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Practices > Drug Offenses > Federal Drug Charges

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Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino & San Diego Counties

The United States judicial system is divided into state and federal courts. Whether a person accused of a drug-related crime is prosecuted in the federal or state criminal system depends on what laws were violated and the policies and procedures of each court system. Out of the millions of felony prosecutions filed each year, only about three percent are filed in the federal system. Often a particular criminal behavior will violate both a state and a federal law, and drug charges are no exception. In theory, the offender could be prosecuted in both systems for the same criminal activity, but in practice this rarely happens. Most federal and state prosecutors divide up criminal charges based on availability of resources, which statute most closely fits the criminal conduct, available punishment in each system, and each system's policy considerations. If accused of a drug charge, it is crucial to contact an attorney who understands and has experience within both systems.

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