What Makes Something a Federal Crime?
A Much More Significant Offense
What makes a crime a federal crime? This is a question that many people do not have an answer to. The thing to remember about federal crimes is that they carry much harsher penalties than state crimes. In this blog, learn what makes something a federal crime as well as the punishment for committing such a crime.
Defining a Federal Crime
A federal crime is defined as a crime that breaks both state and federal law. This can include but is not limited to drug trafficking, money laundering, terrorism, and espionage. The punishment for committing a federal crime is much harsher than the punishment for committing a state crime.
When deciding if a crime someone is charged with is a federal or state offense, courts will look at the following factors:
- Whether Congress has expressly stated that the offense is a federal crime
- Whether the Constitution gives Congress authority to create such a law
- Whether the states have traditionally handled this type of offense
- Whether there is a need for uniformity in how this type of offense is handled
In addition, a crime is also considered a federal crime if the act of committing the crime crosses state lines. For example, if you were to buy drugs in one state and then sell them in another, you would be committing a federal crime because you crossed state lines.
The punishment for a federal crime can vary depending on the severity of the offense, but it is always harsher than the punishment for a state crime. For example, the punishment for drug trafficking can range from a few years in prison to life in prison, whereas the punishment for drug possession is typically just a few months in jail.
So, what makes something a federal crime? In short, it is an offense that breaks both state and federal law and is punishable by harsh penalties. If you are ever charged with a federal crime, it is important to seek out experienced legal counsel as soon as possible.
Punishments for Committing a Federal Crime
The punishment for committing a federal crime is much harsher than the punishment for committing a state crime. This is because federal crimes are seen as more serious offenses. Punishments can range from life in prison to the death penalty.
Some of the most common federal crimes and their punishments are as follows:
- Drug trafficking: Up to life in prison
- Money laundering: Up to 20 years in prison
- Terrorism: Up to life in prison
- Espionage: Up to life in prison
As you can see, the punishments for federal crimes are very severe. If you have been charged with a federal crime, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
Seek Help from a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a federal crime, it is important to seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the complex legal system. If you are convicted of a federal crime, you could be facing serious penalties, including significant prison time.
Facing federal charges can be incredibly frightening; knowing that the government is involved in your case can bring understandable fear. Know, however, that you have the right to defend yourself against said charges. Turn to the team at Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum for experienced criminal defense against federal charges. Let us deal with the government and protect your rights.
Learn more about how we can help with federal charges or schedule a case review by calling our office at (404) 471-3177 or by visiting our website.