Federal Crimes: Your Frequently Asked Questions

There are 403 chapters in the United States Code. Each chapter has statutes that prohibit offenses specific to each chapter. Many, if not most, of these federal statutes cover crimes that are often complex. They can be confusing, which is why people tend to get so nervous when dealing with federal charges against them.


The truth is that many unexpected consequences can occur due to a federal case against you, so bringing an experienced attorney into your case is a must. In the meantime, look through a few of the most frequently asked questions about federal crimes to see if at least some of your worries can be assuaged.


What Should You Do If You’re Under Federal Investigation?


If you find that you are under federal investigation for a crime, you don’t have to wait for charges to be brought against you before consulting with an attorney. Sometimes, federal investigators will be straight up with you – they will tell you that you’re being investigated and may be arrested. In that type of situation, you definitely want an attorney on hand.


Another advantage of securing the serviced early in the process is that they may be able to get information about the investigation against you cannot get on your own. This could be incredibly helpful as you move forward.


What Is the Difference Between State and Federal Crimes?


The biggest difference between state and federal crimes is who leads the prosecution against you. Federal charges will be overseen by a United States Attorney, while state charges are usually handled by the county prosecutor.

Another difference is that federal cases involve laws of the federal government, so a conviction can send you to federal prison. For state cases, you can go to state prison or county jail if found guilty.


Finally, who conducts the investigation differs by jurisdiction. For federal cases, it can be the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Drug Enforcement Agency. State cases, on the other hand, are done by local police or state police.


What Rights Do You Have in Federal Court?


Federal court is just like any other criminal prosecution. You are guaranteed access to certain conditions under your constitutional rights, such as:


  • You have the right to remain silent
  • You have the right to an attorney
  • You have the right to testify
  • You have the right to seek release while your trial is going on


Can You Win in Federal Court?


Federal charges are, at their core, the same as any other criminal charge. Therefore, you have the right to defend yourself against the charges and best them.


While the federal government has a lot of resources at its disposal to build a case against you, winning a federal case is not unheard of. If you can find an attorney who is experienced in dealing with federal cases, specifically the charges you face, then you may greatly increase your chances of winning in federal court.


If you are facing federal charges, then it’s imperative to not only understand the case against you but also your rights in the situation. The best thing you can do is secure a lawyer as early in the process as possible to start working on your case. This will give you the best chance of success – and moving on with your life.