Who Can Prosecute a Federal Crime?
We all hear about illegal acts happening every day on the news. From running a red light to shoplifting and more severe crimes such as kidnapping and murders, we know the bad out there in the world and keep us on edge regarding how careful we need to be.
However, in addition to these street crimes, certain crimes go far beyond these state felonies and get the government involved. This certainly becomes a matter of national interest as the higher authorities gain power for charges and prosecution.
These crimes are known as federal crimes.
What Are Federal Charges?
Any crime turns into a federal offense when it violates multiple state laws or directly breaks federal law. While many crimes usually fall under the category of state jurisdiction, federal crimes draw charges resulting in far severe penalties than imposed by state courts.
This deems the crime inadequate for the state authorities to handle. While they may assist government organizations like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the prosecution power lies with the FBI only to dictate how the matters are handled.
Which do Criminal Charges fall Under Federal Prosecution?
Crimes such as money laundering, drug trafficking, human trafficking, wire or commercial fraud are some of the most common felonies that make it to the top tier of importance for the FBI. However, there are six main categories of crimes that fall under federal prosecution criteria:
- Acts of Terrorism
Terrorism is defined as any illegal use of force, violent behavior, or ammunition to primarily terrorize people or cause harm to public property as an intention to intimidate. Such acts can lead to severe mental stress, trauma, and damage to public health, compromise their safety and well-being, and cause mass injuries and casualties. Acts of terrorism are usually conducted by groups or individuals backed by groups for motives against the government.
- Direct Crimes against the Government
Direct crimes against the government are a direct assault act towards the government. So only the FBI handles the prosecution as they are never charged in a state court. From stealing from the government, like not paying taxes and keeping black money, to hacking into an official account or computer – criminals against the government bear consequences for life. No matter what the extent of their action is, if caught, federal prosecution charges are severe.
- Criminal Activity Lodged Against Federal Property
This crime category may come under multiple other categories of crime like a direct crime against the government, involving multiple states and acts of terrorism, etc. For instance, if a criminal vandalizes a government-owned building, a military base, or any federally owned property – it would be considered criminal activity lodged against federal property, including other categories of crime, making it prosecutable under federal charges.
- Crimes Inducting Multiple States
Crimes that involve multiple states can no longer be prosecuted under a single state court of law. Therefore, it becomes a matter of national interest and resolves by federal accountability. Kidnapping and abduction across state borders and the major issue of blackmail across state lines are common crimes inducting multiple states and gaining the attention of federal agencies.
- Crimes Including Aggravating Factors
These crimes may start under state prosecution. However, suppose the case is bumped over to aggravating felonies like aggravating battery and assault, identity theft of an official, or sexual abuse. In that case, these crimes can become federal prosecution matters. Penalties are quite evidently harsher and can cause lifetime restrictions from necessary privileges like driving, visiting public places, seeing children, etc.
- Crimes Causing Deliberate Harm
Any crime committed as a deliberate act to harm someone or something can easily increase the severity of the crime from the state to federal prosecution level. Mainly arson, assassination, or armed robbery is inducted in this category as these crimes can cause severe harm and compromise public safety on the deliberate end of the criminal. Hence, a charged federal offense, penalties for premeditated crime are severe.
Criminal charges against federal property that government organizations like the FBI prosecute are severe charges and quite a big deal in law. Such situations should not be taken lightly and are definitely a serious matter if you find yourself experiencing one.
If you or someone you know is facing such serious criminal charges in Florida, get in touch with a highly experienced federal criminal defense attorney like Patrick R. McKamey, who can advocate for your rights relentlessly.
He is a former prosecutor who brings unique insight and determination to all of his cases and will fight for your best interests. He doesn’t give up, and neither should you. Schedule a complimentary case review today.