Federal Crimes and Holiday Travel

Posted on in Federal Crimes

chicago criminal defense lawyerLast year, many Americans were unable to travel to spend time with loved ones in other states. Travel restrictions made it quite difficult for most people to make their customary holiday trip home to visit family outside of Illinois. This year, more people are expected to travel between states for the winter holidays. However, both flying and crossing state lines are activities that could put you within federal jurisdiction should you be accused of a crime while traveling. 

Facing federal charges of any kind can ruin your holiday celebrations, often for many years to come if you are convicted. If something like this has happened to you, it is important that you quickly get in contact with a skilled defense attorney to maximize your chances of avoiding harsh penalties. 

What Federal Crimes Might Be Committed During Holiday Travel?

Holiday travel can be stressful in the best circumstances. Getting arrested by federal agents during your holiday trip far from home is a different level of stress. Common federal crimes holiday travelers are charged with include: 

  • Drug trafficking - Each state has its own laws regarding cannabis. Some, like Illinois, have legalized it for recreational purposes. Others have a medical use-only program. The federal government does not care - cannabis is illegal at a federal level even with a prescription and you could be arrested for drug trafficking if you try to travel with it. 

  • Airplane disruptions - Any crime committed on an airplane or in an airport is going to be handled at the federal level. It is not too uncommon for frustrated fliers at the end of their ropes to become disruptive or even violent. Charges like interference with the flight crew, assault, and disorderly conduct can result from these incidents. The U.S. Justice Department has emphasized that it will pursue these prosecutions as a high priority in response to a recent rise in crimes committed on commercial airlines. 

  • Mail theft - This crime is committed against holiday travelers rather than by them. While people are out of town, thieves may take the opportunity to steal mail left for the travelers. Stealing a person’s mail is a federal crime. 

  • Fraud - Travel scams are often targeted at holiday travelers. This type of fraud can take many forms, from posing as a hotel front desk agent to steal credit card information to targeting travelers with fake theme park tickets on fraudulent websites. These cases are often handled federally because they target victims across multiple states. 

If you find yourself facing federal charges related to holiday travel, it is important that you do not wait until after the holidays to call a lawyer. You will need to start building a strong defense right away.

Call a Chicago Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of a federal crime, Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney may be able to help protect your freedom and future. Our Chicago federal criminal defense attorneys are skilled at analyzing cases to craft strong defenses. Call us at 312-629-0669 for a free consultation. 



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