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Tips from Federal Drug Charges Lawyers in Lebanon County, PA

Sitting in a federal prison or county jail awaiting the outcome of a plea deal or a trial can be frightening for a defendant. Most people are left to themselves to decide what to do and how to do it, and the incarceration experience can turn violent at times. Below are a few tips for defendants facing federal drug charges, which may help them get a reduced sentence or overturned conviction.


This one is simple, but many clients fail to follow it. Everyone who goes to trial or takes a plea deal should consider filing an appeal. While waivers sometimes bar appeals, they are not absolute. Federal drug charges lawyers in Lebanon County, PA must file the appeal within 14 days of the verdict, after addressing the benefits and risks of the appeal. Direct appeals are typically heard in the federal appeals court for the area where the sentence occurred.

RDAP Eligibility

A federal inmate with a current history of substance abuse is often eligible for the Federal BOP (Bureau of Prisons) residential drug abuse program. A prisoner finishing RDAP can get a sentence reduction of up to a year. A prisoner with a violent history is typically barred from receiving a reduced sentence but they may still complete the program. When defendants are interviewed by the US Probation Board, they should disclose all prior alcohol or drug abuse.

Judicial Recommendations

A federal judge can recommend a defendant’s placement at a certain prison, or they can order the prisoner to be provided with certain in-house programming. This may affect the prisoner’s housing situation. If a prisoner is charged with a sexual offense, the lawyer should recommend that they be placed in an appropriate facility for their own safety. Likewise, if a defendant is eligible for RDAP, the federal drug charges lawyers in Lebanon County, PA should recommend placement.

While there is no real way to get ready for the experience of becoming a federal prisoner or defendant, there are certain ways to make the process simpler. By following the above tips and consulting the law offices of Melissa R. Montgomery, a defendant can minimize their time in prison and serve their time at a better facility.