Laws relating to drug offenses are not always straightforward. There are many different rules and statutes that contain provisions relating to drug offenses. Furthermore, some drugs are prohibited at a federal level yet have been decriminalized in some states. At the same time, some states prohibit drugs (especially newer ones) that are not illegal (yet) at the federal level.
It would be fair to assume that if you have been arrested for drug offenses in Texas, then you will be charged by the state. However, this is not always the case. In certain circumstances, drug charges become federal crimes. Here are some situations where that can happen:
Crossing state or national boundaries
Texas is a hotspot for federal drug offenses. Often, individuals come from Central America to Texas with the hope of trafficking illegal substances. Others aim to bring illegal substances into Texas from neighboring American states — sometimes where those drugs, like marijuana, are legal.
Crossing state or national boundaries with illegal substances is in violation of federal law. Participating in such behaviors opens the door to the possibility of federal prosecution.
Live federal investigations
If your arrest comes as a result of a live investigation by agencies such as the DEA, you are likely to face federal charges, even if the offense occurred within state boundaries.
Being on federal property
Possessing an illegal substance may not typically result in federal charges. However, being in possession of the same substance while on federal property, like inside a federal building or in a federal park, could lead to federal charges.
Several other factors, such as possessing a weapon while committing a drug offense could also result in federal charges. For these reasons, it is vital that you familiarize yourself with the distinctions between state and federal law. Doing so will help to protect your legal rights and could help ensure the best possible outcome for your case.