Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
Serving the Areas of Portland, Augusta, Bangor, Saco and Biddeford
Although each state has its own laws and constitution, some crimes break federal codes, and are thus charged as federal offenses. These crimes are any infractions of federal legal code and law, and conviction most often results in lengthier and more severe penalties. These crimes are prosecuted by the United States District Attorney's office, and sentencing for conviction follows federal guidelines, which may result in incarceration in a federal prison.
Many crimes are covered by both state and federal laws. For those crimes that have no state laws, they will always be charged as federal crimes. Other crimes like those that involve offenses in multiple states or that are part of a larger ring of crime will often result in federal charges as well. Federal law also applies to crimes that take place in areas that state laws do not cover like national parks or Indian reservations.
Though many drug offenses are prosecuted under state law, such as cases of drugs being moved across state or national borders or charges involving a Schedule I substance. An individual can face charges for such crimes as the possession of large amounts of drugs, drug conspiracy, cultivating or manufacturing illegal drugs, and the trafficking, importation, or smuggling of drugs. When you are facing federal charges for a crime, you will want to make sure you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
What exactly makes a drug crime lead to federal charges is not as cut and dry as some may think. Most drug arrests are made by state police, but if you are arrested by a federal officer or by the DEA, you will face federal drug charges. In many cases, state and federal police make an agreement on who will charge you for your crimes. This depends mainly on the factors of your crime.
Federal drug offenders are often more harshly punished as federal courts look to impose the maximum sentences and do not like to grant parole or plea bargains.
White Collar Crimes
The FBI defines white collar crimes as those that are characterized by concealment, deceit, or a violation of trust, and without the use or threat of physical force or violence. These crimes can include a number of types of fraud, internet crimes, extortion, and money laundering, among others. White collar crimes may seem like victimless crimes, but a conviction can lead to very steep penalties including time in a federal prison.
One of the most common types of white collar crimes is fraud. Fraud is defined as deceiving someone for financial gain. Fraud can be anything from a small time deception to a large scale Ponzi scheme. Securities Fraud or "insider trading" is another common form of fraud in which a person gains insight to a company secret and uses the knowledge to their advantage illegally.
Other popular white collar crimes include embezzlement and tax evasion. Embezzlement occurs when an employee secretly takes money out of a company for personal use. Tax evasion is also quite common an can happen in many forms. Anything from under reporting income, to hiding assets to simply not filing taxes can be a form of tax evasion and can result in jail time and steep fines.
Crimes of Violence
Some violent crimes are charged at the federal level, and these cases typically involve serial murderers, serial rapists, organized crime, kidnapping, hate crimes, terrorist crimes, and gang violence. Violent crime charges on a federal level are some of the most serious charges that you can face.
When a computer is used to aid certain criminal activities, the crime could be charged as a federal offense. Computer and cyber crimes can include distributing and reproducing copyrighted materials, storing records of fraud, producing forms of false identification, collecting, producing, or distributing child pornography, and other offenses. Computer crimes may seem minor because they often involve no malicious acts and are performed while sitting at home, but the consequences of a federal computer crime conviction can be severe.
Computer crimes are a growing area of criminal justice and now include offenses like cyber bullying and 'sexting'. Where in the past, computer crimes where only committed on actual computers, the increase in web capable smart phones is making this field much more complicated and dynamic.
Many sexual offenses are prosecuted under state law, but some are considered to be violations of federal codes. Most crimes that involve minors are federal crimes as well as offenses like human trafficking that occur across state borders. These include such offenses as child exploitation, child pornography, trafficking for prostitution, kidnapping with the intent to commit a sex crime, and human trafficking. A conviction for a federal sex crime will lead to lengthy jail time and fines and will also require you to become a registered sex offender.
Contact us today if you are being accused of federal crimes. Our attorneys know how to fight to protect your rights.