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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.

2020-09-29T17:49:32+00:00January 7th, 2019|Drug Charges|

TESTIMONIALS

The moment finally came when I saw Jay walk down the stairs in the court room, he flashed me a thumbs up and I knew... I knew I won. If you need a lawyer do not hesitate to call Houston & Alexander. There is no one that will represent you better anywhere in Chattanooga. I wholeheartedly give them five stars. - Antonio
I had hired another law firm and they were getting nowhere with my case. I was charged with multiple offense DUIs and other charges. I was not sure where to turn and called Houston and Alexander. Johnny Houston went the EXTRA MILE for me! The other law firm had negotiated a sentence that may have made me lose my house, my kids...everything. Johnny was not only able to get my charges reduced but also the sentence net result was I was able to keep my family together. -Colleen
We've been clients of Houston & Alexander for three years, with Bret Alexander representing us during that time. I can't speak highly enough of his integrity, professionalism, and his dedication to our legal needs. We are so grateful for his guidance and effectiveness through such a difficult time. He's an attorney you can trust and depend on to do the right thing. We are sincerely so grateful. Thank You! - Trish
I am a Desert Storm veteran and found myself in need of legal counsel. Everyone from the receptionist to the attorney himself treated me with the utmost respect and dignity. I found them to be knowledgeable and most helpful. I would recommend Houston and Alexander for all your legal needs. Thank you for all of your help. - C Pugh
I won't go into specifics because they are very embarrassing for my family. But if you have a daughter who has been criminally charged with a serious charge, Johnny Houston should be your go-to gentleman. Because of his hard work, and diligence in our case, we can once again hold our heads High and consider this a lesson learned. Thank you Johnny Houston from the bottom of our hearts! -Karen A.
My son made a couple of mistakes and was faced with having a criminal record. Mr. Houston stepped in and provided us with excellent representation. My son will NOT have a record now and is looking forward to the future. I also can't say enough about the staff at Houston & Alexander. Always responsive and informative and really went the extra mile. I cannot recommend them enough! - Alice
Due the stress of this pandemic and the loss of employment, my wife and I got into an argument and I ended up getting arrested and charged with domestic violence. I could not go home, could not have any contact with my wife and had no place to live. An elected official/friend referred me to Johnny Houston and his law firm. Due to Johnny's efforts, not only did we get into court quickly, but all charges were dismissed. We are back together now and I am getting this expunged. Thank you, Johnny! - Client
I had too much to drink one night and backed into another car. I was charged with second offense DUI and felony reckless endangerment. I was at a real low point in my life and my husband had recently passed away. Johnny was able to get the felonies dismissed and I pled guilty to a first offense. Instead of facing significant jail time and a felony, I did a few days in jail and wore an alcohol monitor. Johnny was able to humanize me with the DA and I was able to get my life back on track again. Great law firm! You would be crazy to go anywhere else. - Karen M.
I am a college student. I was involved in a wreck and was charged with DUI and leaving the scene. I thought I was ok to drive but my blood result said otherwise. A DUI conviction would have really hurt my chances of getting a good job. Johnny and Bret told me I had a difficult case and the only guarantee they gave was that they would work hard for me. They NEVER gave up on my case and ultimately persuaded the arresting officer and the DA to reduce the charge. If YOU need help on a DUI or any other case, call them! These men are not only hard working but kind. - Kate
I had hired another law firm and they were getting nowhere with my case. I was charged with multiple offense DUI and other charges. Johnny Houston went the EXTRA MILE for me! The other law firm had negotiated a sentence that may have made me lose my house, my kids...everything. Johnny was not only able to get my charges reduced but also the sentence. I kept my house and my family intact! I have turned my life around and things are great! Johnny did not forget about me once the case was over, either. I needed some additional help with my license and Johnny jumped right on it. - Colleen
Johnny and Bret took my case and treated me like a person, not a number. I was looking at a long prison sentence (10+ years). These guys stepped in, calmed me down, and told me that they were going to be there for me. When you first walk in their office, you have that at home feeling. With Mrs. Wanda, a very welcoming atmosphere. They really treat you like family here. I would recommend Mr. Houston and Mr. Alexander to anyone who needs their service. You will not go wrong with these guys. THEY KNOW THE LAW!!!! - WARDELL
We were from out of town and had no friends or family in the area. Things got out of control and the next morning we were arrested and charged with Felonies. In my opinion, we were over charged. We called Johny and he agreed to meet with us right away. Johnny was attentive and listened. Facing possible jail time and the loss of my husband,s job we were terrified. Johnny literally rescued us! He took the lead, met with the DA and the alleged victim, and really smoothed things over. Johnny was confident and appeared to get along well with the Prosecutors and Judges. We were very fortunate to find Johnny. - Tana

