Are you wondering what is a federal crime and what is the difference between a federal and state offense? These are questions we hear often and if you are facing federal charges it is imperative that you hire a defense attorney for a federal crime as soon as possible. Federal crimes are prosecuted and investigated by major agencies and bureaus and often carry steep penalties upon conviction. If the federal government is investigating you for a crime do not wait to seek legal representation.
Criminal defense attorney Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal has years of experience representing clients in court. He will work tirelessly for you, protecting your rights, and helping you to achieve the best possible outcome.
If you are in need of representation for the criminal defense of a federal crime, contact Weinstein Legal to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney in Florida for a FREE case evaluation today. Call 954-845-0505. You deserve to have a lawyer working diligently on your case to prove your innocence.
What Is a Federal Crime?
By definition, a federal crime is one that is illegal under United States federal legislation, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys, and investigated by federal bureaus and officers. Your local sheriff's department will not investigate a federal crime, nor will you appear for court at the county courthouse. Only federal judges may hear cases for federal crimes. These are generally much more severe than a state crime.
Federal crimes may involve an offense that took place across multiple municipalities or crossed state lines. Additionally, any criminal offense that takes place on federal property or that involves a federal agent will be prosecuted as a federal crime.
There are strict prosecuting guidelines for federal crimes, set forth by the laws established by the United States Congress as well as by the United States Attorney in the federal judicial district in which the case is tried.
Types of Federal Crimes
There are many different types of federal crimes. Often, fraud cases and identify theft are prosecuted as federal crimes. Mail fraud or any offense involving the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a federal crime, as is tax evasion, counterfeiting, any sort of election fraud, immigration offenses, and certain drug-related crimes.
Additionally, hate crimes may be prosecuted as federal offenses, as may kidnapping, cybersecurity crimes, insider trading, and more. Federal crimes are investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Secret Service.
Federal versus State Crimes
A state crime is investigated by local law enforcement officials and the case is typically heard before a county or state judge. State crimes include simple drug possession charges, simple assault charges, and petty theft, among other common crimes. It's important to note that what may be a crime in one state might be legal in another. An example of this is the legal age at which you can get a driver's license.
A federal crime, however, is illegal no matter where you are when the crime occurs. Additionally, if you cross state lines in the process of committing a crime the crime will automatically become a federal offense. This is often the case in crimes such as transporting illegal drugs across state lines.
Federal crimes are generally more serious than state crimes. The courts tend to prosecute federal offenses to the fullest extent of the law and it is important that you have an aggressive legal team fighting on your side to prove your innocence. Federal crimes can carry extremely steep penalties and have ramifications that impact the rest of your life, particularly if you are facing felony charges.
Penalties for Federal Crimes
If you are facing charges for a federal crime, you are likely wondering what penalties a judge may sentence you to. The answer depends on what crime you are convicted of committing, your past criminal record, and any extenuating circumstances surrounding the case.
For example, it is possible for a federal crime to be a misdemeanor. These federal misdemeanors are broken down by class, and each class comes with a separate tentative jail sentence. A Class A federal misdemeanor can land you in jail for up to one year, while a Class B federal misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to six months in jail. Class C federal misdemeanor charges carry up to thirty days imprisonment.
Alternately, if you are facing felony federal charges you may face many years in prison upon conviction, along with the loss of certain rights. Convicted felons lose their right to vote for a period of time, cannot own or be in the presence of firearms, and can have a challenging time finding employment and housing. A felony conviction will remain on your record for life, meaning that any background check a person runs on you in the future will reveal your conviction.
Hiring An Attorney for Federal Crime Charges
Are facing charges for federal crimes in Florida? Are you tired of wondering "what is a federal crime?" Contact the Weinstein Legal Team today for a FREE case evaluation. The federal government has the very best working on their behalf to build a case against you. You need to have the same aggressive representation fighting for your rights.
Criminal defense attorney in Florida, Matt Shafran, at Weinstein Legal is the lawyer you want on your side. Mr. Shafran will work tirelessly to build a case in your defense in an attempt to get your charges either reduced or dismissed entirely, sparing you the steep consequences that a conviction for a federal crime can carry.