Every year more than two million people are arrested for drug crimes in the United States. Some go to federal court while others stay at the local level. With so many laws concerning controlled substances, when does a drug crime become a federal offense?
• If you were arrested by a federal officer, you’ll be charged under federal law.
• If you have or use drugs on federal lands like a national park, that, too is a federal crime.
• If someone was charged at the federal level and informed on you, it’s likely you’ll be facing federal charges.
• Sometimes state and federal law enforcement are intertwined for drug arrests, with prosecutors deciding whether the charge should be in federal or state court.
Federal drug crime charges are usually more serious that state charges and result into stiffer penalties. There are also federal mandates in place that impose mandatory minimum prison sentences. If you want to appeal your conviction, it’s also much harder to do so for a federal crime than a state crime. While federal sentencing laws do have a probation option, it’s rarely used so federal charges usually result with longer, more severe prison sentences. Federal charges also expose you to numerous other charges that may not seem directly related, like tax evasion charges or RICO violations.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a federal crime in San Antonio, it’s serious business that can have a negative impact on your life for years to come. You need to obtain the best defense team to fight for you and your rights. Contact the San Antonio law firm of Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda for your free consultation today.