You’ve Been Charged With a Federal Crime: What You Need to Know

No one, and we repeat, no one wants to be charged with a crime. But being charged with a federal crime? That’s a whole different ball game, one that most aren’t prepared to play. 

Of course, one of the primary differences between facing state and federal charges relate to jurisdiction, meaning that the resources and the might of the federal government (vs. the state) prosecute these types of crimes, and that, ultimately, the punishments associated with federal prosecutions are typically more severe than those of state crimes. 

What’s different about being accused of a federal crime?

So, you might be wondering, what’s the difference? Why can what appears to be the same crime sometimes garner a state charge whereas in other instances federal charges are applied?

It might depend on where the alleged crime took place (like on federal property, for instance), or if the alleged crime took place across multiple states, then there is a high likelihood that the accused will be charged with a federal crime. 

In other instances, it depends entirely on what the alleged crime you’re being charged with is. Some of the most common federal crimes fall under the umbrellas of:

  • Tax evasion
  • Mail fraud
  • Kidnapping
  • Bank robbery
  • Credit card fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Racketeering
  • Counterfeiting
  • Electoral fraud
  • Obscenity
  • And many, many more

Who can charge me with a federal crime?

Due to the broad range of crimes that fall under federal jurisdiction, a number of federal agencies can pursue federal criminal charges against alleged perpetrators, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; US Customs and Immigration Enforcement; the Internal Revenue Service; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and the Secret Service.

As you might imagine, being prosecuted by any one of these agencies is serious business, and in the instance that you or a loved one is facing such a predicament, it is absolutely vital that you secure the best legal representation possible as soon as is possible. 

Like with any other criminal arrest, “you have the right to remain silent and anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law” per your Miranda rights. Forfeiting those rights can put you in serious legal jeopardy that could result in severe sentencing, including extensive prison time. Secure representation, and do it immediately! 

How do I choose an attorney when I’ve been accused of a federal crime?

Choosing the best legal representation for your type of case takes careful consideration in a moment where you have very little time to do research and weigh your options. With this in mind, we recommend that you align yourself with counsel that is not only experienced with the type of federal charges you’re facing, but has a proven track record of success in the realm of federal criminal defense. 

The Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot specialize in federal criminal defense, and for nearly fifty years, have protected the interests and freedom of individuals and businesses in the greater Newark and New York City areas. 

It takes a special level of expertise to provide the accused an effective criminal defense against federal charges, and our firm has success and experience in assisting defendants against a broad range of federal criminal charges, including:

  • Federal drug possession
  • Federal drug trafficking
  • Public corruption
  • Tax fraud
  • Tax evasion/failure to file tax return
  • Bank fraud and mortgage fraud
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Medical billing audits/medical billing fraud
  • Criminal inquiries into pharmacies (Oxycontin)
  • Internet crimes
  • Child pornography

How can a criminal defense attorney protect me if I’m facing federal criminal charges?

In the simplest of terms, it’s the responsibility of your criminal defense attorney to do all in their power to mount the most effective defense possible, given the charges you’re facing. That said, your criminal defense includes so much more than one’s imaginings of what happens in the courtroom. 

Your criminal defense attorney should be a trusted advisor, a barrier from the noise that’s happening around you as your legal journey unfolds, and a confidante that keeps you organized, focused in your best state of mind so that you’re able to keep your eye on the prize of your freedom. 

Being charged with a federal crime creates a long road you have no choice but to travel down, and the numerous side streets — from understanding how to communicate with the media (in a word: don’t!) to how to gather and organize evidence — shouldn’t be traveled alone. Every criminal charge has its nuances, and you absolutely need a partner to help protect your well-being.

In the instances of cases like those involving federal criminal drug charges can come with severe mandatory minimum sentencing, little chance of parole, and few opportunities for probation. If you’re facing such a potentially harsh fate, don’t you deserve the peace of mind knowing that your defense team is experienced and effective in protecting the freedom of their clients?

Contact a New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are under investigation or have been charged with any federal or white collar crime in New Jersey, including those that we haven’t referenced above, criminal defense attorney Robert J. DeGroot is ready to meet with you. For a free initial consultation, call 866-970-0783 or contact our Newark law firm online.

If you have been incarcerated for a federal crime, our federal criminal law attorney can meet with you in prison. Reach out today, because we’re here to help!