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When Do Illinois Drug Crimes Become Federal Crimes?

 Posted on June 22, 2024 in Drug Offenses

Naperville, IL federal drug crime defense lawyerDrug crimes in Illinois are serious, and the penalties for a drug crime are greatly increased if the crime becomes a federal matter. Even if state police make an arrest in Illinois for a drug crime, depending on the circumstances of the crime, it may still end up in federal courts.

If you are facing federal drug crime charges, it is important to speak with a skilled Illinois federal drug crimes defense attorney as soon as possible to learn about your options.

What to Know About Federal Drug Crimes

Several situations can result in an Illinois drug crime becoming a federal crime. In general, drug crimes become federal offenses when they violate federal law. Most notably, Illinois drug crimes can become federal drug crimes when they cross state lines, or when they directly violate the Controlled Substances Act.

This Controlled Substances Act places certain controlled substances into different "schedules," which categorize certain drugs; more addictive and dangerous drugs carry more severe penalties. Illinois drug crimes involving Schedule I drugs, which is the most heavily penalized schedule of drugs, result in harsh federal penalties.

Other drug crimes that can result in federal charges include:

  • Drug trafficking across state lines, including the manufacturing and distribution of drugs

  • Possession of large quantities of illegal drugs with the intent to distribute

  • Importing or exporting drugs

  • Drug crimes that are committed on federal property, involve minors, or occur within a school zone

Additionally, Illinois drug crimes that are investigated by a federal law enforcement officer or drug crimes where a federal officer makes an arrest are likely to result in federal drug crime charges.

Many federal drug crimes also occur alongside other federal crimes such as conspiracy, tax fraud, and money laundering, which can occur when a person uses his or her illegal drug profits to purchase assets.

Penalties for Federal Drug Crimes

The penalties for federal drug crimes are generally severe, as federal penalties carry larger fines and the potential for more prison time than Illinois state penalties for drug crimes. If you are convicted of a federal drug crime, you could face the following:

  • Time in prison, ranging between one year and up to a lifetime

  • Fines of tens of thousands to millions of dollars

  • Forfeiture of property, such as homes, boats, or cars

The exact penalties for a federal drug crime do vary based on the drugs involved, prior drug crime offenses, the type of drug crime, and specific factors like whether or not the drug crime involved minors or interstate travel.

Contact a Naperville, IL Federal Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

Facing federal drug charges is challenging, and you will need the experienced guidance of a Naperville, IL federal drug crimes defense attorney if you find yourself dealing with these charges.

Attorney Nathe is a former Assistant State’s Attorney for DuPage County who knows the criminal process from both sides, making him uniquely qualified to handle your federal drug crimes case.

Call the Law Office of Philip R. Nathe at 630-416-7600 for a free consultation.

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