LOS ANGELES FEDERAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
The Difference Between Local, State, and Federal Crimes
Whether you are charged with a local, state, or federal crime will depend on the alleged offense and the law enforcement agency that investigated and arrested you. In many situations, a crime may be an offense at more than one level, such as when a violation is both a state and federal crime.
Local crimes often involve traffic offenses or other minor-level crimes that result in little or no time in jail. Both state and federal governments have the authority to prosecute individuals for criminal offenses, each with their own unique and sovereign court system. Most criminal cases are charged in the state system. If you are accused of violating any federal statutes, this falls within federal jurisdiction and you will be prosecuted in federal court.
When You Can be Charged with a Federal Offense
Not every crime can lead to federal charges. Certain circumstances must exist for your alleged actions to amount to a federal offense. You can be charged with a federal offense when the criminal conduct:
WAS COMMITTED ON FEDERAL PROPERTY.
This includes any national park, federal courthouse, federal prison, the District of Columbia, international waters, or a Native American reservation.
IS EXCLUSIVELY UNDER FEDERAL JURISDICTION.
The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction when federal money, federal property, or federal regulations are involved. For example, if the allegations involve federal taxes or U.S. mail.
CROSSED STATE LINES.
An offense that takes place in more than one state or affects interstate commerce in any way can be charged at the federal level. Computer and internet crimes often take place in more than one state.
WAS INVESTIGATED BY FEDERAL AUTHORITIES.
Conduct investigated by a federal agency such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) or Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is usually charged as a federal crime.
Common Federal Offenses
When you consider the incredible resources of the government in prosecuting cases, it is imperative to retain a distinguished defense attorney to maximize your chances of success in a complex system. Federal crimes almost always result in harsher penalties than their state counterparts and make you susceptible to federal prison terms and substantial fines of up to $250,000.
At Gammill Law Firm, we have the skill and reputation to defend you against all types of federal offenses including: