When is drug trafficking charged as a federal crime?
Answer: Drug trafficking can be charged as a federal crime anytime that you traffic or take drugs through different states, generally speaking, or if they are through different counties in that state, they could also charge it as a federal crime as well. Or, even if it is interstate commerce, which is very broad. So, the federal government has large latitudes to be able to take on a federal drug trafficking charge, but generally it leaves it to the state unless there is a particular reason that the federal government wants to get involved. But the main reasons that they get involved or they do prosecute is when like I said, it’s different states or different counties within that state, then they will prosecute it. And with regards to sentencing, generally speaking for drug trafficking charges, there are minimum mandatory sentences. That means if you get convicted of a drug trafficking charge, you will go to prison for a certain period of time. And those range, depending upon the drug, and the quantity of drugs, and your prior criminal history. There also are sentencing guidelines that affect your sentence as well, and those three factors apply as well in your sentencing guidelines. So when we look at the sentencing guidelines, you’re going to look to determine what kind of drugs it was, how much of the drugs—the quantity of the drugs—and also your criminal history. Despite any type of minimum mandatory sentence, just basically for the crime that you’ve been charged for, the sentencing guidelines could increase it potentially.