If you are accused of a drug crime, there is a significant difference between being tried in a state court versus a federal court.
What Are Felony Drug Offenses?
Just because you were arrested by Texas state police or a local sheriff does not mean your case will be heard in state court. Depending upon the nature of the crime, whether it occurred across state or national borders, the amount of drugs involved, and other factors, your drug case could be heard in federal court.
Whether your case will be heard in federal court or state court, you need an experienced drug crimes defense lawyer if you are facing criminal charges for a felony drug offense such as:
- Drug cultivation
- Drug manufacturing
- Drug trafficking
- Internet drug sales (including illegal sale of prescription drugs, sale of knock-off or fake prescription drugs, sale of controlled substances like steroids or human growth hormone, sale of precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of other drugs, like methamphetamines)
- Intent to sell (if you are charged with having a large amount of drugs in your possession but there is no evidence that a sale has occurred)
Drug Crimes Differences
One of the primary differences involves the potential penalties upon conviction. If you’re facing federal charges, you can expect the penalties to be far more severe than they would be for a state-level case. For defendants facing federal drug charges, it’s crucial and imperative to select an experienced criminal defense attorney who has previously represented clients in federal court.
Arrest by a Federal Officer
One reason why your case might be prosecuted in federal court is if you were arrested by a federal officer. This can occur if you were arrested as part of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). However, federal drug arrests do not always involve lengthy investigations. You could be arrested for possessing a very small amount of an illegal substance on national park property, for example.
Arrest as the Result of an Informant
It’s not uncommon for a criminal defense attorney to try to arrange a sentence reduction for a client on the basis of providing substantial assistance to an investigation. If you were arrested on the basis of assistance provided by a federal informant, then your case is automatically transferred to federal court.
Decisions Made by State and Federal Prosecutors
Sometimes, the decision of whether to prosecute a defendant in state or federal court is less cut-and-dry. It may simply be the result of an agreement made between state and federal prosecutors. State or local law enforcement officers might make a drug arrest in cooperation with federal investigators, for example.
Drug Offenses Across State Lines
Criminal activity perpetrated across state lines can be tried in federal court. Most federal drug cases involve charges of drug trafficking. The severity of the penalties upon conviction depends on the specific type and amount of drug involved in the case.
Experienced Federal Drug Crimes Defense Attorney in Dallas
At 214 Release: Hindieh Law, PLLC, our drug defense lawyers focus exclusively on criminal law cases – including drug offenses prosecuted in federal court. To arrange for unparalleled legal representation, call us at 214-Release (214.960.1458) for a free confidential consultation today. Our Dallas drug crimes defense attorney provides aggressive legal advocacy services to protect the rights and freedom of defendants.
If you are charged with a serious federal drug offense, the federal criminal defense attorney at Hindieh Law is some of the best. With hundreds of federal drug cases handled by our firm, we have diverse experience on how to negotiate with federal prosecutors, knowledge of the rules of federal criminal procedure, and how to prevail in federal court.