Facing criminal drug charges can be a harrowing ordeal, especially if you are not familiar with your rights or the possible penalties against you. While some drug crimes are state-level misdemeanors with relatively minor consequences, you might find yourself accused of a federal offense with much steeper penalties.
While it is important for the sake of your freedom and your reputation to take any drug charge seriously, knowing when a drug crime is a federal offense can help you clear away any uncertainties and prepare the best defense possible for your case.
What constitutes a federal drug offense?
Drug cases that involve particularly large volumes of illegal substances often escalate to the federal level. Crimes that extend beyond state borders, such as many drug trafficking operations, are also beyond the jurisdiction of any individual state court. Drug crimes of any level that take place on federal property, such as a United States Post Office location, are also federal offenses.
When is a drug crime tried by the Georgia state courts?
The Georgia drug courts handle cases of drug charges that do not escalate to the federal level. The majority of drug crimes, such as instances of possession and distribution, go to the state-level courts. However, any instance of possession of a substance considered legal in a particular state will not result in a criminal trial even if that substance is illegal by federal law.
Drug-related felonies tried at the federal level will have severe implications on your life and your future if they result in a conviction. It is crucial to build a case that can stand up at the highest levels of the court so that you can return to a state of normalcy even after receiving harsh criminal charges.