What makes a drug offense federal vs. state?
It goes without saying that drug charges come in varying levels of severity based on the nature of the offense. Some offenses are misdemeanors while others are felonies, but there is also a marked difference between state-level drug offenses and federal offenses.
Many drug crimes prosecuted at the federal level are severe felonies with harsh consequences. In the face of an impending drug charge, it is important to know whether the offense falls under state or federal jurisdiction.
When is a drug crime a federal offense?
Offenses may escalate to the federal level if they involve a particularly large amount of drugs. However, most federal drug offenses entail the use of federal property such as a United State Post Office to facilitate the transfer or sale of substances. Large-scale drug trafficking efforts, such as those that extend across state lines, are also federal-level offenses.
When is a drug crime a state offense?
The vast majority of possession and drug manufacturing charges are state-level offenses. For example, Florida statutes on drug abuse explain that selling, manufacturing, or delivering substances controlled by the state are offenses that the local court will oversee as either a misdemeanor or felony. It is worth noting that federal law bans certain substances, but possession of such substances is not a crime if the state chooses to legalize them.
Criminal charges at both the state and federal levels can dramatically alter the course of your life. You can better protect your future by seeking experienced legal counsel as soon as possible, especially if the issue escalates to the federal courts.