Federal Murder Charges

Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerMurder cases are often tried in state court because in general murder is a state crime. However, there are some circumstances where a murder trial will occur in federal court. These instances are spelled out in federal law and are quite specific.

Federal prosecutions often have a larger budget and a different set of laws will be in effect. It is important that the accused hire counsel that can mount a strong defense and who fully understands federal laws of evidence and the elements of federal crimes.

Ten Types of Federal Murder Charges

  1. Killing of an elected or appointed federal officeholder. Federal charges will result if the victim is a congressman, senator, president, vice president, a cabinet officer (for example Secretary of Defense), or a Supreme Court justice.
  2. Killing of a federal judge or law enforcement officer. If the victim is a federal judge or a federal law enforcement officer, the trial will be heard in federal court.
  3. Killing of an immediate family member of a law enforcement official where the assailant was attempting to pressure the law enforcement official to stop an investigation.
  4. A killing meant to impact the outcome of a court case. Federal courts have jurisdiction over the killings of court officers and jurors, or murders that are meant to thwart testimony. Federal courts also have jurisdiction over murders committed in retaliation for testimony made at a legal proceeding.
  5. A killing carried out during a bank robbery. Because bank robbery is a federal offense, a murder that happens during a bank robbery will also be considered a federal crime.
  6. Killing related to rape, child molestation, and sexual exploitation of minors.
  7. Murder on a ship. This law usually applies to piracy but can encompass other situations such as when a U.S. national is killed on a ship no matter where the ship is located.
  8. Drug trafficking-related killings. This is a common reason why a murder case will be tried in federal court.
  9. Murder for hire. If the murder can only be carried out by a person crossing state lines, or if the requested hit job is communicated by phone, mail, or the Internet, the murder-for-hire could be charged federally.
  10. Murder by mail. If the assailant utilizes the postal service to transmit deadly items (such as explosives or biological hazards), federal charges could result.

Contact a Chicago, IL Murder Charge Defense Attorney

If you or someone you love is under investigation for committing a murder, you should seek qualified legal counsel quickly. Our firm’s Chicago, IL murder charge defense lawyer will fight hard for you and put his years of experience to work in your case.

Contact our firm today at 312-270-0999 to schedule your free consultation. Our telephones are answered 24 hours a day. We also offer appointments offsite and on nights and weekends.

 

Sources:

https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-1107-murder-hire-offense

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1111

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