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Federal Crimes Law FAQ
I live in Colorado. Can I be charged under federal law?
Yes, you can be prosecuted under state law or under federal law.
What are federal crimes?
Just as with a Colorado criminal charge, if you break any federal law you can be charged with a federal crime. Most are charged as felonies, but there are some that are classified as misdemeanors. Most federal crimes are ones that cross state lines or violate specific federal laws. Here are some examples:
- Tax fraud
- Drug trafficking
- White-collar crimes
- Internet and/or computer crimes
- SEC violations
- Public corruption
- Illegal possession, trafficking, and/or sale of firearms and weapons
- Insurance, health care, bank, and credit card fraud
- Forgery, money laundering, and embezzlement
- Check card fraud
- Medicare fraud
- Bribery, racketeering, RICO violations, and extortion
- Sex crimes (i.e. child pornography, Internet luring, etc.)
- Violations of immigration laws
- Fishing, wildlife, and game violations
Why do some criminal defense attorneys not practice in federal court?
Federal court is much more complex system than state court. U.S. judges expect a high level of competence and knowledge from federal criminal defense attorneys.
And many criminal defense attorneys aren’t willing to devote the massive amount of time necessary to learning all the relevant federal laws and procedures. This is why many attorneys choose to practice only in state court.
Furthermore, judges expect attorneys to place a higher priority on federal cases; therefore, judges do not tolerate excuses that an attorney must be in state court as an excuse to continue a hearing or extend a deadline.
What does an attorney need to practice in federal court?
Practicing in federal court requires the attorney to understand Federal Sentencing Guidelines, federal statutes, changing case law, and constitutional law.
What should I look for in choosing a criminal defense attorney?
When choosing a criminal defense attorney, look for a firm that:
- Has decades of combined legal experience working in the federal court system;
- Has a proven trial record and successful results;
- Provides individualized services;
- Provides constant communication and updates;
- Answers all of your questions regarding your case and your defense; and,
- Has attorneys and staff that you feel comfortable with and you trust.
What happens if I’m charged with a federal crime?
In many cases, if you are charged with a federal crime, investigations have most likely already been underway. You, your home, your family, your job, and your friends may have been under surveillance. Law enforcement agents and prosecutors may have been building a case against you for several months. By the time you are actually charged with a crime, the case may have been open for many months; therefore, you need to hire an attorney immediately.
What should I do if I’ve been charged with a federal crime?
It is imperative that you contact our office at the first indication you are being investigated or charged with a federal crime so that we can have enough time to build a strong defense.
*Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.