About Federal Crimes
Technically, a federal crime takes place when someone violates a statute in the United States Criminal Code.
Federal crimes are often those that cross state line and/or crimes that are especially serious, including drug offenses involving especially large amounts of illegal substances, and crimes that draw national attention.
Crimes tried in the federal court system include:
- Drug crimes
- Bank fraud
- Election fraud
- Obstruction of justice
- Civil rights offenses
- Insider trading
- Unlawful duplication of software
- Computer fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Mail fraud
- Disability fraud
- Investment fraud
- Securities fraud
- Money laundering
- Tax evasion
State Versus Federal
A state may also have laws that cover crimes of the same kind, however federal law will take precedence.
You can be charged with the same crime on both the federal and state levels. If someone is acquitted for a crime by a state court, it is possible for them to be charged separately for the same crime in a federal court.
What You Need To Know About Federal Criminal Charges
If you are investigated for a federal crime, you may be under surveillance for a lengthy time. The FBI, DEA, federal marshals and/or police have the resources and determination to gather extensive evidence about your alleged crime – and federal prosecutors will have a wealth of information to use against you.
If you have been charged with a federal crime, you are probably facing more severe consequences than if you had been charged by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The federal court system uses complex sentencing guidelines to decide how someone convicted of a federal crime will be punished.
- Federal criminal offenses are slotted into 43 different levels. Additionally, points are assigned to a convicted individual based on factors such as their prior convictions.
- Based on the combination of these elements, you will fall into one of four sentencing zones that each has a specific range of time that you will have to serve in a federal prison.
- The sentencing judge can also increase or reduce a sentence due to additional or mitigating factors.
The federal court system is complex, and its procedures are significantly different from those in state and local courts. Most criminal defense attorneys do not try cases in federal court. It is critical to be represented by an attorney with federal court experience who has a thorough understanding of the unique sentencing guidelines and processes.
Questions? Contact us today.
If you are charged with a federal crime, the consequences can be devastating. Fienman Defense will fight tenaciously to protect your constitutional rights. We will guide you through a court system that can be complex and intimidating, and provide you with the strongest possible defense.