In the event of an arrest for a drug crime in Texas, one of the most common questions people ask is whether their case will be held in federal or state criminal court. Although most drug charges are prosecuted by the state court, there are many cases where the federal court will have sole jurisdiction depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense.
The following are the common factors of a federal drug crime:
- You were arrested by a federal law enforcement agency – If federal authorities—including the Federal Beau of Investigation (FBI) or Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)—arrests you, the federal court has jurisdiction over your case.
- Your alleged drug crime was committed in multiple states – When drug crimes involve more than one state, they will be prosecuted in federal court. While physical crossing state lines to deliver drugs is a common example, another one is making online contact with potential buyers in other states.
- Your alleged drug crime was committed on federal property – If you are caught with drugs on federal land, even if it was for a small amount, the federal court will preside over your case.
- You were charged with a serious drug crime – Although drug possession charges will often go through the state court system, if the person is arrested for manufacturing or trafficking large amounts of drugs, the federal court will handle the case.
- State and federal authorities will decide – Federal and state authorities will determine which court will handle a drug crime. For instance, state police will refer a drug crime to federal agencies since it involves a large amount of drugs, multiple parties, or multiple states.
Keep in mind, drug cases that are handled in federal court are subject to harsher prison sentences and other penalties compared to the state court system since federal prosecutors handle more serious crimes.
Whether you are facing a federal drug crime in Texas, our College Station criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C. understands what it takes to protect your rights, reputation, and future. With decades of experience and thousands of drug cases handled, do not hesitate to let our skilled legal team help you get the most favorable results.
Contact us and schedule a free consultation today.