Do you know what differentiates a federal crime from a state crime? While many of the laws do overlap, some states set their own regulations for acts such as driving under the influence (DUI). The criminal acts become a matter for the federal government to intervene. This may be the case when dealing with a drug crime, for example, where the illegal controlled substances are moved across state lines.
Here are some additional examples of federal crimes:
- Tax evasion
- Failure to withhold taxes
- Drug trafficking
- Immigration crimes
- Hate crimes
- Crimes occurring on a body of water
- Attacks on a U.S. government official
The U.S. Constitution contains several clauses, including the Commerce Claus and the Supremacy Clause. The Commerce Clause holds that any crimes that cross state lines may be considered a federal crime. The Supremacy Clause states that the penalties, sentencing, and trial commencement will be on the federal government's terms, and thus will overtake any state regulations.
The Federal Criminal Trial Process
You should know first and foremost that federal criminal trials take a much longer way to work through the legal system. The entire legal process can last only a few months, but may last up to several years. There may be a wide variety of tactics, such as wiretapping your phone, setting up video surveillance of you, and even employ undercover agents to draw out information from you.
If at any time you are approached by a federal agent, you do not have to say anything to them. You can immediately tell them that you would like to speak first with your criminal defense attorney. This will then prompt them to stop questioning. You should never say anything without retaining a lawyer, no matter what type of criminal charge you face—it will more than likely be used against you in court.
Find Legal Counsel from Robert R. Kurtz
Robert R. Kurtz, Attorney at Law is a Knoxville criminal defense lawyer with over 15 years of experience defending those who have been accused of federal crimes. Should you ever find yourself faced with the overwhelming criminal justice system, do not wait another second.
Contact the firm to begin your defense!
We offer free, confidential case consultations. Schedule yours today by giving us a call or filling out our online form.