Web Analytics

What You Need to Know About Federal Drug Charges

The United States justice system—despite its inherent advantages and underlying ‘innocent until proven guilty’ dictum— can be intimidating and daunting. Federal crimes are serious business and carry with them heavy penalties. Here at the Aranda Law Firm, we specialize in different areas of the law so that we can help people find the proper defense.

One of the areas we work in is helping people defend federal drug charges. State laws and federal laws concerning the use, possession, and distribution of illicit drugs most often overlap, but federal drug charges most often come with a higher penalty. We thought we’d take a look at some important things to note if you or your loved one are facing federal drug charges.

What Does a Federal Drug Ch2rge Mean?

These cases are brought under federal law known at Title 21. This relates to the possession, manufacture, distribution of controlled substances. A drug charge can become federal if you are caught by a federal agent or police, arrested by a federal officer, if the crime occurred on federal property, or the crime involved crossing state lines. 

How Do I Know if I can Be Prosecuted in Federal Court?

It’s important to remember that in the United States a law enforcement agency must have jurisdiction in order to arrest a person. A state has its own set of laws and the federal government also has its set of laws. Sometimes, these overlap and sometimes they do not. For example, several states in the Union have legalized or decriminalized the use of marijuana but the federal law still considers it illegal. This is an example of an instance where state and federal laws are in conflict. In that case, the federal government has tried to give the state its authority but can still prosecute if a drug crime is committed on federal property or other special circumstances. For the most part, the federal government has taken a hands off approach in states where the use of recreational marijuana is legal. New Mexico and Texas, for example, have differing medical marijuana laws and each state enforces them accordingly. 

What is the Difference Between State Charges and Federal?

A drug offense can be charged in both state and federal courts. The difference is that if you are charged with a federal drug violation there is significant difference in the length of sentencing and punishment. A federal sentence is almost always harsher than a state sentence. 

What are Some Common Federal Drug Charges?

There are many different types of possible drug charges but some of the most common might include:

Simple Drug Possession

This is perhaps the most common. It refers to the possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. Many times, these will be charged at the state level if there is no evidence or indication that there was intent to distribute. 

Drug Trafficking

This means there was a manufacturing element, distributing, or possessing with a clear intent to distribute. 

Drug Manufacturing

The running or managing of an operation whose purpose is the manufacturing of illegal drugs. 

If Facing Charges, Call an Experienced Lawyer

Facing federal charges without an attorney is finding yourself in treacherous waters. The federal government does not joke around with serious drug offenses. The Aranda Law Firm is here to build a defense in your case and ensure that you are properly counseled on how to best deal with your case. Have a trusted attorney in your corner. Call us today. 

If you learned something from our blog today,
please feel free to share it with others.


Aranda Law Firm
Rated 5/5 based on 6 customer reviews
Aranda Law Firm
  • My case was a long one…took over a year. But Mr. Aranda made everything work out in my favor. He’s very professional and knows his business very well. I have recommended him to people I know who needed legal help and I recommend him to you too.

  • Reading through the reviews online I was very impressed with Mr. Aranda. He was highly expert with my case. And from the beginning, he helped me understand exactly what to expect with my case. No surprises, it went just like I thought it would turn out, and just as long as I thought. He made […]

  • I was very impressed with Mr. Aranda’s honesty. And he was very frank and forward. He set the plan in motion, and my case was actually finished fast. He is a great attorney!

  • Marco Aranda is a rare gem… he’s straight-up and very honest, which are rare attributions with anything these days. Everything I asked him to do for my case was done and it went as well as I could have hoped. I’m very pleased with him and his services.

  • Mr. Aranda brought about the best results. From the get-go, he was sincere and cared about my case and the outcome. He helped me finalize my divorce and I couldn’t have asked for better results, so 2 thumbs up for sure.

  • I can assure you, you will not be disappointed with the Aranda Law Firm. Mr. Aranda is just wonderful and will take time and meet with you personally regarding your case. Him and his staff are professional and very good at what they do. I recommend you give him a call today!

Best Personal Injury Attorneys in El Paso
Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in El Paso