Drug trafficking is a serious offense in Texas, one that can lead to severe penalties including lengthy time in prison.
You will most likely need to hire a federal criminal defense lawyer to defend you if your case is turned over to “The Feds.”
In actuality, many drug trafficking cases are tried on a state level without involvement of the Federal court system.
The ones that are deemed more serious federal charges and require that you hire a federal criminal defense attorney are those so indicated under certain conditions.
1. Drug Amounts
One indicator that defense lawyers know about that could elevate a case from the state to federal level is the amount of drugs involved.
Typically, cases that involve amounts deemed to be for personal use or small-time dealing often leaves the case at the state level.
Cases that involve larger amounts of drugs, more than that expected for personal use, will usually have authorities looking closer at your charges.
If the potential exists that the case involves a larger drug operation, it could be moved up to the federal court system.
The amount that could trigger this effect can differ depending on the substance involved and certain other specific considerations.
2. Crossing Borders&
A second reason why a drug case would be charged at the federal level and require the assistance of a federal criminal defense attorney is if it involves drugs moving across state borders.
Whether a person carries the drugs with them across borders or ships it in some way, this is a federal offense no matter how big or small the trafficking operation may be.
3. Special Attention Federal Drug Cases
In addition to the previous two reasons, federal criminal defense lawyers also find that cases that generate extra interest for a variety of reasons might also be a reason for the case to elevate to the federal level.
Some examples of special interest cases are those involving popular news or social media topics like:
- Marijuana use and the push to legalize it as well as the confusing and sometimes contradictory state laws on its use,
- Anything to do with the current opioid epidemic.
- Cases involving other prescription drugs.
- Drug cases close to open borders like Texas where it’s easier for illegal substances to make their way in from other countries.
All of these types of cases demand closer investigation and could be charged at the federal level.
Serious Drug Crimes May Face Federal Charges
It’s important to note that while most drug charges are made at the state level, if there are reasons to elevate those charges such as those mentioned above, the case could be moved to the federal level.
Anyone federally charged with drug trafficking or any other drug charge will need to retain the services of a federal criminal defense attorney licensed to practice in a federal court.
Reynaldo Garza, III
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520