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Hirsch Law Group: Your Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Attorney


A federal offense is a violation of the US federal laws. It involves lengthy federal government investigations that can take months or even years to conclude. These investigations can expose you to various government agencies with considerable resources to examine the facts of your case. Such agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, and Internal Revenue Service, among many others.

Federal criminal cases are generally more complex than state criminal cases. Its charges can jeopardize your reputation, career, and family. If arrested, charged, or accused, consider seeking the assistance of an Illinois criminal defense lawyer capable of handling such cases. Irrespective of the nature of your case, it is crucial to take early legal action to protect your rights.

At the Hirsch Law Group, we have extensive experience with federal law, making us proficient at navigating the complexity of such cases. We also understand how the procedure works from investigation to trial and recognize what is at stake for our clients.


What Is a Federal Crime?


The two houses of the US Congress legislate upon the federal law. A federal crime refers to any crime that violates the federal law. It covers crimes such as money laundering, fraud against the government, terrorism, etc.

Some crimes, such as bank robbery, may violate state and federal laws. In such cases, the local US Attorney’s Office consults the state and local law enforcement officials closely to decide whether to file a case in a federal or state court. With such collaboration, the federal government can avoid the time and expense of duplicating cases in both state and federal courts.

Characteristics of Federal Crimes


Below are attributes frequently contributing to classifying an offense as a federal crime. The offense in question generally:

  • Occurs on federal property or in an area under the federal government’s jurisdiction. For example, a crime that occurs in a national park, military base, national airline, etc.

  • It is committed against the US government or a federal agency.

  • Crosses state lines or involves interstate commerce. Such crimes include drug trafficking across state lines, money laundering, etc.

  • Violates another individual’s civil and constitutional rights. These crimes include police brutality, racism, and discrimination, among others. The US Department of Justice generally prosecutes these crimes.

  • Involves a federal employee or office-bearer in an illegal activity.

  • The alleged offense interferes with military, war, or international relations.


Types of Federal Criminal Charges


As noted above, any violation of federal law results in a federal charge. These criminal offenses may lead to physical, financial, or mental harm.

Here are some examples of federal criminal acts:

  • Bank robbery

  • Crimes against the federal government

  • Crimes committed on federal property

  • Crimes involving acts of terrorism

  • Crimes involving sexual abuse and pornography

  • Crimes violating multiple states’ laws

  • Fraud crimes, i.e., accounting and bank fraud, corporate fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, etc.

  • Firearm offenses

  • Human trafficking

  • Identity theft

  • Tax offenses

  • Terrorism

  • White-collar crimes, including money laundering, insurance fraud, credit card fraud, etc.

  • Wildlife violations

Federal Court System


A federal criminal-level case works differently from a state criminal-level case. Various government agencies are responsible for the investigations of federal criminal cases. Federal prosecutors are liable for handling trials and sentencing hearings. Federal offenses also carry more severe consequences than state crimes.

A Federal criminal case is heard in a federal court and has limited jurisdiction compared to state courts. The United States federal court system consists of three main types of courts:

  • United States District Courts

  • United States Court of Appeals

  • The Supreme Court of the United States

The federal court judges are selected by the US President and confirmed by the US Senate. They hold office during good behavior and have lifetime tenure unless ousted from their roles for misconduct through Congressional impeachment proceedings.

Most cases in the US are handled at the state level since most laws are created at the state level. These cases involve family law, traffic violations, wills, trusts, and contract issues.

Who Prosecutes Federal Crimes?


The US Attorney’s Office prosecutes federal criminal offenses in a federal court. Unlike at the state level, where local law enforcement officers investigate reported crimes, the federal government’s law enforcement agencies handle federal criminal investigations.

Some of the federal law enforcement agencies include:

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)

  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

  • Secret Service (SS)

  • Office of the Inspector General (OIG)

  • Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

All of these agencies work together to investigate and prosecute federal crimes. They may collaborate with state and local law enforcement agencies to gather evidence, make arrests, and build a case against the accused.


Penalties for Federal Criminal Convictions 


Federal judges consider factors such as the severity of the crime, the perpetrator’s character, and criminal history when deciding how to punish such crimes.

A federal crime may be classified as a misdemeanor or felony. Felonies are more severe and carry harsher penalties than misdemeanors. Similarly, federal penalties are usually more severe than state penalties for comparable crimes. Federal drug crimes specifically have harsher mandatory minimum sentences. Potential penalties for federal crimes include the following:

  1. Hefty fines

  2. Federal prison sentence

  3. Death penalty

  4. Property or asset forfeiture

  5. Mandatory minimum sentence

  6. Restitution

  7. Probation and community service, where the crime is a misdemeanor

How Can an Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Help?


Federal charges are severe and can have long-term consequences. As noted above, they can result in hefty fines, mandatory prison sentences, or even death penalties. A Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer from the Hirsch Law Group can help you navigate federal law.

  • We have an in-depth understanding of federal laws and can build a strong defense for you.

  • We can analyze the investigation of the Chicago police department to find possible oversights. We can then use their findings to challenge opposing arguments.

  • We can fight for you in court to avoid or reduce your sentence.

  • We can negotiate with the federal prosecutor for a favorable plea agreement. The plea deal can result in a lenient sentence or a concession to drop some charges.

Federal law enforcement agencies are generally well-funded and possess the resources to create a solid case for prosecution. Your criminal defense attorney from the Hirsch Law Group can devise diverse and challenging opposing arguments on your behalf. We can also assist you in upholding your rights throughout the legal process.


Contact a Hirsch Law Group Attorney for Help Today!


Fighting the federal government in court can be very challenging. Consider seeking the assistance of an attorney knowledgeable in federal criminal cases.

Federal defense lawyers from the Hirsch Law Group are dedicated to representing clients in criminal cases. We can craft an aggressive defense to increase your chances of receiving the justice you deserve. We help clients understand the facts of their cases and guide them on the applicable defense strategies. Most importantly, we are ready to fight for you in court with our experience in federal criminal law.

At Hirsch Law Group, we handle the following federal criminal cases, among other practice areas:

  • White-collar crimes

  • Weapon crime charges

  • Money laundering

  • Murder

  • Drug crimes

  • Vehicular hijacking

  • Theft

Contact the Hirsch Law Group today to schedule a free consultation if you are facing federal criminal charges. Our team comprises experienced and skilled attorneys practicing federal criminal defense cases. We can provide you with personalized legal representation and help you navigate the complexities of the federal court system.