A federal crime is a violation of the U.S. 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.
The two houses of the U.S. 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.
Notably, some of these crimes, such as bank robbery, may violate both state and federal laws. In such cases, the local U.S. 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.
Listed below are attributes frequently contributing to the classification of 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 U.S. 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.
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:
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.
White-collar crimes, including money laundering, insurance fraud, credit card fraud, etc.
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 crimes 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: Districts Courts, Circuit Courts, and the Supreme Court of the United States. The federal court judges are selected by the U.S. President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. They hold office during good behavior and have lifetime tenure unless ousted from their roles for misconduct through Congressional impeachment proceedings.
A majority of cases in the U.S. are handled at the state level since most laws are created at the state level. These cases involve matters revolving around family law, traffic violations, wills, trusts, and contract issues.
The U.S. 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)
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:
Federal prison sentence
Property or asset forfeiture
Mandatory minimum sentence
Probation and community service, where the crime is a misdemeanor
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.
Fighting the federal government in court can be very challenging. Consider seeking the assistance of an attorney knowledgeable in federal criminal cases.
Federal criminal defense attorneys 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 suitable defense strategies applicable. 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:
Weapon crime charges
Our legal team is ready to assist you with federal or state criminal charges. If you need legal help, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation today!