Not all crimes are federal offenses. Something like murder or robbery is against the law across all 50 states, but it is not necessarily a federal offense unless it connects to the federal government.
Federal crimes refer to offenses that go against U.S. federal law. Usually, federal criminal cases are investigated by agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and prosecuted by U.S. attorneys.
When is a crime considered a federal offense?
If a crime takes place across state lines, you will likely face a federal charge even if your offense is not a federal law violation. Something like kidnapping and moving the victim to a different state may rope in the federal government.
Remember, the perpetrator does not need to leave the state. You may still be charged with a federal offense if the crime crossed state borders, as happens with wire fraud. You may also face federal charges if you defrauded a federal government agency such as the Internal Revenu Service.
Crimes that would otherwise be under state jurisdiction may become federal crimes if they occur on federal soil or property. These include government housing, Indian reservations or any other property owned by the federal government. Similarly, if a federal officer was affected while discharging their official duties, it could amount to a federal offense.
Are you facing a federal charge?
The stakes are never higher than in federal offense charges. You are not only going against the best prosecutors, but also against the federal government, which is not short of resources. It’s little surprise conviction rates are much higher in federal courts.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to have sharp and experienced legal minds at your corner. With the proper knowledge of how the United States criminal justice system works, you increase the odds of a favorable outcome.