Similar to state crimes, federal crimes range from misdemeanors to serious felonies and when state and federal law come into conflict, the federal authorities typically will only intervene in the cases of serious felonies. For this reason, a defendant facing charges of white collar crimes, drug crimes and fraud can find themselves up against the federal government. When a crime is committed that violates both state and federal law, federal authorities can call for two separate trials that result in two separate sentences. When a crime involves the use of instruments of interstate commerce, crossing state lines, or companies or assets under the regulation of federal agencies, defendants risk attracting the attention of federal authorities to their case.

When the federal government intervenes in a criminal charge, it tends to be in one of the following areas:

  1. Crimes Involving Immigration
    Every immigration crime is a federal crime because this is an area regulated exclusively by the federal government. Serious immigration crimes such as alien smuggling frequently draw the attention of the federal judicial authorities.
  2. White Collar Crimes
    Since white collar crimes tend to involve companies and assets that federal agencies regulate, these crimes frequently fall under federal jurisdiction. If you are charged with a white collar crime, you are likely to come up against the full force of the federal government.
  3. Sex Offenses
    When instruments of interstate commerce are involved, sex crimes fall under federal jurisdiction. When a sex crime is committed that involves crossing state lines, the federal government may get involved. Although most sex crimes are dealt with on the state level, as soon as the crimes become interstate, defendants are at risk of federal prosecution.
  4. Fraud
    While most crimes of fraud are not federal crimes, various kinds of fraud do fall under federal jurisdiction. If interstate commerce is used to commit fraud, it is a federal crime. If federal processes were abused to commit fraud, it is a federal crime. If the fraud involved areas of trade regulated by federal agencies, it is a federal crime.
  5. Controlled Substances
    While the federal government does not typically intervene in these kinds of crimes, federal law often differs from state laws regarding controlled substances. For this reason, the federal government may decide to file their own charges in serious cases involving manufacturer or trafficking of controlled substances.

Facing state criminal charges is stressful enough as it is. Facing federal charges adds even more pressure. If you are facing federal criminal charges, we are ready to help you at The Law Offices of Gary M. Zeidwig. Use our free evaluation form to contact us, or you can send an email at or give us a call at (954) 523-3993 so we can set up a meeting to go over your case and give you the best advice and representation. Gary Zeidwig is an award-winning trial attorney who has defended numerous clients against criminal charges and has a strong, successful history of effective criminal defense.

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