Federal Drug Crimes

Newark Federal Drug Crime Defense Lawyer

Over the last 30 years, the so-called "war on drugs" has led to an enormous increase in the number of drug prosecutions in New Jersey and across the U.S. The federal government is highly aggressive in prosecuting suspected drug offenders, and it has almost unlimited resources at its disposal. If you are in any way connected to a federal drug case, it is imperative that you hire an experienced lawyer to advise and defend you.

I am Joseph D. Rotella, and I have 27 years of experience as a Newark federal drug crime defense attorney. My work has earned me a reputation for resourcefulness, determination and success in difficult cases in federal courts throughout New Jersey. I find and exploit weaknesses in the prosecution's case by closely analyzing every fact surrounding the event. Perhaps, for example, police broke the law by illegally searching your home or car. This kind of weakness can lead to dismissal of the case, the ideal outcome for my client.

How Does a Drug Crime Become Federal?

Many drug offenses are tried in state court, but the crime becomes federal when certain factors are present. For example, federal law is broken if the offender crosses state lines during the commission of the alleged offense. Some drugs may have been shipped via the U.S. postal service. The drugs may have been seized from a ship at a New Jersey port. The alleged offender may have been arrested by federal law enforcement. These are just a few of the possible reasons why a drug crime could lead to federal criminal charges.

As an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer in Newark, I handle drug cases involving such charges as:

  • Federal drug trafficking, which can include manufacturing or distributing illicit drugs such as cocaine or heroin, as well as trafficking in prescription drugs
  • Possession with intent to distribute
  • Importing or exporting drugs
  • Distributing drugs to someone under age 21 or within a school zone (known as a "protected location crime")
  • Criminal enterprise
Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Part of the legacy of the war on drugs is the very harsh sentences imposed on those convicted of drug crimes. There are mandatory minimum sentences that often include years-long prison terms for relatively minor crimes. This all means that federal drug crimes cases are very high-stakes. I understand how to work within the complex federal system to seek positive outcomes. Defeating the charges is my No. 1 goal. But, if you are convicted, you can rely on me to do everything I can to seek a reduced sentence and minimize the damage of a conviction.

Contact a New Jersey Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney

If you are under investigation or have been charged with a federal drug crime in New Jersey, protect yourself by hiring a lawyer who understands the federal system. Call my Newark law firm at 973-621-0333 or send me an email today.