When does a Florida drug charge become a federal crime?
In many cases, the state handles drug crimes. If you commit a drug crime in Florida, you will likely face a misdemeanor charge.
However, certain factors can put you at risk for a federal drug charge.
Drug trafficking charges, which are federal charges, come into play when drugs cross state lines. You can also face a drug trafficking charge if you use the mail system to transport drugs, even if the mail only travels within Florida.
The type of drug
The Controlled Substance Act (CSA) is a policy that details how various groups of drugs are federally regulated. There are five different groups, known as schedules. Each schedule comes with varying risk factors and penalties. Schedules I and II, for example, are high-risk drugs and therefore carry higher fines.
Having an excess of a drug can land you a federal charge. For example, possessing more than 10 grams of a Schedule I drug is a first-degree felony, and possessing more than 10 grams of any other controlled substance is a third-degree felony. Certain weight limits can land you a drug trafficking charge as well. You need 25 pounds of marijuana but only one gram of LSD for authorities to charge you as a drug trafficker.
Charges involving the possession or sale of a small amount of drugs are commonly prosecuted as misdemeanors. However, if the incident occurred on government property, it automatically becomes a federal issue.
Federal charges are extremely serious. If you find yourself facing a federal drug charge, contact a knowledgeable Florida attorney for guidance. Take a look at our page on drug charges to learn more about your options.