Federal Drug Crime Attorneys
Some people don’t know the differences between state and federal crimes. State crimes are when people break the law at the state level; federal crimes are when people break the law at the federal (nation-wide) level.
A federal charge is typically harsher than a state charge, which means you don’t want to be charged at the federal level. To help you steer clear of federal charges, SRC Law Group, LLC has gathered some examples of federal drug crimes.
Schedule I and Schedule II Controlled Substances
Federal drug crimes include distributing, exporting, importing, manufacturing, possessing (regardless the intent to distribute), or using controlled substances. Controlled Substances Act listed under Schedule I and Schedule II, include the following drugs:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
- Psilocybin mushrooms
Examples Of Federal Drug Crimes
If someone manufactures, distributes, dispenses, or possesses an exorbitant amount of drugs, he or she may face federal charges.
For example, distributing the following number of drugs will result in federal charges:
- 500 or more gms of cocaine;
- 40 or more gms of fentanyl;
- 100 or more gms of heroin;
- One or more gms of LSD.
However, federal drug charges stem from more than crimes involving large quantities of drugs.
Circumstances that Create Federal Charges
Federal drug crimes are typically regular drug crimes mixed with federal involvement. For example, if an FBI agent was the one to make an arrest for possession, the charge against the accused would likely become federal because a federal agent is the one who made the arrest.
Similarly, if an FBI informant gives information that leads to a person’s arrest, it’s likely going to be a federal charge due to the use of federal resources.
Lastly, if people commit crimes on federal land, they will likely face federal charges. Therefore, if someone is arrested for drug possession in a national park, prosecution will come at the federal level.
What Makes a Drug Crime a Federal Offense?
When someone is charged with a drug crime, they are likely to be prosecuted in a federal court.
There are many reasons why this happens.
Many crimes are routinely prosecuted under local or state law. Drug crimes are different. It is common for these offenses to end up being prosecuted at the federal level. The legal statutes covering drug offenses in state and federal laws are similar. Many wonder why drug crimes are most often charged in a federal court rather than a state court. There are many reasons why this happens.
Every state has its own drug laws, but the federal government has its own established drug laws. We examine what makes a drug crime a federal offense, and why the declaration should matter to the accused.
When Is a Drug Charge a Federal Offense?
The first thing to note is that the severity of the offense is rarely the determining factor of whether the drug charge will go to federal court. The federal government can prosecute anything from simple possession to massive trafficking operations, so the severity of the crime doesn’t necessitate if the charge is a federal offense.
However, there are a few things that can label a drug charge as a federal crime.
Federal Informant Named the Suspect
Federal Officer Made the Arrest
The Crime Occurred on Federal Property
Priorities of Federal Law Enforcement
Insufficient State or Local Government Resources
Various Other Reasons
A state may willingly (or willingly) relinquish the right to prosecute a suspect to the federal government for a variety of small reasons that have nothing to do with boundaries and the use of federal agents. For example, a state may lack enough resources to prosecute a sophisticated criminal offense. In this situation, the state may willingly hand over the case to the federal government to prosecute.
In other situations, a federal prosecutor may request jurisdiction for a case to crackdown on a specific problematic area, or because the case-in-question relates to another federal criminal case. Additionally, state and federal officials can sometimes agree to have a state relinquish jurisdiction for any reason should the two entities agree.
Charged with a Federal Drug Crime?
Penalties for Federal Drug Convictions
Penalties for Federal Drug Possession
Unsurprisingly, penalties for federal drug convictions are typically worse than state-level convictions.
A simple drug possession conviction at the federal level will result in the following penalties:
- imprisonment for up to a year; or
- a minimum fine of $1,000; or
- both penalties.
A simple marijuana possession charge in Kansas will result in a Class B nonperson misdemeanor charge. A Class B nonperson misdemeanor conviction could result in the following penalties:
- imprisonment in county jail for up to 6 months; or
- a maximum fine of $1,000; or
- both penalties.
As you can see, the penalties for a simple federal drug possession conviction could result in nearly twice the prison sentence of the state’s equivalent conviction.
Drug Trafficking Penalties Depend on Circumstances
Moving drugs across state lines could result in federal drug trafficking charges. The potential penalties for trafficking convictions are impacted by the type and quantity of trafficked drugs.
For example, trafficking more than a kilogram of heroin could result in at least a decade of imprisonment, but trafficking less than a kilogram but more than 100 grams of heroin could result in at least five years of imprisonment. There’s a big difference between a minimum sentence of five and ten years.
Serious Penalties Need Serious Representation
Drug Crimes Across State Lines
What Is a Drug Crime Across State Lines?
Why Are Drug Crimes Across State Lines a Big Deal?
When someone brings drugs from one state into another state, he or she has now committed a crime in both states. Unfortunately, that means both states have the right to prosecute the person for the same crime. However, typically speaking, both states will give up their right to prosecute to allow the federal government to prosecute the crime on their behalves.
Reasons why someone accused of a drug crime doesn’t want the federal government to prosecute the charge:
- The federal government typically has more resources to prosecute the accused;
- Federal convictions are typically worse than state convictions;
- Federal charges are more serious than state charges.
Accused of a Drug Crime That Crossed State Lines?
Defenses to Federal Drug Crime Charges
Common Federal Drug Crime Defenses
Sale to an Informant
If you were searched using a drug-sniffing dog, you actually may have a better chance of having your charges dropped than you might think. Drug dogs must be handled in a very specific way. A dog’s record when it comes to success finding drugs goes a long way in proving its reliability, and if its handler was not properly trained or improperly followed procedures, evidence against you may have been found without establishing probable cause. Discuss your case with an attorney to see if any of these provisions apply to you.
If you are facing federal drug crime charges, SRC Law Group, LLC can help! We are a widely-recognized law firm that has been ranked in the Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.
Federal Drug Diversion Investigations
Drug diversion involves the transfer of prescription drugs from the person legally receiving the substance to another person for illicit use. This federal drug crime is often typically aimed at medical professionals.
Whether you have been contacted by a federal agent or been subpoenaed, being investigated for federal drug diversion can be a stressful, scary, and confusing situation. Rather than navigating the legal process in the dark, you should understand what to expect and take legal action to protect your reputation, rights, and future.
Fighting the opioid epidemic is a top priority for federal law enforcement.
The investigation may involve multiple federal agencies.
A conviction for federal drug diversion is punishable by harsh penalties
In addition to federal drug diversion, medical professionals can be charged with other federal crimes.
There are many “red flags” may lead to an investigation.
Do not interact with federal authorities.
It is a huge mistake to answer any questions from federal agents without first obtaining legal advice. Other mistakes include destroying medical records and continue engaging in illegal prescription practices.
As soon as you are contacted by federal authorities or learn you are being investigated for federal drug diversion, it is important to hire an experienced federal crime attorney. At SRC Law Group, LLC, we have nearly three decades of combined legal experience protecting our clients from federal charges in Kansas.