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What happens if you cross state lines with drugs?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2022 | Drug Offenses

Most people who face drug charges have simply been caught in New York with drugs that they bought in New York. They probably have a small amount, and they’re likely facing charges for possession. These are very serious, and you absolutely need to explore your legal options, but they are some of the least serious drug charges.

Things ratchet up a notch if you take drugs across state lines. This can change the situation in a number of ways and could make it far more serious than something that happens within one state.

You may be accused of drug trafficking

For instance, since transporting drugs across state lines is illegal at the federal level, you could then face felony charges and you may be accused of trying to engage in drug trafficking. To some degree, the amount of drugs that you have with you will impact this, but it is a possibility. It appears that you’re trying to distribute the drugs to another area, rather than just using them yourself. This is especially true if you have an amount that seems to exceed what someone would want for themselves.

You can also face federal charges

Additionally, something that may have just resulted in the state drug charge in New York could result in federal charges since you crossed state lines, or you could face charges for something that wouldn’t even have been illegal in the state.

A common example is leaving or entering the state while in possession of marijuana. It is now legal at the state level to have as much as 5 pounds of marijuana at your house or 3 oz. on your person, but crossing a state line with marijuana can lead to federal charges, even if the initial purchase was legal within the state. People often forget that they’re carrying or assume that it’s fine since it was a legal purchase – like an over-the-counter medication – and then are shocked to discover that they’ve broken some very serious laws.

What do you do if you face arrest?

If you’ve been arrested for drug possession, drug trafficking, drug distribution or some related charge, much of your future could be defined by the outcome of that case. You need to know about all the legal steps you can take and what defense options you have.