If you currently face federal drug charges, you may have committed an offense that is severe or broken a federal drug law. The laws for federal drug charges differ from state laws and often carry more severe penalties.
In many cases, you may face charges for a federal drug offense if you commit a crime that involves crossing state lines. Other factors that can determine whether the crime is state or federal include the type of drug and quantity involved and the location where the crime occurred.
The national drug schedule
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration classifies substances, drugs and the chemicals used to make drugs into five different categories, known as the national drug schedule. Schedule 1 drugs, which include substances like ecstasy, heroin and LSD, are more likely to cause physical or psychological dependence than Schedule 5 drugs, which include substances like Robitussin and Lyrica. Users are also more likely to abuse Schedule 1 than Schedule 5.
Penalties for federal drug crimes
If you commit a federal drug crime, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence. When the judge sentences you, he or she must require that you pay a certain minimum fine and spend a certain minimum amount in prison as part of your sentence.
You may face more severe penalties if you already have federal drug crimes on your record. Since these crimes can result in significant fines and multiple years in prison, you should diligently protect your rights following the arrest and during any court proceedings.