Drug crimes are among the most serious charges that a person can face. However, there are a number of complications. We know that certain drugs, including marijuana, are legal in certain states. We also know that marijuana possession, while illegal in other areas of the country, has been decriminalized, depending on the amount. Some may wonder if this applies to other drugs and what amount can get you in trouble. Generally speaking, being arrested for possession of an illegal drug, regardless of the drug is a serious matter. If you or someone you love has been arrested for drug possession, it’s critical that you contact a federal defense attorney in Tampa immediately. Here’s why.
When you are arrested for a drug-related crime, it can be prosecuted at the state or federal level based on a number of factors. If your drug arrest took place within the state where you reside, you will possibly face state prosecution. However, if drug charges cross state lines or took place on federal property, you will face federal charges. Federal drug convictions carry stringent penalties including long prison sentences.
There are number factors in which drug arrests can become federal crimes. These include:
The nature of the crime: If a drug crime involves the intent to distribute drugs, trafficking, a large amount of drugs, or the manufacturing of drugs, there’s a greater likelihood that your drug charge will become a federal charge.
If state and federal authorities choose to make a federal crime: Oftentimes, state and federal authorities work together in drug investigations. In these cases, both entities may decide to pursue federal charges, which carry longer prison sentences.
Jurisdiction of the arresting authority: Simply put, if a federal officer arrests you, it’s a federal drug crime.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.