Did you know that you could face state or federal drug charges for the same incident? Which
one you’re charged with depends on the situation and the nature of the offense. In most cases,
incidents involving illegal or controlled substances are tried by the state where the offense took
place. There is a possibility that the case could take place in a federal court if the case
involves state borders, the U.S. Constitution, or federal law.

With this in mind, there are federal laws that regulate every type of drug, so the feds could get
involved at any time. They usually get involved in very serious cases only, which is why it’s
critical that you protect yourself as soon as you learn you’re facing federal drug charges.

The most common federal drug charges

Possession: You probably won’t face drug possession charges unless it’s part of a
larger group of offenses. If the authorities believe you had an illegal substance or that it was in
an area you had access to like a car, storage facility, or bedroom, then you’re likely to face a
possession charge. Possession is usually for small amounts of a substance, though the
quantity changes depending on the drug. Possession charges are usually issued to someone
who was only going to use the substance themselves. The penalties for this charge vary and
depend on the circumstances of your case.

Possession with Intent to Sell: If you’re found with a quality greater than what you could
use on your own, the feds will determine that you had the intention of distributing or selling.
They may also charge you with intent if they found enough evidence to conclude you had the
intention of transferring the substance to another person. This could still be the case even if
the amount you had was minimal. The penalties will vary and will be determined by how much
of the substance was found, the type of substance, and other case factors. Penalties could be
a few thousand dollars or in the millions. Incarceration is a typical outcome for this charge and
sentences usually last for a few years to a life.

Distribution and Trafficking: The feds want to stop drug use in general, which means
they’ll be hard on anyone accused of distributing and trafficking. If you’re suspected of selling
or transferring a substance, you may be faced with a distribution and trafficking charge. Either
one can result in large fines and several years behind bars.

Consult an experienced drug charge lawyer today

In the event you’re accused of federal drug charges, fines, jail time, and the removal of
government benefits are likely outcomes. An experienced attorney will take a look at the
details of your case and may be able to reduce or dismiss your charges. Cory Goldensoph is
an experienced Cedar Rapids Criminal Attorney who offers free case evaluations. Give him a
call today to discuss your case.