Federal crimes are crimes that are prosecuted by the federal government rather than an individual state. Many federal crimes can be prosecuted in either state court or federal court. The US attorney's office for the federal government and the District Attorney's Office for the state are who decide whether a crime will be charged in either state court or federal court.
Federal court requires that a crime be committed over interstate lines or involve property, land or regulations belonging to the US government. Almost any crime can be prosecuted in federal court. The penalties for federal crimes are usually much more severe than in state courts and the cases usually involve large criminal operations or conspiracies. Cases usually involve long periods of either phone or visual surveillance by federal agents in which calls are recorded and arrests are only made at the end of a long investigation. Most federal charges will involve conspiracies between multiple defendants who are accused of illegal financial gain or drug trafficking. Types of federal crimes are:
- Conspiracy to distribute drugs
- Bank robbery
- Rico offenses
- Money laundering
- Tax evasion
- Immigration offenses
- Firearm offenses
It is important to be represented by a federal criminal defense attorney, federal Rules of Court and procedure are different than state court. There exist federal sentencing guidelines and Federal rules of evidence which differ from state court. Frank Fernandez is an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer having represented clients throughout all of Massachusetts and Boston. Federal charges are usually more complicated due to the large amount of evidence from a long investigation. Frank Fernandez is a federal criminal defense attorney who knows how to review and prepare for federal trials and proceedings.
Federal agents may contact a target of an investigation prior to any arrest to attempt to have them testify in front of a grand jury. A federal grand jury is members of the community who sit and hear evidence presented by the government to decide whether criminal charges should issue against a person. If one has been summonsed to testify in front of a grand jury understand that this testimony will be given under oath and if it is later determined that a person gave false testimony or misleading information they can be prosecuted for perjury. If you believe you are the target of an investigation or if you have received a summons to testify in front of a grand jury it is best to seek legal counsel from a criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with federal investigations and federal grand jury proceedings. Frank Fernandez is happy to give you a confidential consultation regarding your specific situation.