Criminal actions are illegal in both state and federal jurisdictions. Sometimes, when you commit a crime over state lines, in federal jurisdiction, or are investigated by a federal agency, you can be charged with a federal crime instead of a state crime.
Federal crimes are known to be more severe than their state equivalents. They can carry harsher punishments, both in terms of potential fines or incarceration. Regardless of the charges you’re facing, an experienced federal attorney can help ensure your rights to a legal defense are upheld. If you’re wondering what happens when you’re charged with a federal crime, read on.
Being charged with a crime at the federal level will usually begin with your arrest by federal agents, who may be aided by state-level teams. Later, you will make a preliminary appearance at the federal court corresponding to your jurisdiction, and if the judge decides to proceed, be read your charges during an arraignment at a later date.
A judge may decide to grant pretrial release, but this is not guaranteed and doesn’t operate on a bail-based system as it does at the state level. During the pretrial period, options may also be discussed for plea bargains. Later, if no plea deal is struck, a typical trial by jury will commence, followed by sentencing and, sometimes, appeals. If you are found guilty, you will be sent to serve the applicable sentence in a federal facility.
Sentencing in a federal crime is determined by the severity of the crime, your prior criminal history, and other aggravating factors.
Federal charges often center on serious charges that break federal regulations. As such, some examples of federal crimes can include:
In other cases, the jurisdiction may be the consideration that makes a crime that also violates a state’s criminal statutes a federal offense. For example, when a crime happens across states lines or on federal land, that could be considered a matter for federal law enforcement.
The federal criminal process is fundamentally different from the states in several key ways. Also, lawyers must be admitted to federal courts in order to defend clients in these types of cases. If you’re facing federal criminal charges, an experienced federal crimes lawyer will work diligently to provide you with the comprehensive legal defense you need during such an uncertain time.
If you’re facing a federal criminal charge, you may not know where to turn. At Chris Lewis & Associates P.C., we recognize that you’re not a criminal—you’ve just been charged with a crime, and you have rights. There’s a big difference. We can provide a robust legal defense, regardless of the charges you’re facing.
Call 214-984-3113 or fill out the form below to consult a Dallas federal crimes lawyer today.