When Does a Drug Offense Become a Federal Charge?

State and federal laws largely overlap when it comes to drug crimes. Both state and federal law prohibit the possession, manufacture, and distribution of illegal drugs. As a result, a drug crime typically can be prosecuted under federal or state law. On the whole, however, penalties for a federal drug conviction generally are more severe than those for a state drug conviction.

However, there are some circumstances in which you may end up facing federal drug charges rather than state drug charges. For instance, if federal authorities arrest you instead of state or local authorities, you are more likely to face federal drug charges. If you are arrested on federal property, you also may face federal drug charges. Likewise, if you are caught with a large amount of drugs, federal authorities may seek to prosecute you at the federal level as opposed to the state level.

When Does a Drug Offense Become a Federal Charge?

Another situation in which you may face federal instead of state drug charges is if you crossed state lines in committing the crime. For example, if you allegedly trafficked drugs from Texas into another state, or brought drugs from another state into Texas, the crime arguably affects interstate commerce. Therefore, the federal government has jurisdiction to prosecute the crime. Likewise, if you are accused of participating in a large-scale multi-state drug operation, you likely will face federal rather than state drug charges.

Furthermore, if you allegedly are involved in a drug scheme that goes beyond mere possession, such as trafficking or manufacture of illegal drugs, you may face federal drug charges instead of state drug charges. Similarly, if you are charged with others in a conspiracy to distribute or manufacture drugs, you also routinely may be charged at the federal rather than the state level.

At Peek & Toland, we care about helping you through your criminal proceedings. We will focus our efforts on advocating on your behalf and representing your interests throughout your case. Our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers know the best strategies for defending you and working toward your desired objective. Allow us to handle your criminal case by sitting down with us today and discussing your situation.

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