Are All Felony Crimes Federal Offenses?
The short answer is “not exactly.”
In the U.S. criminal justice system, most felony prosecutions occur at the state level in municipal or county courts. By contrast, the federal government exercises jurisdiction over criminal matters when the states lack jurisdiction, such as areas particularly reserved to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution, and over criminal offenses that occur on federal property. While each state has different laws and constitutions, some crimes fall under both categories.
Federal crimes are any violation of federal law and legal code. When federal cases go to trial, they are prosecuted by the US. Attorney rather than a state or district attorney. If a conviction occurs, the sentencing follows federal guidelines and can result in prison time in a federal penitentiary, rather than a state correctional facility.
Common examples of federal crimes include, but are not limited to, the following:
- White collar crime
- Identity theft
- Credit card and ATM fraud
- Computer crimes and fraud
- International money laundering
- Hate crimes
- Drug trafficking
- Gun crimes
- Organized crime
- Intellectual property rights
- Public corruption crimes
- Major thefts such as stealing art, gems, and jewelry
- Immigration crimes
State Felony Crimes
State laws differ by state, but most felony crimes committed fall under the umbrella of a state offense. Again, if a felony crime—or a series of crimes—crosses state lines, it will fall under federal jurisdiction.
Common examples of state felony offenses include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Vehicular homicide
- Sexual assault/rape
- Grand theft
- Tax evasion
- Child pornography
- Drug manufacturing and distribution
- Weapon offenses
If you are charged with a federal crime, it is in your best interest to retain legal representation from an attorney experienced in the federal criminal courts to best help your case. With more than 15 years of experience, The Law Office of Brian C. Andritch provides high-quality legal counsel to those facing federal charges. Whether you have been charged with a drug crime, white collar crime, or any other type of federal offense, our Fresno criminal defense attorney is committed to protecting your rights, reputation, and future.
For more information, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.