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Out of state drug charges: What you need to know

As a college student, you find many ways to keep yourself entertained when not in class. From tailgating at your school's sporting events to visiting campuses out of state, you have been thoroughly enjoying the college experience.

While all of this traveling has been enjoyable, what do you do if you have an out of state run-in with the law? What was once a fun and care-free moment can become a nightmare on many fronts. If the local police file drug charges against you, there are some unique considerations you need to be aware of as a visitor to that state.

What you need to know

  • Drug laws vary by state. We're living in a very interesting time in the U.S., where some states have decided to enforce certain drugs differently than the federal government. Furthermore, even if two states ban a certain drug, the sentencing can be wildly different. For example, someone sentenced for drug trafficking in Wyoming vs Idaho will on average, spend 16 more months behind bars.
  • Extradition. If you are fortunate and released on bail, you cannot simply return home and hope this charge will go away. If you do not report to court in that state, you may find yourself extradited, which means that the long arm of the law can reach into your home state and forcibly bring you back.
  • Court appearances. If charges are filed, you will be required to make numerous court appearances, unless you hire local counsel to appear on your behalf. Hiring local counsel will allow you to continue attending class and maintain your normal schedule, which may look favorable to a Judge.

Being accused of drug possession is a terrifying ordeal and it's imperative that you know the ins and outs of the laws in all pertinent states. With careful consideration and guidance, you can see your way through this and get your life back on track.

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