Houston & Alexander, PLLC
Call Today - Free Consultation
423-933-1972 or 888-351-9893
If you are concerned about coming to the office in-person because of the Coronavirus, we offer full consultations via phone, facetime and skype. Despite what you may have heard, the police departments and the courts have certainly not shut down. Courts have modified their procedures regarding in-court appearances, filings, bond matters, etc. If you need help with a legal matter, we are still up and running and here to help you. Houston & Alexander has been essentially a paperless and electronic firm for some time and we are completely prepared to handle your case by email, telephone or whatever it takes if you are unable to come into the office. If you have any questions, call us now at 423-267-6715 so that we can discuss your legal matter with you.

Is your alleged drug violation a state or federal crime?

When a Tennessee resident faces drug charges, the court proceedings will usually happen in Tennessee state court -- if the alleged crime happened within state lines. However, certain cases may fall outside the jurisdiction of Tennessee law and they must be litigated in federal court.

The federal law that governs drug charges is the federal Controlled Substances Act. This law has been in effect since the 1970s and it's the reason why we have "drug classifications" that rank drugs according to how "serious" and "dangerous" they are.

For example, under federal law, heroin, marijuana and LSD are "Schedule I" drugs and the federal government sees them as some of the most dangerous drugs that exist. Those convicted of crimes related to Schedule I drugs will face the most serious punishments.

Because the laws and punishments are different under federal law, it's important for defendants to handle the defense of their federal drug crimes cases differently than a state-level offense.

Situations that could result in a drug crime falling under the jurisdiction of a federal court:

-- The alleged drug violation occurred on federal property. Imagine someone was found in possession of marijuana in Tennessee, but it happened at a federal park. This case would fall under federal jurisdiction.

-- The alleged drug violation involved the defendant crossing state lines, or the drug offenses happened in multiple states. Imagine someone is returning to Tennessee from a road trip to Colorado with marijuana in their vehicle. This case would also fall under federal jurisdiction.

-- The alleged drug violations involved the crossing of international borders. Imagine someone is transporting drugs from another country into the United States. This would be a federal level offense.

-- The alleged drug violations involved the use of the postal system to convey or send controlled substances. Imagine someone mailed a friend marijuana from Colorado and it was intercepted by authorities. This would also be a federal offense.

If your drug case needs to be litigated in federal court, make sure you bring yourself up to speed on federal drug law because the rules and regulations in the state of Tennessee will not apply to your situation.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact us to schedule a consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

attorney group

Learn More At A Free Consultation With One Of Our Lawyers

Please call our office at 423-933-1972 or contact us online for a free consultation.

If we accept your personal injury case and you retain us, we will represent you on a contingency basis. This means you will owe attorneys' fees only if we obtain compensation for you. In criminal law matters, we charge reasonable fees.

Houston & Alexander, PLLC
3417 Dayton Blvd
Chattanooga, TN 37415

Toll Free: 888-351-9893
Phone: 423-933-1972
Chattanooga Law Office Map

Review Us