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what makes a crime a federal offense

What Makes a Crime a Federal Offense?

A crime becomes a federal offense when it violates United States federal law or multiple states’ laws. Crimes such as wire fraud, commercial fraud, or drug trafficking, for example, are often charged under the federal government. While most crimes typically fall into state jurisdiction, federal crimes like those below often carry far more severe penalties than those imposed in state courts.

What Criminal Charges are Prosecuted Federally?

Criminal charges prosecuted by government organizations like the FBI are serious matters. If you’re facing these charges in Texas, contact an experienced federal criminal attorney like those at the Saputo Law Firm to vigorously advocate for your rights and your freedom.

Charges that Include Aggravating Factors

Severe crimes that cause significant damage and include aggravating factors can sometimes be charged in a federal court. These crimes often begin at the state level and are charged in state courts. However, by increasing the charge from simple to aggravated, this may bump up the case to the federal courts where the penalties include time in federal prison. Crimes that are prosecuted federally because of aggravating factors include:

● Aggravated assault
● Aggravated battery
● Sexual abuse
● Identity theft

Penalties for a federal crime may also result in restrictions related to driving privileges, being around children, and owning a gun.

Crimes Against the Government

Crimes against the government are never charged in state court and thus automatically result in federal charges. Crimes against the government may include stealing a state or federal government official’s identity or hacking into a federally owned computer. A person can also be federally prosecuted by advocating for the overthrow of the government. Depending on the situation and extent of their actions, they could be charged with treason, face life in prison, and be burdened with other legal consequences for the rest of their lives.

Acts of Terrorism

Terrorism is the illegal use of force or violent behavior against individuals or property with intent to intimidate or force the government or its people to advance specific political or social goals. Any acts of domestic terrorism will result in federal criminal charges. Acts of terrorism might include causing issues with aircraft or causing severe trauma to a group of people, usually resulting in mass injuries or deaths.

Terrorism may occur at a group or individual level. An individual who robs a bank or opens fire in public causes severe trauma and terror to a group of people who will likely need therapy to cope with the experience for the rest of their lives. The more damage caused, the harsher the possible penalties against the offender. Federal charges of terrorism will be prosecuted in a federal courtroom with the possibility of incarceration in federal prison.

Criminal Activity on Federal Property

Some crimes that are typically charged at the state level become a federal offense when they occur on federal property, like government housing, a military base, Native American reservations, or federally owned buildings or commercial property. For example, trespassing or vandalizing on federal property would be a federal offense.

Crimes that take place on federal soil lead to a federal investigation, federal charges, and prosecution in federal court. If you face any federal offense, it is critical that you hire a federal criminal attorney who has experience litigating federal cases and the necessary resources to research and hire expert witnesses. Partnering with a skilled Dallas federal criminal lawyer will provide you with the best chance to secure your future freedom.

Crimes Causing Deliberate Harm

When a person has every intention of deliberately causing harm to others, their crimes increase in severity from state to federal charges. Such incidents include:

● Arson
● Armed robbery
● Assassination of an official

For example, attempted manslaughter or murder may increase from state to federal jurisdiction when the threat is against federal officers and personnel. Like crimes committed on federal property, when the criminal act is aimed towards a person who works for the federal government or agency, it is charged as a federal offense.

Crimes That Affect Multiple States

Crimes are charged as a federal offense rather than a state offense when they involve multiple states and potentially interfere with trade across the U.S. These crimes may include:

● Blackmail across state lines
● Blackmail aimed at public officials
● Antitrust violations
● Abuse and exploitation of children
● Kidnapping and abduction

Unlawful activities could result in federal indictments depending on the situation and the intent of the offender. Several instances of injury or killings are usually outside the state limits of unlawful activity and necessitate a federal agency to intercede.

Skilled Texas Federal Criminal Defense Attorney on Your Side

If you’re facing charges for federal offense, your freedom depends on securing the advocacy and support of an attorney with experience defending against federal charges. At the Saputo Law Firm, led by senior defense attorney Paul Saputo, we are warriors fighting unjust government prosecutions with a track record of success and a reputation for tenacity and legal ingenuity. When you hire our firm, you are benefiting from experienced legal professionals committed to delivering excellent client satisfaction, demonstrated in our various 5-star rewards and notable case victories.

To speak with an accomplished federal defense attorney about your case, complete our contact form or call 888-239-9305.