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Why Are My Charges Considered Federal? 

Posted by Posted on in Federal Crimes

chicago federal crime lawyerYou may be wondering why you have been charged with a crime at the federal instead of state level, especially if you and any alleged victims are all in the same state, or you never left Illinois while allegedly committing a crime. There are a number of reasons that a crime may be federally prosecuted. Being charged with any federal crime is a very serious matter that puts both your freedom and, often, your financial well-being at grave risk. It is important to contact an experienced and well-qualified attorney as soon as you learn that you are facing federal charges. 

What Are Some Reasons a Crime Might be Prosecuted in Federal Court? 

For a crime to be charged at the federal level, it must affect some kind of national interest. Internet crimes like fraud and possession of child pornography are frequently prosecuted under federal law because they may impact interstate commerce or involve victims outside of Illinois. Here are some other reasons your charges may be treated as federal offenses: 

  • Location - If your alleged crime took place on federal property, it automatically becomes a federal offense. Federal property includes places like national parks, Medicaid offices, and military bases. 

  • Victim - If the U.S. Government itself, or any of its agents, agencies, or officials was the victim of a crime, it will be prosecuted at the federal level. This covers a wide range of crimes from simple assault against a DEA agent to Medicaid or tax fraud. 

  • Immigration - Any kind of immigration violation is a federal matter because it affects national interests. This can include anything from immigration fraud to helping a foreign national enter the country illegally. 

  • Internet Crimes - Internet scams or various types of fraud, such as mortgage fraud or credit card fraud, are often considered federal crimes because victims may live in different states or because the crime may affect interstate commerce. 

  • Trafficking - Even if you never personally transported illegal contraband such as drugs across state lines, the likelihood that trafficked goods will make their way out of Illinois can bring the crime into federal jurisdiction. 

Contact an Illinois Federal Criminal Lawyer

If you have been accused of any federal crime, you must take the charge very seriously. It is critical that you reach out to a Chicago Federal Criminal Lawyer as soon as you realize you have been accused of a federal offense. Federal crime convictions can lead to long prison sentences, forfeiture of any money or property the government thinks you gained through criminal activity, and life-altering collateral effects, such as difficulty finding employment or even housing. Contact the Law Offices of Hal. M. Garfinkel at 312-629-0669 for a free consultation - it is the first step towards building a thorough and aggressive defense. 

 

Sources: 

https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/criminal-ccips/legacy/2015/01/14/ccmanual.pdf

https://sgp.fas.org/crs/homesec/IF11410.pdf

https://www.justice.gov/archives/jm/criminal-resource-manual-1630-protection-government-property-real-property-18-usc-7

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