A federal crime is an illegal activity that violates U.S. federal law and is prosecuted by the federal government. Violating federal laws can result in severe penalties, and hiring a federal criminal attorney can help protect your rights. Here are six of the most common federal crimes that a criminal defense attorney can help with:
1. Drug Trafficking and Possession
Drug-related offenses are federal crimes involving illegal possession, transportation, and distribution of controlled substances. The controlled substances, including illegal drugs and narcotics, are categorized into schedules under federal law. Schedule 1 substances consist of highly addictive drugs like heroin and LSD and often attract the heaviest penalties. Penalties for drug-related offenses can range from lengthy prison sentences to substantial fines depending on the drug type and quantity. A federal criminal attorney can help reduce drug-related charges from serious offenses, like possession with intent to distribute, to a misdemeanor, like simple possession.
2. Assault and Battery
Assault and battery are often primarily prosecuted as state-level offenses, but they become federal crimes when they occur in specific federal jurisdictions. Some instances may include when the offense occurs on federal property or involves federal employees. Assaulting federal officials, like federal law enforcement officers or members of Congress, while they are carrying out their government duties can lead to federal charges. Hate crimes can also be considered federal offenses. A hate crime is a violent act committed against individuals or groups based on race, religion, or sexual orientation. If an assault and battery offense qualifies as a hate crime, it can be charged under federal law.
3. Weapons Charge
Weapons charges are federal crimes relating to possessing, using, and transporting firearms and other dangerous weapons. Firearm possession by a prohibited person, like a convicted felon, is a federal offense. The illegal sale and transfer of unlicensed firearms can also lead to federal charges. Such offenses can attract penalties like fines, imprisonment, and forfeiture of the weapon. Federal laws also prohibit the possession of certain weapon types like short-barreled shotguns and fully automatic firearms. The National Firearms Act (NFA) governs the possession and transfer of such restricted weapons.
4. Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is primarily a state-level offense but can be prosecuted at the federal level if it involves federal law violations. Cases that cross state lines and involve travel between states can fall under federal jurisdictions. Interference with custody orders across state lines can also attract federal charges, as outlined in the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA). Violations involving protection orders like a restraining order issued by the federal court can lead to federal charges. The federal court may also prosecute domestic violence cases over tribal jurisdiction if the crimes occurred on Native American tribal lands.
5. Driving Violations
Driving violations committed on federal property can attract federal charges. Such cases often involve road safety issues and transportation offenses within federal territory like the interstate. National law enforcement agencies can also enforce traffic violations on military bases and within national parks. Federal courts can prosecute cases of interstate transportation and trafficking of stolen vehicles. Customs violations by commercial vehicles can also attract federal charges. Improper handling and transportation of hazardous materials can be subject to federal environmental laws and may lead to severe charges.
6. Internet and Computer Crimes
Cybercrimes that violate computer and internet-related federal laws and regulations are considered federal offenses. Federal authorities have jurisdiction over such cases when they cross state and national borders or affect key U.S. infrastructure or agencies. Computer-related crimes like unauthorized access to networks and computer systems or distributing malicious software fall under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Identity theft cases can also be prosecuted under federal laws since they involve stealing personal information and financial data. Federal law may also charge individuals who violate intellectual property rights like trademark counterfeiting and copyright infringement.
Hire a High-quality Federal Criminal Attorney
Federal crimes involve charges for illegal activities that violate federal laws. These crimes can attract serious fines and severe penalties like imprisonment. A federal defense attorney can help protect the defendant’s human rights when they are charged with a federal criminal offense. Contact a high-quality federal criminal attorney today to learn more about how they can help defend your case.