Experienced Fort Wayne Attorney Defends Allegations of Federal Crimes
Proven litigator challenges every element of the case against you
Most arrests involve alleged violations of state law. Police turn over their evidence to the county prosecutor who decides what to charge and how vigorously to pursue a conviction. The accused has the benefit of dealing with the local justice system that is close to the community and accountable to local residents. However, the federal system operates on another level entirely. Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation collect the evidence, and U.S. Attorneys from the Department of Justice prosecute the case. These are specially selected, highly trained and career-minded individuals who are determined to get a conviction at the highest level possible. If you are arrested on federal charges, you need an attorney who can go toe to toe with the best and the brightest. When you retain The Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey to fight the federal charges against you, you get a knowledgeable and determined defense lawyer willing to fight for your future and your freedom.
What makes a crime a federal case?
The United States is a constitutional republic where certain powers are reserved to the states and other powers are assumed by the federal government. That means criminal violations fall under the jurisdiction of one or the other system, although in certain cases either governing body can charge under applicable laws. In general, the federal government has jurisdiction over the following types of crimes:
- Crimes crossing state lines — The Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce and consequently the power to prosecute crimes that pass from one state to another.
- Crimes that violate federal law — If the U.S. Code specifically prohibits certain behavior, the U.S. Department of Justice can prosecute the case.
- Crimes against the regulations of a federal agency — Various federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency have enforcement powers.
- Crimes against federal officials in the performance of their duty — Assault is a state crime, but if a federal judge is assaulted because of a ruling in a federal case, the assault becomes a federal offense.
- Crimes occurring on federal property — The federal government has jurisdiction over National Parks, federal lands, federal buildings and other property. State crimes occurring on these premises become federal offenses.
If the offense you are charged with falls into one of these categories, you could face federal charges, which generally have stiffer penalties than state crimes.
Proven advocate handles a range of federal crimes
These are just some of the crimes that could be charged on the state level and why they become federal offenses:
- Conspiracy — A conspiracy is an agreement to engage in a criminal enterprise plus one act performed to advance the enterprise. (The act can be perfectly lawful.) What makes a conspiracy a federal crime is whether the unlawful activity crosses state lines, violates a federal law, targets a federal agency or official, or occurs on federal property.
- Drug crimes — Indiana has state drug laws, but the federal government has its own drug statutes. Whether you are prosecuted in state or federal court depends on the law enforcement entity that makes the arrest. Generally, the federal government is only interested in drug crimes that involve vast amounts of drugs.
- Fraud — Fraud is theft by deception. Fraud becomes a federal offense when the perpetrator uses an instrumentality that crosses state lines, such as the U.S. mail, the telephone or the internet. Fraud can also be a federal offense if it targets a federal agency, such as the IRS, the Social Security Administration, Medicaid or Medicare.
- Identity theft — Another act of theft by deception, identity theft becomes a federal crime when a perpetrator uses the internet, a telephone, a Social Security number, or another modality that crosses state lines or targets a federal entity.
- Sexual offenses — Generally, sex crimes are state crimes. But if the offense crosses state lines, as when a human trafficker transports sex workers from one state to another, or a distributor of child pornography uses the internet, the offense is a federal crime. There are also specific federal statutes that address child pornography.
There are countless other scenarios in which crimes are charged as federal offenses. The most important fact to keep in mind is that the quality of your criminal defense representation matters. Only trust your case to an attorney who has experience in federal court and can match the skill and determination of the federal prosecutors who are seeking to convict you. With Ryan Lackey, you get a skilled advocate who is determined to fight for a positive resolution of your case.
Contact an experienced Indiana lawyer to fight federal criminal charges
If you have been charged with a federal crime, The Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey is prepared to help. For a free consultation and cost-effective representation from an experienced Fort Wayne attorney, please contact the firm online or call us at 260-222-7364.