Getting arrested for drug-related crimes like drug trafficking can lead to serious charges with severe penalties if convicted. This is especially true if the charges are prosecuted in federal court. But when is drug trafficking charged as a federal offense in Louisiana?
There are many situations that may make the defendant be charged on a federal level rather than a state level. In either case, it’s important to have an experienced defense team by your side to fight for your rights and future. If you or a loved one has been arrested and is facing a state or federal drug trafficking charge in Louisiana, you can always trust the defense attorneys at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm.
What Is Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking is defined as the practice of possessing, transporting, and distributing with intent to sell drugs under controlled substances. A drug trafficking charge is a more serious offense than a drug possession charge, which involves a small amount of a controlled substance.
Controlled substances are federally classified into five schedules. Often, Schedule I and Schedule II drugs are more likely to be trafficked than other categories, though Schedule III also has the potential for certain trafficked drugs.
- Schedule I Controlled Substances: Heroin, Marijuana, LSD, Ecstasy
- Schedule II Controlled Substances: Cocaine, Methamphetamine, amphetamine
- Schedule III Controlled Substances: Anabolic Steroids, Marinol, Vicodin
Generally, the higher the Schedule, the worse the charges and penalties if convicted. Other factors that affect consequences are the amount you were found in possession of, other accessories found during the arrest like illegal gun possession, and any previous criminal record.
Also note that though medical marijuana has been legalized in some states (Louisiana isn’t one of them), it still remains prohibited under federal law.
When Is Drug Trafficking a Federal Offense?
The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enforces drug laws in the United States. Anyone arrested or investigated by the DEA or any other federal agency for drug trafficking crimes will automatically face a federal drug charge in a federal court. Other situations that could potentially make a drug trafficking charge be classified as a federal offense include:
- The crime involves more than a single state
- Both state and federal agents were involved in the investigation and arrest
- Significantly large quantities of the drug are involved
- Getting arrested on a federal property
- Selling or transporting drugs using a U.S. Post Office or a private mail carrier
- Cases involving drug trafficking and money laundering
- Illegal drug prescription schemes
Federal drug crimes carry more stringent penalties than state drug charges. Working with a skilled and knowledgeable drug trafficking lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.
Speak to an Experienced Louisiana Drug Trafficking Lawyer Today
Have you been arrested for federal drug trafficking charges in Louisiana? Or has your case abruptly changed hands from state to federal court? Our drug trafficking lawyers at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm will work hard to help you go through your case and protect your rights throughout the entire legal process.
Our defense lawyers take pride in having over 30 years of practice in criminal defense in Louisiana and beyond. We’ll deploy every strategy and method we have learned over the decades, plus use every resource available to ascertain the best possible outcome for your case. Reach out to us online or at (318) 377-1555 to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our lawyers.