Drug charges are categorized as both state and federal crimes irrespective of whether you are arrested by a local police officer or not. Therefore, you need to understand the difference between state drug crimes and federal drug offenses.Hire an Attorney if the Police Interrogates You
If you get charged with a drug crime in Ohio, you should immediately talk to an experienced Youngstown Ohio criminal lawyer from the Youngstown Criminal Law Group, instead of the police. We, the Youngstown Criminal Law Group have successfully represented more than 100 clients in misdemeanors and felony charges in state and federal courts alike.Various Kinds of Drug Crime Charges
The charges for drug crimes depend on varying causes for the arrest. They include:Drug Possession
Possession of illegal drugs or substances without the intention of selling these can get you arrested if the police discover the drugs with them or within their property. It is considered to be a relatively minor offense but quite common and dealt with at the state level generally.Sale, Distribution, & Trafficking of Drugs
Possessing the drugs for the selling purpose, depending on the conditions in which the arrest happened and the location of the intended sale, can be a state or a federal offense. And needless to say, these are not quite common charges and impose harsher consequences.Drug Manufacture
If you have been manufacturing or buying paraphernalia that is used in manufacturing drugs, you can be imposed with state or federal drug charges, carrying more severe penalties, and more so, if it is combined with a sale charge.When Does a Drug Charge Become a Federal Offense?
A drug charge can be a federal offense when the arresting law enforcement official is a federal officer. The Drug Enforcement Administration is also a federal agency and aims to curb the use and distribution of drugs all across the country. If you are arrested by a DEA officer, then too, the charges can become a federal offense.
A person undergoing federal drug charges often informs the federal officers about other drug activities in order to get a lenient punishment for their crime and it leads to the arrest of others who indulge in the drug possession, production, distribution, or sales. The arrests which result out of such informants are also federal offenses.
Since federal agencies have a partnership with the state law enforcement bodies to reduce the drug crimes, sometimes local drug charges can also turn into a federal crime. The nature of the offense cannot be changed in this scenario and there is no process for appeal if the charge has been upgraded to a federal one.Consequences of State Drug Crimes
State drug crimes are known to have less stringent penalties owing to the fact that these are minor offenses. The penalties may vary from a short-term to a probationary period of imprisonment, depending on the charges. Sometimes, if the person is found with no extensive past record of such activities, the charges might lead to a fine instead of anything more serious. Every state has their own set of laws for drug crimes and sentencing procedure accordingly, so the penalties and repercussions of each case will depend on the state in which the arrest occurs.Consequences of Federal Drug Offenses
Federal drug charges impose harsher penalties and are mostly not offered any possibility of parole. Despite the charge being a minor misdemeanor, the federal prisoners might receive more severe penalties such as a longer imprisonment or a higher amount of fine as compared to a state charge. Moreover, federal drug charges are more serious in nature than the state crimes such as possession, sale, or trafficking of drugs, due to which they get more serious consequences.
If you resort to a Youngstown Ohio criminal lawyer, you will be able to understand the local and state drug laws in this area and will be able to avoid such charges against you. The Youngstown Criminal Law Group extends their services to areas like Steel Valley, Youngstown, and all across Ohio. Contact us today for an initial consultation.