What Are the Most Common Federal Offenses?

Posted on in Federal Crimes

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerFederal offenses are often misunderstood, mainly because people are more familiar with state crimes that are prosecuted at the state level. Federal crimes are those that violate federal law and, although state law often mirrors this law, there are times when the crime has certain elements that make it a federal offense. A drug crime, for example, violates state law but if the crime involves a border crossing, it becomes a federal crime. Drug offenses are one of the most common federal crimes, as are weapons crimes and white-collar crimes.

Drug Crimes

Any offense that violates the federal Controlled Substances Act is considered a federal crime. Drug crimes are some of the most common offenses at the state level too, but there are some significant differences between the two. For example, while many states have legalized marijuana use, even in these states it is illegal to consume the drug on federal property. If someone was found consuming marijuana on federal property, they could face federal charges, although it would be unlikely.

When federal agents make the arrest for a drug crime, it will also be charged as a federal offense. Additionally, if state law enforcement works with federal law enforcement, the case may enter federal jurisdiction.

Weapons Crimes

Like drug offenses, a person may be charged with a weapons crime on either the state or federal level. Also like drug crimes, the charges a person faces will depend on the circumstances of the alleged offense. For example, a person accused of illegally transporting weapons across a border would likely face federal charges. These offenses are also commonly associated with other charges, such as drug trafficking charges. Those convicted of a federal weapons offense will also likely serve a long sentence in federal prison.

White-Collar Crimes

White-collar crimes are non-violent in nature and are committed for the perpetrator’s financial gain. Tax fraud, embezzlement, and identity theft are all common examples of white-collar crimes. Although these offenses do not involve violence, a person convicted of a white-collar crime will still likely face long federal prison sentences.

As technology continues to advance, white-collar crimes are becoming even more common. People may send fraudulent emails asking others to contribute to a charity and then keep the proceeds. Or, a person may hack into another individual’s personal accounts to obtain confidential information necessary to commit identity theft. Due to the fact that these offenses would include computer technology, they are considered wire fraud and cyber fraud crimes, which are always prosecuted at the federal level.

Our Chicago Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help with Your Charges

The fact that federal charges always carry more severe penalties for those convicted is one of the biggest differences between state and federal law. It is also the reason that anyone charged with a federal crime should speak to an experienced Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, we know how to defend against all federal charges and we want to put our experience to work for you. If you have been charged with an offense, call us at 312-629-0669 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation with our attorney.


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