Both can prosecute him separately - they are not one prosecutorial unit. There is a State charge he is currently held under and a possible Federal drug charge that he may be indicted for. He needs to work with his attorney right now to get a handle on this situation. if there is a Federal indictment, he faces a hard reality that there is good evidence and therefore needs a great Federal attorney to cover all of the angles.
We are talking about the legal jurisdictional precept of "Separate Sovereigns."
There are different crimes or separate elements of the state and federal crimes charged.
Often, the state offenses are completed offenses, while the golden child of the federal prosecutors is conspiracy.
Also, generally speaking federal offenses are accompanied by MUCH harsher sentences.
Talk to his lawyer and consult a federal criminal practitioner as well.
This can happen, so get on it right away.
Answer for educational purposes only.
I wouldn't say that it is standard for a case to go federal if the state has weak evidence. The determination typically is whether or not the federal prosecutors and law enforcement want the case. If it is a big enough case and they can claim it deals with the crossing of state lines, then the feds can take it.
It does not surprise me that you are waiting more than two months for fingerprint results. The law enforcement agencies forensic units are often overwhelmed with requests for analysis.
Kelly Law Team
I agree with my Avvo Colleagues. Consult and retain an experienced criminal defense attorney in your jurisdiction ASAP.
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