Understanding What Makes a Crime a Federal Crime and What to Do if You Are Ever Charged with One

Posted on in Federal Crimes

IL defense lawyerA federal crime is a criminal offense that is prosecuted under federal law rather than state law. These crimes may be investigated by federal agencies such as the FBI, DEA, ATF, and more. So, what exactly makes a crime a federal crime? If you are ever charged with a federal crime, understand that you are in serious legal jeopardy. To ensure your rights are respected and that you know your legal options, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Everything You Need to Know About Federal Crimes

As stated at the outset, a federal crime is a crime that violates federal law. Federal law is created by congress and covers a wide range of crimes, including but not limited to drug trafficking, money laundering, bank fraud, terrorism, and more. These crimes are prosecuted in federal court and are subject to federal sentencing guidelines, which can result in harsher penalties than those under state law.

Secondly, a crime can be considered a federal crime if it occurs on federal property. This can include crimes on military bases, national parks, or other federal property. Furthermore, crimes committed on airlines registered in the United States are also considered federal crimes, regardless of where they occur.

Thirdly, a crime can be considered federal if it crosses state lines. This is known as interstate commerce and is covered under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. For example, if an individual transports illegal drugs across state lines, they may be charged with a federal crime.

Fourthly, a crime can be considered federal if it violates a person’s civil rights. This can include hate crimes, police brutality, and discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation. These crimes are investigated by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and can result in harsh penalties, including imprisonment.

What to Do When Charged with a Federal Crime

Here are essential considerations if you are ever charged with a federal crime, including:

  • Hire an experienced federal criminal defense attorney – Federal crimes are highly complex and require specialized knowledge and experience. An experienced federal criminal defense attorney can provide you with guidance and representation throughout the legal process.
  • Understand the charges against you – It is important to understand the charges against you and the potential consequences if convicted. Your attorney will help ensure you understand the charges you are up against.
  • Prepare yourself for trial – It is important to be prepared if your case goes to trial. Your attorney can help you prepare your defense and work with you to gather evidence and witnesses that may support your case.
  • Consider plea bargaining – In some cases, negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecution may be in your best interest. But, again, this is a conversation you can have with your attorney.

Contact a Chicago, IL Federal Crimes Defense Attorney

Federal crimes are no laughing matter. For skilled legal representation, contact the knowledgeable Chicago, IL federal crimes defense lawyers with Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney. Call 312-629-0669 for a free consultation.

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