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Intersection of Texas drug crimes and federal offenses

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Drug Charges

A person who’s facing drug charges in Texas can either face state drug charges or federal charges. Which of these is ultimately levied depends on several factors. For example, any case that involves federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, can lead to federal charges.

There are several other instances in which federal drug charges may occur. In certain instances, the federal government may waive the right to prosecute these charges and allow the state to handle them. Understanding when the federal government may pick up a case is important so anyone facing drug charges understands exactly what’s possible.

Drug charge that occurs on federal property

If a person has drugs on federal property, such as when they walk into any federal building or in a national park, they can face federal drug charges. This includes all drugs, including marijuana, which is still considered a controlled substance under federal law.

Crossing state lines or into Mexico with drugs

Bringing drugs into Texas or leaving the state with them is illegal. Anytime drugs cross state or national borders, the case becomes a federal one. Drug smuggling into and out of Mexico is an example of what would fall under federal jurisdiction.

Cartel-related drug activities

Drug charges that are due to the involvement of known gangs or cartels can be tried under federal law. The federal government will sometimes step in to levy conspiracy charges when there are multiple people or organizations involved in the matter.

Large quantities of drugs

Drug trafficking and distribution laws are very strict under federal law. Cases that involve large quantities of drugs may be tried in federal court because of the mandatory minimum sentences associated with convictions on those charges.

Anyone who is facing federal charges should ensure they have a legal representative as quickly as possible after they are arrested. A federal drug conviction can result in considerable time in prison. Having the assistance of someone familiar with the intricacies of the federal criminal justice system may help defendants to present the strongest case possible under the circumstances.