Drug Trafficking is a serious crime and carries with it some serious penalties. Drug trafficking is when a person transports a large quantity of controlled substances or illegal drugs with the intent to distribute, sell or deliver. Because drug trafficking requires that drugs are transported into the country, it involves Federal law and is therefore a matter for Federal courts.
Federal courts will hear all matter that relate to international crimes, or crimes that involve interstate travel. Federal courts are harsher with penalties than the State court and involve mandatory minimum sentences that usually include jail time. When states present legislative guidelines for a crime, generally for misdemeanor offenses the range will start at zero jail time and increase upward. This means that the State court Judge is free to allow no jail time for a conviction. He or she is free to offer community service, a fine, probation or otherwise, without having to include any kind of jail sentence.
In comparison, Federal legislative sentencing guidelines offer a minimum jail sentence. The Federal court judge MUST in the very least impose the minimum jail sentence and can go upwards from there. Therefore, when a person is charged with a Federal crime, it is important to consider that a jail sentence will likely be a part of the penalty if the person is convicted. Therefore, it is important for a person to understand the significance of being charged with a Federal drug crime and should consult a Criminal Defense expert regarding their options.