When facing drug charges, in most cases they will be kept to a state level and you will be punished by state laws if convicted. However, there are situations where a drug crime become infinitely more complicated federal crime. As one would expect, a federal drug crime comes with much harsher penalties. In order to avoid them, it is best to know how drug crimes go from a state level to a federal level.
There are five primary ways a drug crime becomes federal crime. These include:
- A federal informant named you – If, for example, you were a dealer and a customer were arrested by a federal agent and named you, your arrest would be a federal matter.
- You were arrested on federal property – This isn’t a common one, but if you were arrested for even just minor possession on federal property – everything from military bases to national parks – it becomes a federal matter.
- The arrest was made by a federal agent – If you were hit in a drug bust by the DEA or any other federal agency, if the officer is a federal agent, the crime becomes a federal crime.
- Drugs crossed state lines – This is the most common way a drug crime becomes a federal matter. If you were to ferry drugs from Wisconsin to Minnesota, by crossing the state lines, it automatically becomes a federal matter.
- Other reasons – Essentially this last way a drug crime becomes a federal crime is really a catch-all sort of reason for when the federal government wants to step in. In most cases, if it is a particularly large drug crime, the state may not have the resources or the federal government will have some sort of interest in it and they will take over.
Because of the enhanced punishments that come with federal drug crimes, it is important to fight the charges as soon as possible. If you are looking at a drug crime that is going to become a federal case, contact us today to see what we can do to help.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.