Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
What Makes a Drug Crime a Federal Offense?

What Makes a Drug Crime a Federal Offense?

When someone is charged with a drug crime, they are likely to be prosecuted in a federal court.

There are many reasons why this happens.

Many crimes are routinely prosecuted under local or state law. Drug crimes are different. It is common for these offenses to end up being prosecuted at the federal level. The legal statutes covering drug offenses in state and federal laws are similar. Many wonder why drug crimes are most often charged in a federal court rather than a state court. There are many reasons why this happens.

Federal Agencies

People are often more likely to be prosecuted for a drug crime as a federal offense and not as a state-level offense because the investigations and arrests are more often done by a federal agency. Should someone be arrested and charged with a drug offense at the border or as part of a sting operation carried out by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) or Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or other federal agencies, they will be charged and tried in a federal court.

Priorities Of Federal Law Enforcement

A top law enforcement priority established by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is to combat the nation's opioid crisis. This is the reason people charged with crimes involving oxycodone, heroin as well as fentanyl are going to be charged and prosecuted in a federal court. The DOJ has been given executive mandates and has changed its focus over time to address this crisis. Anyone arrested and charged with crimes involving other forms of drug activity and drugs is also more highly likely to be prosecuted in federal court.

Insufficient State Or Local Government Resources

There are often cases where a local or state prosecutor's office does not have sufficient funding to handle a case involving drugs correctly. A local or state prosecutor may have too many cases to handle. They may not have the mechanisms in place to secure the evidence necessary to obtain a conviction. In many of these situations, the local and state prosecutors will refer their drug cases to the DOJ.

Prescription Drugs

Any use of a prescription drug that involves no valid medical reason is usually prosecuted as a federal offense. The reason is that all the regulations associated with prescription medication are at the federal level. Since prescription drugs are classified as a controlled substance, the crimes involving them will be given to the DOJ.

Contact Stein Law, LLC Today

If you have been charged with a crime involving drugs, you should contact Stein Law, LLC. Our team of experienced Kansas City criminal defense attorneys will carefully review your case and determine the best possible legal strategy.

Speak with our team today (913) 583-0465 and discover how we can help fight for the best possible outcome for your situation.


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