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Federal Crime

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Federal Crime

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What is Federal Crime?

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Both state and federal legislation exists to prevent crime from occurring. The majority of crimes are handled at a state level, but occasionally a crime might rise to the federal level when a federal offense occurs. Federal law refers to laws that apply to the United States as a whole, and do not vary from state to state. A variety of federal agencies exist to track and address crime, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and other agencies pertaining to drug, alcohol, and firearm regulation. Additionally, a crime may be considered federal if it crosses state lines. Federal crimes tend to be far more serious than state crimes with far-reaching effects for both the victims and the perpetrators.

Federal crimes are subject to evaluation and prosecution by both federal and local law enforcement agencies, which can make defending against an accusation of federal crime even more challenging. Similarly, the penalties for these crimes tend to be extreme, with fines from thousands of dollars or more, not to mention imprisonment and permanent damage to a person’s professional and personal reputation. When federal legislation and state legislation are in opposition, generally federal law overrules state. Additionally, some federal laws are adopted by states with some minor changes, so it’s important to research the state and federal laws in your area. If you have been accused of a federal crime, contact a federal criminal defense attorney right away to discuss your case and learn more about your options.

Federal Crime Data

To better understand federal crime and how the federal justice system works, it may help to take a look at some of the available data on this field. From 2008 to 2018 there was a significant decrease in the overall imprisonment rate at both state and federal levels with the type of crimes varying. Additionally, from 2008 to 2018, the imprisonment rate dropped 28% among black residents, 21% among Hispanic residents, and 13% among white residents according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. There are a variety of federal crimes that are more common than others; these crimes generally affect a broader population of people or are considered to be severe criminal acts. Some of the offenses included in the list of federal crimes might surprise you.

Some of the most common federal crimes include:

  • Kidnapping across state lines
  • Child porn
  • Tax fraud
  • Mail fraud
  • Counterfeiting
  • White collar crimes
  • Computer crimes
  • Drug trafficking
  • Carjacking
  • Aircraft hijacking
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Hate crimes
  • Illegal wiretapping
  • Museum theft
  • Damage of public property
  • Voter fraud
  • Immigration offenses

In general, if damage occurs to people or property across state lines, even a state crime will be considered federal. Crimes that are particularly severe or violate specific federal legislation will also be considered federal. If you or a loved one have been accused of a federal crime, it is important to seek legal counsel. Federal criminal defense attorneys are familiar with the differences between state and federal cases and can offer better support and understanding of federal criminal charges.

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