The United States as a nation and each individual state has its own set of laws that prohibit certain acts and behaviors. If you are accused with engaging in these acts, you can face charges for state and federal crimes. While the majority of people understand how the state court system works, many do not understand how serious a federal charge can be. The federal government has almost unlimited resources at their disposal to prosecute an alleged crime, and the penalties for federal charges are almost always more severe than its state counterparts.
That is why you need to hire an expert federal crimes defense attorney immediately if you have been charged with a federal offense. An experienced attorney knows the law, can defend your rights, and advocate for you in federal court.
State v. Federal Crimes
Many people do not understand the difference between state and federal crimes, and charges can often overlap between the two. State crimes are defined in Title XLVI of the state’s code, and they consist of acts of prohibited behavior that occur within the boundaries of the state. However, if the crime charged crosses state lines, occurs in multiple states, or affects federal property, the charge is elevated to a federal crime. These types of crimes can be found in Title 18 of the United States Code.
Federal Crime Statistics
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in 2010 there were 160,696 cases referred to federal prosecutors. Of those, a total of 91,047 led to charges being filed against the person accused, and 81,934 resulted in convictions for the crimes charged. That is an astounding 93% conviction rate for federal crimes, and it illustrates why it is vitally important that you hire an experienced federal defense attorney as soon as you are charged with a federal crime.
Types of Federal Crimes
Federal crimes span many different areas of the law and can include almost anything as long as an element of the crime charged involves crossing a state line. If an element of the crime charged involves the use of the internet, federal charges are often added, as well. Common federal crimes can include:
- White collar crime (business and financial fraud, internet fraud, embezzlement, etc.)
- Healthcare fraud (Medicare and Medicaid)
- Mortgage and real estate fraud
- Tax fraud
- Money laundering
- Firearm offenses
- Drug trafficking and distribution
- Public corruption
- Identity fraud
- Internet sex crimes and child pornography
- Federal appeals
Contact a Federal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a federal crime you should not take it lightly. Federal charges often come with stricter penalties, are coupled with separate state crimes, and can be more difficult to defend against in federal court. An experienced federal defense attorney will be able to fight for your rights in court and provide you with the zealous defense that you need.