If you are facing a drug-related criminal charge in Wyoming, you may be wondering if your case can become a federal issue. The short answer is that state drug charges can almost always become federal charges because all drug offenses can be both state and federal. Nevertheless, there are a variety of factors that the prosecution will consider in each case to determine where best to hold a criminal trial.
There are three common ways that a drug charge can end up in the hands of federal prosecutors. It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list, and you should always discuss the particulars of your case with an experienced drug crime attorney in Wyoming.
Ways a Wyoming drug charge can become a federal crime
- If a federal officer has arrested you for drug-trafficking and distribution or for possession of a controlled substance, it is likely that you will face federal charges. Other factors, including the amount of drugs in your possession or on your property at the time of your arrest, would be considered into the decision to charge you at the federal or state level.
- Similarly, if you are arrested for possession or distribution of drugs on federal property, such as in a federal courthouse or prison, you will likely face federal charges because the crime was committed on property that falls under federal jurisdiction.
- Drug charges become more severe if the crime committed involved crossing state or national borders. Drug trafficking or drug possession becomes a federal crime when the defendant moves drugs across state lines or out of the country.
Federal penalties for drug offenses
The federal government prohibits anybody from manufacturing, possessing, or distributing controlled substances, which are categorized from Schedule I to Schedule IV, with Schedule I being considered the most dangerous. Defendants found guilty of federal drug offenses are subject to sentencing based on the quantity of the controlled substance. Furthermore, the location of the crime, who was involved, and prior records of the defendant are considered before a sentence is handed down from the judge.
Finally, when determining the actual sentence, a federal judge will consider other questions that could lead to harsher penalties. For example, was there a firearm involved? Did anybody get hurt or killed during the crime? Were there children present at the time the crime was being committed? Each of these questions can lead to a longer sentence for the defendant.
Consult a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Wyoming
If you are facing a federal charge for drug-related offenses in Wyoming, it is important to have a criminal defense attorney you know and trust at your side. At Davis & Cannon LLP, our experienced defense attorneys are ready to help you navigate the legal system and secure the best outcome for you and your case. For a free and confidential consultation call us today at (307) 672-7491 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.