Being accused of and arrested for a crime can be scary. Federal crimes are handled on a different level than state crimes, and therefore must be defended on a different level. But not just any dollar store lawyer can fight in court on the federal level. He or she has to be properly licensed or granted permission to do so, so it’s critical you know your lawyer’s credentials before you hire them.
Each state has its own laws and statues, and when broken are typically dealt with in state court. But some are more tricky, and can fall under multiple categories. This is where federal court comes into play. If a crime is committed in multiple states, for example, it becomes a federal crime.
Federal crimes are offenses outlined and defined by the federal government, namely the U.S. Congress. A crime is federal when it crosses the legal federal threshold, or is committed on federal property. If a federal crime makes it to trial, it’s prosecuted by the United States Attorney, or federal prosecutor. Consequently, sentencing also follows federal sentencing guidelines.
There are many kinds of federal crimes. Identity theft, computer crimes, money laundering and various white collar crimes are all tried on the federal level. Gun crimes, hate crimes, major thefts, organized crime and felonies also fall under the federal umbrella. This is only a brief mention and doesn’t include the exhaustive list of criminal offenses that are considered federal, but you get the general idea.
As we stated earlier, not just anyone can practice in federal court. Different states have different requirements for lawyers who want to take on the big dogs, and as a result there are extra hoops they must jump through to become certified. This includes paying additional fees and being represented by a sponsor who has already been admitted to federal court. So when you find an attorney who has gone through the trouble to practice in federal court, you know you have someone dedicated on your side, and you stand that much better of a chance.
If you’re facing federal charges or if you suspect you’re being investigated at the federal level, don’t hesitate! The sooner you get a good lawyer on your side, the better prepared you’ll be to handle your case in federal court. Flakne Law has 30 years of experience practicing in trial, and we’ll put that experience in your court, so to speak. Call us today to see what we can do for your case.