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When Does a Drug Crime Become Federal?

June 24, 2015

First off, any drug arrest can result in a federal drug charge because drug crimes are always state crimes, as well as federal crimes. This applies to manufacturing, selling, and even possession of drugs.

But Why is It That Some Become Federal Charges While Others Don’t?

There are a few circumstances which almost always lead to a standard drug crime being elevated to the federal level. They are as follows:

  • A federal officer makes the arrest. This could entail anything from being caught smoking marijuana at a national park to being busted in a sting operation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
  • An informant is involved. If someone informs on you, whether willingly or not, the charge will immediately become federal. State and federal prosecutors often work together to make deals that involve more lenient penalties for the informant and federal charges for the individual informed upon.

If your case is in the federal system, you face penalties that are far more severe than at the state level. Even worse, most federal systems do not have a real parole system, which means that, if convicted, you will most likely serve the full term of your sentence. This does not bode well since federal cases commonly result in the maximum possible sentence.

Clearly, if you have been charged with a federal drug offense, it is in your best interest to get a good defense team on your side. At Baker Associates, our experienced Knoxville criminal defense attorneys aggressively fight to secure our clients their freedom and future. If we’re not able to get your charges dropped altogether, we will use the full scope of our legal skills and knowledge to get your penalties significantly reduced. Call us today at (615) 422-6790 to learn more about your legal rights and options.