Federal Criminal Defense

A federal crime is any violation of U.S. federal legislation or any crime that occurs on federal property. They can include any crime that crosses state lines such as mail fraud, crimes that can be prosecuted under federal legislation like the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), crimes that involve Federal Grand Jury investigation, or crimes committed or involving federal agencies. Crimes that involve federal agencies can include crimes that implicate such agencies as the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) etc.

A federal crime defense attorney has to be experienced in grand jury investigations and proceedings as well as federal crime criminal defense law in order to mount an effective defense. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Bureau in combination with other federal authorities such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division (IRSCI), or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) usually investigates federal crimes.

Offenses or violations that will require a federal criminal defense attorney include:

  • Organized crimes such as criminal enterprises, extortion, money laundering, racketeering, etc.
  • Drug offenses such as trafficking, importation, distribution, etc.
  • Antitrust violations such as securities fraud, asset forfeiture, insider trading, bid rigging, price fixing, etc.
  • Government fraud such as bankruptcy fraud, Medicare fraud, tax evasion, counterfeiting, environmental law violations, etc.
  • Violent crimes such as murder, kidnapping, assault, terrorism, etc.
  • Immigration offenses such as alien smuggling, immigration fraud, illegal aliens, etc.
  • Financial fraud such as credit card fraud, insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, kickbacks, etc.
  • Mail fraud such as wire fraud, phone/telemarketing fraud, computer/internet fraud, identity theft, etc.
  • Industrial corruption such as economic espionage, trade secret theft, patent infringement, embezzlement, etc.
  • Judicial fraud such as perjury, false statement, witness tampering, bribery, etc.
  • Public corruption, art theft, destroying federal government property, arson, white-collar crime, etc.

Federal crime criminal defense cases differ from state criminal defense cases in various ways. One is that a U.S. Attorney prosecutes federal crimes and not a State Attorney. Federal crime criminal defense has to abide by federal laws as opposed to state or municipal laws. Federal law enforcement agencies investigate federal criminal cases and not local police agencies. Defendants found gusty of a federal crime will be subject to federal sentencing guidelines and may face longer mandatory sentences.

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