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Federal Crimes

In the United States justice system, there are two main categories of crimes. First, there are state crimes. These are crimes that break the laws of a state and are handled by that state’s supreme court, local courts and municipal courts.

The second category are federal crimes. These offenses are those which violate the laws set in place by U.S. courts. Federal crimes constitute the gravest offenses that a U.S. citizen can commit.

Types of Federal Crimes

Most federal crimes are those which exploit a federal system, such as Medicare or the FDIC, or which are considered serious enough to warrant federal prosecution. Some examples of offenses that may be prosecuted by the federal government include:

Criminal schemes that use the Internet, such as child pornography or human trafficking, can also be classified as federal crimes.

Punishments for Federal Crimes

Because federal offenses are usually more serious than state or local crimes, the federal government frequently hands down very tough sentences for such crimes. Drug trafficking charges can bring decades in federal prison. Crimes like mail fraud or bank robberies are also severely punished and usually have steep fines as an additional penalty.

Not all attorneys will handle federal cases. Many lawyers that take on these cases have experience as federal prosecutors or U.S. attorneys because special knowledge and experience is necessary to understand the complexities of federal law. Finding a defense attorney with the required experience is vital for defendants accused of federal crimes.

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