State and federal laws render numerous types of drugs illegal. However, the legality of the same substances may be different from state to state and under federal law. As such, for the purpose of your criminal defense, it’s important to know if you’ve been charged with a state or federal crime.
For instance, although many states have legalized marijuana, under federal and North Carolina laws, marijuana is still illegal. But what exactly dictates whether a crime will be considered a state or federal crime? This has a lot to do with what the defendant was doing, and where the defendant was located, when the alleged crime was being committed. For example, if the defendant was crossing state lines at the time he or she committed the alleged action, then it could fall under federal jurisdiction.
Here are some other instances in which a crime may be a federal crime:
- If the U.S. mail system was utilized in the course of carrying out a crime.
- If the crime involved crossing state lines, like the transportation of drugs from North Carolina to another state.
- If the crime involved the importation of illegal items from another country.
- If the crime utilized an airplane traveling from state to state.
- If the crime allegedly happened on federal property, like at a state park or in a federal building.
These are just some of the more common reasons why a crime could be classified as a federal offense. When defending against such actions, it’s important to realize that defendants will require a special approach that is different from legal proceedings in North Carolina state court. As such, defendants will definitely want to familiarize themselves with appropriate criminal defense strategies that apply to federal offenses.
Source: Roberts Law Group, PLLC, “Federal Criminal Defense,” accessed Feb. 08, 2018