When Can a Drug Conspiracy Be Charged as a Federal Crime?
In the state of Texas, drug offenses are taken very seriously. Simple possession of certain drugs may lead to misdemeanor or felony charges, and more serious charges will typically apply if a person is accused of drug distribution or manufacturing controlled substances. However, there are some cases where drug-related crimes can result in charges at the federal level. People who are involved in schemes to distribute drugs or engage in drug trafficking may face federal drug conspiracy charges. When defending against these charges, it is crucial to work with an attorney who has experience representing clients in federal courts.
What Is a Drug Conspiracy?
The term “drug conspiracy” generally refers to an agreement between at least two people to commit a crime related to illegal drugs. A conspiracy may involve planning and working together with others to distribute, manufacture, import, or possess controlled substances with the intent to sell them illegally.
In order for a drug conspiracy charge to be brought against someone in Texas, there must be evidence of an agreement between multiple people involved in illegal drug activities. The agreement does not have to be formal or written; it can be implied through actions and communications. Evidence of a conspiracy may include photos of people meeting together, phone call recordings, text messages, emails, or other records of communication.
Federal vs. State Charges
The decision whether to prosecute a drug conspiracy case at the federal or state level may depend on various factors, such as the amount of drugs involved in a case, the scope of the alleged criminal activity, and any connections with organized crime groups.
If certain criteria are met, federal authorities may choose to take over a drug conspiracy case from local law enforcement agencies. Some reasons why cases may be prosecuted at the federal level include:
Larger quantities of drugs: If large amounts of controlled substances are involved in the alleged conspiracy, it is more likely that federal charges will be pursued.
Crossing state lines or international borders: If drugs were allegedly transported through multiple states during the course of the alleged conspiracy, or if they were imported into the United States from another country, a case may be prosecuted federally due to violations of interstate commerce laws.
Organized crime: If there is evidence linking the alleged conspiracy to known crime groups, federal charges may be pursued.
Previous convictions: If people involved in the conspiracy have prior drug-related convictions, this can increase the likelihood of federal charges being filed.
In Texas, both state and federal laws apply to drug offenses. However, federal penalties for drug conspiracy tend to be more severe than those at the state level. Prison sentences for federal convictions are often longer, and they carry mandatory minimums that must be served without parole.
Possible Defenses Against Drug Conspiracy Charges
If you are facing drug conspiracy charges in Texas, it is crucial to seek legal help right away. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help build a strong defense strategy based on the specifics of your case. Some defenses against drug conspiracy charges may include:
Lack of agreement: The prosecution must prove that there was an agreement between two or more people to engage in illegal activities. If there was no agreement, this could weaken their case.
Lack of knowledge: If you were unaware of any crimes taking place, or if you did not know about a drug conspiracy, this could serve as a defense.
Illegal search and seizure: If law enforcement violated your Fourth Amendment rights when performing searches or seizing items from the scene of an alleged crime, evidence obtained may be inadmissible in court.
Contact Our Dallas Federal Drug Conspiracy Attorneys
If you are facing drug conspiracy charges or other related federal offenses in Texas, it is crucial to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., our Plano drug crime defense lawyers are well-versed in drug-related cases, and we can provide you with the aggressive legal representation you need. To arrange a free consultation, discuss your case, and explore potential defenses, please contact us at 214-303-9600. With the help of our attorneys, you can fight these charges and protect your rights.