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State and Federal drug crimes: what is the difference?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2023 | Federal Drug Charge, Federal Offenses

Michigan takes drug crimes seriously, and penalties for people convicted of drug crimes in Michigan are harsh. Whether the government charges a person with a misdemeanor or a felony or whether the state or federal government prosecutes the case, drug crimes are serious here.

Misdemeanors and felonies

Drug crimes classified as misdemeanors usually incur penalties that are less severe than those of a felony drug conviction. What differentiates misdemeanors from felonies are the type of drug, the charges and the circumstances in your case.

For example, cases involving the possession of small quantities of marijuana are typically misdemeanors. Manufacturing, possessing and distributing drugs are usually felonies. In felony conviction cases, there are mandatory prison sentences.

Most of the time, the state prosecutes drug charge cases, but both the state and the federal government have jurisdiction over drug cases, and U.S. federal agencies are extremely serious about drug cases, including prescription drug abuse and misuse.

Federal cases

Typically, the more serious the crime, the more likely it will end up in federal court. There are certain instances that make a drug charge automatically a federal matter. For example, interstate cases or importing illegal drugs from another country.

State cases

In Michigan, there is a series of drug crimes, and each of them has its own consequences, depending on the severity of the offense and the type of drug.

The severity of the offense is associated with whether the individual possessed a small quantity of drugs or whether the individual manufactured, had the intent to sell or distributed drugs.

Michigan takes drug crimes very seriously and the federal government does too. Often, the drugs they prohibit overlap, which is why it is so important to understand the difference between misdemeanors, felonies, state and federal charges.