Federal laws apply to every person in every state of the country. These originate in the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives or a relevant agency in the President’s cabinet and supersede state and local law.
Learn about the difference between state and federal crimes so that you know what to expect for your criminal defense proceedings.
Charges coming from the FBI or IRS
The FBI or IRS will file charges against you when they believe your actions have risen to the level of a national security threat or may cause widespread financial impact. According to statistics compiled by the Federal International Trade Commission, these cases almost always last more than one year.
Accusations of misdeeds in more than one state
If your activities have caused you to cross state lines, or you have done business in more than one state, the federal government will take the case from the local authorities and charge you in a federal court. Agents in Washington D.C. have an interest in protecting all Americans and can investigate multiple locations at once.
Large-scale fraud, forgery or counterfeiting
You may end up in federal court if the alleged actions involve wire, bank or financial activity with thousands of potential victims. This could include money laundering, embezzlement, extortion or RICO violations.
Aggravated or especially heinous offenses
Crimes that are especially violent, which shock the conscience or involve complex conspiracy and organization will rise to the federal level. County and state attorneys do not always have the physical or financial resources to be able to try such a case. If you fall afoul of federal regulations, you will need top-tier representation with decades of specific experience in trying federal cases.