Being charged with a crime can have serious implications for your future. Understanding the difference between a federal crime and a felony, as well as what to expect in either case, is essential if you’ve been accused of a crime.
Federal crimes are crimes that are committed in a federal jurisdiction, or in both a federal or state jurisdiction with charges brought by a federal prosecutor. In cases where a crime is alleged to have occurred in both a federal and state jurisdiction, the case can be tried by both the federal government and the state, or by just one.
A federal crime is normally seen as more serious than a state crime, but the potential consequences of each crime depend on the alleged crime in question. Some examples of federal crimes might include:
A federal crime can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are lesser crimes, and they usually involve fines or incarceration of less than a year. Felonies, on the other hand, are crimes typically punishable by a year or more of imprisonment.
Felonies, similar to misdemeanors, are organized on a schedule of degrees that increase in relation to severity. Some examples of felonies could include murder, sexual assault, or felony drug possession.
A federal crime could be either a misdemeanor or felony, and punishments for felonies at the state or federal level will normally be higher than for misdemeanors. Even a class E felony, the least serious, could land you in jail for a maximum of three years. Classes D, C, and B can result in penalties that are more severe and could get you 25 years, depending on the crime in question.
Finally, a class A felony, which is reserved for the worst crimes, could be punished by life in prison or even the death sentence. If you or a loved one are facing a federal charge, whether a felony or a misdemeanor, a criminal defense lawyer could help.
Whether you’re facing a felony at the state or federal level, you’ll need a legal team that can give you a fighting chance. At Chris Lewis & Associates P.C., we’re here to help you.