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Georgia deputy faces federal drug charges

There is a certain set of criteria for whether to charge someone under federal or state law. For example, when someone is accused of trafficking drugs within a state, that person will likely face state-level drug charges and will be tried in a state court. But when someone is accused of trafficking drugs across state lines, the charges then become federal, and the accused person will undergo trial in a federal court. Federal charges also have different consequences.

One Georgia deputy, for example, is facing federal charges after a colleague contacted federal investigators and accused the deputy of involvement in methamphetamine trafficking. Allegedly, the deputy acted as security for drug dealers, wearing his officer's uniform to act as lookout during drug deals. He recently appeared in front of a federal judge to fight the charges that carry a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and fines as high as $5 million.

Federal drug charges often carry harsh sentences that involve more prison time and higher fines than many violent crimes. Prisons are overcrowded with people convicted of federal drug crimes, and some might argue against the fairness of drug sentencing. Because of the severity of sentencing, though, fighting these charges is of the utmost importance for any accused individuals hoping to clear their names and get on with their lives.

An attorney with experience in federal charges can help those accused of drug trafficking fight these allegations. Sometimes a false arrest can be established, or the intent to distribute drugs or partake in a drug deal can be called into doubt. There are many ways that a person can be found innocent of these types of crimes.

Source: Action News Jax, "Local deputy arrested on meth trafficking charges," Ryan Smith, Oct. 18, 2013

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Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

Former Federal Prosecutors

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