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When it comes to drug crimes, state or federal laws may apply

If you have been charged with a drug crime, the potential legal ramifications can be quite severe. Depending on the specifics of your individual case, drug crimes are punishable at either the state or federal level. This column will work to address some of the common types of drug crimes often seen in Texas and how authorities determine if state or federal laws apply when filing charges.

Possession of drug paraphernalia

The first type of drug crime is paraphernalia. When charged with the possession of drug paraphernalia, it means that the arresting officers found drug-related equipment on you personally, in your home or in your vehicle. Such equipment includes bongs, syringes, pipes, rolling papers and scales.

A lot of paraphernalia cases garner state level charges. However, some cases may qualify for federal charges. It all depends on the type of equipment found and its purpose.

Possession of drugs

The next drug crime to discuss is possession. Possession laws are somewhat confusing, to say the least. The type of drug in one's possession, as well as the amount, will need to be considered before authorities will determine if state or federal laws were broken. Drugs that are commonly involved in possession cases include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin

The big three: manufacturing, trafficking and dealing

Some of the biggest drug crime offenses are manufacturing, trafficking and dealing. If you are facing accusations of such activity, federal felony charges are a real possibility. If prosecutors are able to secure convictions on these kinds of charges, the associated penalties can be pretty steep. These may include imprisonment and hefty fines -- among others. Just like minor offenses, the type of drugs found and the amount in one's possession will matter when it comes to determining what level of charges you will face and the severity of the potential penalties.

The truth of the matter is, fighting drug charges can be challenging. However, there are various defense strategies available that can assist you in achieving the best outcome possible for the circumstances at hand. Those residing in Texas who are facing charges for drug-related crimes can help themselves by seeking the assistance of legal counsel as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney who has extensive knowledge of both state and federal laws regarding drug crimes will be able to help you determine the best way to handle your case.

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