What Makes a Crime Federal?

David Lindsey, Attorney at Law

It’s important to understand the difference between federal and state crimes so that you can determine which court will handle your case and how much time you could face if convicted. In this blog post, we’re going to break down what makes a crime federal, so that you can understand the nuances of criminal law.

What is a Federal Crime?

A federal crime is any act that violates a United States federal law. These crimes are investigated by a federal entity, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Examples of common federal offenses include:

  • Drug trafficking
  • Wire fraud
  • Bank fraud
  • Mail fraud
  • Counterfeiting
  • Piracy
  • Tax evasion
  • Money laundering
  • Possession of illegal weapons

Who Prosecutes Federal Crimes?

Federal crimes are prosecuted by attorneys from the Department of Justice (DOJ). These attorneys work with local prosecutors and law enforcement officers to investigate and prosecute cases that cross state lines or involve violations of US laws. The DOJ also has jurisdiction over certain types of civil cases such as antitrust violations or environmental protection regulations.

What Are the Penalties for Federal Crimes?

The penalties for committing a federal offense vary depending on the severity of the crime and whether it qualifies as a misdemeanor or felony offense. Federal sentences are partially determined by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The Guidelines are a complicated framework for determining sentences, so it’s important to retain an attorney experienced in Federal cases. Penalties for federal crimes can range from fines up to $250K and/or imprisonment for up to five years for misdemeanors to fines up to $1 million and/or imprisonment for up to 30 or more years for felonies. In some cases, the court orders individuals to pay restitution to victims as part of their penalty.

Additionally, all offenders sentenced to prison must serve supervised release periods following their incarceration during which they must comply with certain restrictions imposed by the court.

What Should You Do If You’re Facing Criminal Charges?

If you are contacted by federal law enforcement officials do not speak to them without consulting an attorney. You have a right not to speak with these officials, and it is always better to consult an attorney before you speak with these officials because it is very rare that federal law enforcement will stop pursing a case based on something you have told them.

If you are facing accusations of a federal crime, it is important to take immediate action. It is in your best interests to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you understand your legal rights and protections, the possible penalties you’ll face if convicted, and any potential defenses that may apply in your case.

Additionally, your attorney can develop an effective legal strategy for fighting the charges and protecting your rights. In some cases, your attorney may be able to negotiate with prosecutors to reach a favorable plea agreement or even have the charges dismissed altogether. It is important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty and that you do not have to face these allegations alone. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can challenge the charges and fight for your freedom.

It is also important to be aware of the potential consequences of a federal criminal conviction. Depending on the type and severity of the offense, you could face years in prison as well as hefty fines and other financial penalties, such as restitution and court costs.

Furthermore, a conviction could also result in collateral consequences such as the loss of professional licenses and certifications, difficulty finding employment or housing, and more. With experienced legal guidance, you can work to protect your rights and minimize the potential impact of these allegations.

Speak to an Experienced Federal Crimes Lawyer

If you’re facing federal criminal charges, you must take the matter seriously and act quickly. Consulting with a qualified criminal defense attorney can be an invaluable resource in defending yourself against these charges and protecting your rights. With their help, you can fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

For more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation, contact David Lindsey.

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