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What is the difference between a state and federal drug crime?

If an officer of the law catches you with drugs, you may face a fine or even jail time depending on where you reside and the schedule under which the drug falls. There are many different types of drug crimes, such as misdemeanors and felonies, and trying to decipher the differences between each type can get confusing.

While no drug charges are pleasant to experience, what is the difference between a state and federal drug crime in North Carolina?

The activities

There are several general differences between state and federal drug crimes. One of these is that state crimes involve the use or possession of controlled substances within state borders, while federal crimes involve transporting drugs through multiple states or to another country. A drug crime may also be federal if the possession or use occurred on federal property, the infraction involves a large amount of a substance or if law enforcement ties the crime to organized criminal activity.

The consequences

A state court oversees state drug crimes, while a federal court oversees federal drug crimes. Federal crimes also tend to carry harsher penalties. In addition, federal law enforcement officers generally have more resources to go after suspected criminals and gather evidence for use in prosecution, which means that you may be more likely to see a conviction.

A drug conviction can have serious consequences for your criminal record. Knowing the differences between state and federal drug crimes helps you to prepare in case law enforcement accuses you of one.