TESTIMONIALS

The moment finally came when I saw Jay walk down the stairs in the court room, he flashed me a thumbs up and I knew... I knew I won. If you need a lawyer do not hesitate to call Houston & Alexander. There is no one that will represent you better anywhere in Chattanooga. I wholeheartedly give them five stars. - Antonio
I had hired another law firm and they were getting nowhere with my case. I was charged with multiple offense DUIs and other charges. I was not sure where to turn and called Houston and Alexander. Johnny Houston went the EXTRA MILE for me! The other law firm had negotiated a sentence that may have made me lose my house, my kids...everything. Johnny was not only able to get my charges reduced but also the sentence net result was I was able to keep my family together. -Colleen
We've been clients of Houston & Alexander for three years, with Bret Alexander representing us during that time. I can't speak highly enough of his integrity, professionalism, and his dedication to our legal needs. We are so grateful for his guidance and effectiveness through such a difficult time. He's an attorney you can trust and depend on to do the right thing. We are sincerely so grateful. Thank You! - Trish
I am a Desert Storm veteran and found myself in need of legal counsel. Everyone from the receptionist to the attorney himself treated me with the utmost respect and dignity. I found them to be knowledgeable and most helpful. I would recommend Houston and Alexander for all your legal needs. Thank you for all of your help. - C Pugh
I won't go into specifics because they are very embarrassing for my family. But if you have a daughter who has been criminally charged with a serious charge, Johnny Houston should be your go-to gentleman. Because of his hard work, and diligence in our case, we can once again hold our heads High and consider this a lesson learned. Thank you Johnny Houston from the bottom of our hearts! -Karen A.
My son made a couple of mistakes and was faced with having a criminal record. Mr. Houston stepped in and provided us with excellent representation. My son will NOT have a record now and is looking forward to the future. I also can't say enough about the staff at Houston & Alexander. Always responsive and informative and really went the extra mile. I cannot recommend them enough! - Alice
Due the stress of this pandemic and the loss of employment, my wife and I got into an argument and I ended up getting arrested and charged with domestic violence. I could not go home, could not have any contact with my wife and had no place to live. An elected official/friend referred me to Johnny Houston and his law firm. Due to Johnny's efforts, not only did we get into court quickly, but all charges were dismissed. We are back together now and I am getting this expunged. Thank you, Johnny! - Client
I had too much to drink one night and backed into another car. I was charged with second offense DUI and felony reckless endangerment. I was at a real low point in my life and my husband had recently passed away. Johnny was able to get the felonies dismissed and I pled guilty to a first offense. Instead of facing significant jail time and a felony, I did a few days in jail and wore an alcohol monitor. Johnny was able to humanize me with the DA and I was able to get my life back on track again. Great law firm! You would be crazy to go anywhere else. - Karen M.
I am a college student. I was involved in a wreck and was charged with DUI and leaving the scene. I thought I was ok to drive but my blood result said otherwise. A DUI conviction would have really hurt my chances of getting a good job. Johnny and Bret told me I had a difficult case and the only guarantee they gave was that they would work hard for me. They NEVER gave up on my case and ultimately persuaded the arresting officer and the DA to reduce the charge. If YOU need help on a DUI or any other case, call them! These men are not only hard working but kind. - Kate
I had hired another law firm and th