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.
The vast majority of criminal trials are handled in the state and county court systems. However, in some circumstances, the federal court system will have jurisdiction and authority to decide the matter. Let's take a look at the five most common types of cases decided by federal courts:
North Carolina residents accused of crossing the state border while distributing marijuana -- or those who are accused of distributing large amounts of marijuana on federal property -- could find themselves facing federal marijuana distribution charges. Since marijuana is categorized as a Class 1 drug under federal law, these charges come with the threat of very serious consequences.
The United States federal government has classified the hallucinogenic drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) as a Schedule 1 narcotic. That means that the federal government considers it to be one of the most dangerous types of drugs. As such, being convicted of trafficking LSD will come with serious mandatory punishments.
According to federal officials, a man from Wake Forest generated over $1 million in fraudulent profits while purchasing foreclosed homes. The accused man allegedly bought the foreclosed homes illegally.
The United States has two kinds of courts, and depending on your allegedly criminal actions, you could end up defending yourself in either state or federal court. Both these courts have key differences; therefore, it's important you learn what those differences are so that you can better handle your legal proceedings.
If you were to ask the average person how the federal government is spending its crime-enforcement dollars, he or she would probably say it's spent on drug enforcement. However, a new report released by the Department of Justice last Thursday shows that the federal government is spending half of its crime-enforcement resources on immigration violations.
North Carolina residents will be happy to hear that the number of U.S. residents being held in prison continues to decline. Nationwide statistics point to a prison population that is just under 2.2 million people -- who are currently being held in federal, state and local prisons -- as of year-end 2015. This figure represents a drop of 51,000 inmates compared to year-end 2014, which is the biggest inmate population decline since 2009.
Whenever you hear about a racketeering or RICO-related allegation it refers to allegations related to organized criminal activity. Organized crime rings run what are informally referred to as "rackets" because they engage in "racketeering." Racketeering is what happens when someone is running an illegal business. RICO and racketeering laws also cover the illegal use of legitimate organizations to carry out criminal acts -- like embezzling funds, laundering money and other white collar crimes.
President Obama is in his last year as president and has decided to commute the prison sentences of a massive number of federal inmates. In fact, he has set a record in the number of clemency grants he has ordered -- 673 in total -- which is more than the last 10 presidents granted combined. In the month of August alone, Obama granted clemency to 325 inmates, 111 of which were granted in one day. Most of the inmates who received clemency had been given federal prison sentences for minor drug offenses, and 39 of them had lifetime sentences for low-level, non-violent drug crimes.