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What Makes a Drug Charge a Federal Offense?

Drug charges in New Jersey are a serious offense. In addition to the potential for a criminal record, you could also face jail time. Federal charges can have even more significant legal consequences including potential prison time and a permanent criminal record, which can affect your ability to vote or pursue certain careers.

Types of Federal Drug Charges

You might wonder what makes a drug charge a federal offense versus a state charge. It is the type of drug and what class it is included in on the federal database and how much was in possession at the time of arrest that will determine the severity of the charges.

These are a few examples of federal drug crimes:

  • Drug trafficking
  • Drug conspiracy
  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Manufacturing a controlled substance

Other drug crimes can also be classified as federal if the crime is committed on federal property or involves children. You might also face federal charges if you are arrested by a federal officer with the possession or manufacturing of a drug or controlled substance. This might occur during a drug bust or if you are charged with the intention to distribute over state lines.

Both illegal drugs and controlled substances are included in the law. Unlawful drugs are ones that are included in the DEA Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) list. Higher-risk drugs with more significant drug charges will fall into category one, whereas drugs with fewer effects are placed into category five. Federal charges are affected, depending on where the drug is listed.

Related blog: Drug Distribution Charges In NJ

Differences Between Federal and State Charges

Not only are the potential consequences of federal drug charges often more severe, but federal officers often have more in-depth resources available. They will complete extensive investigations and gather large amounts of evidence against the defendant, making it even more important that you’re prepared for your case. Certain crimes can also lead to you being dual charged, both federally and at the state level. For example, the state of New Jersey may charge an individual for the sale of drug paraphernalia, in addition to the federal government changing for the same crime. If you are facing both federal and state charges, it is even more important to work with a drug crime defense lawyer.

The federal trial process can also be longer. Additionally, federal crimes carry minimum sentences. If convicted, you will be required to complete the minimum sentencing. A federal criminal record can be life-changing. It can impact your ability to gain employment or to work in certain careers. You could also be sentenced to jail time or probation.

Related blog: The Possible Consequences Of Non-Violent Drug Offenses

The Importance of Working With an Experienced Drug Lawyer

If you are facing federal drug charges or you are concerned about your state drug charges being increased to the federal level, it is important that you discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer. Our lawyers are familiar with both New Jersey and federal drug laws and will give you the representation that you need during this difficult time.

Contact an Experienced Union County Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Federal Drug Charges in New Jersey

Were you arrested or charged with federal drug charges in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Zegas Law have successfully represented clients charged with drug charges in Union County, Essex County, Morris County, Middlesex County, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 379-1999 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 60 Morris Turnpike, Summit, NJ 07901.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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