarcerated, was methamphetamine. Marijuana rounded out the top three drugs associated with federal prisoners’ convictions. It accounted for 12 percent of those serving federal time.

Most of the people who were in federal prison for drug convictions were males. The majority of federal prisoners incarcerated for drug convictions were over the age of 30.

Interestingly, each type of drug had a specific race that dominated the convictions. Almost half of methamphetamine-related convictions, 48 percent, were for white defendants. Hispanics came in second for methamphetamine with 45 percent of the convictions. Crack cocaine convictions were comprised of 88 percent black defendants; however, 54 percent of those convicted on powder cocaine charges were Hispanics. Marijuana convictions comprised of 59 percent Hispanic defendants.

The average prison sentence for federal drug sentences was more than 11 years. Marijuana convictions averaged more than 7 years, but crack cocaine sentences were almost twice as much with the majority of those sentences being more than 10 years.

This report shows that having a vigorous defense is vital in federal drug cases. Building a defense early on in the case is necessary so that there is time to develop that defense.

Source: PR Newswire, “More Than Half Of Drug Offenders In Federal Prison Were Serving Sentences For Powder Or Crack Cocaine,” Oct. 27, 2015

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