A conviction for a drug-related crime in Georgia can result in you spending years in prison and owing thousands of dollars in fines. You cannot take this sentence likely no matter if the court charges you for possession or distribution the material.
The conviction becomes worse if those charges come from a federal court. In these scenarios, the United States government will be prosecuting you and determining your penalties. Federal verdicts often have heavier punishments and go beyond Georgia’s limitations. There are cases where the defendant is unfortunate enough to receive punishments from both the state and federal courts. Before your trial begins, you should know how a state crime could become a federal crime to understand what could lead to bigger penalties.
Federal officials were responsible for your arrest
Major drug busts occur when the state collaborates with federal agencies such as the DEA or FBI. They can receive details about potential drug overlords from a federal informant and work with federal officers to make the arrest. For example, the Screven County Sheriff’s office recently worked together with federal, state and local agencies to arrest 20 individuals in Statesboro for drug trafficking. All 20 residents are receiving multiple federal felony charges.
You were arrested on federal property
If you commit a drug crime on any land, building or other property owned or leased by the United States, then you will receive federal charges. The primary federal land holders in the nation are the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Defense. They mainly occur in national parks, military bases and forests. It is best to familiarize yourself with all of the federal lands of Georgia to avoid arrest in one of these punishing locations.
You were trafficking in multiple states
Those that distribute drugs between Georgia and multiple neighboring states are guaranteeing federal charges for themselves. Since the criminal activity is not just in one state, the federal court can step in and simplify the process for the state courts. Trafficking and smuggling drugs from different parts in and outside of the country take up the majority of federal drug cases in the nation.
If that thin line between a state and federal drug crime is broken, then you could be facing significant lifelong consequences if you lose the case. You will need the assistance of an attorney with experience in federal drug cases to give you a fighting chance against these hefty charges.