A federal crime occurs when someone violates a federal criminal defense law (as opposed to state law) or when someone commits a crime on United States federal property. Although there are many similarities between federal law and state law, there are also many differences, particularly in the area of sentencing. Some of these federal criminal charges include bank fraud, using false identification documents, money laundering, voluntary manslaughter, and drug dealing. See the list at right for other types of federal crimes, or Mr. Chapman’s Federal Criminal Lawyer FAQ website for answers to frequently asked questions about federal crimes.
The law regarding sentencing in the federal system is much more complex than that in most state legal systems. In order to have just a basic understanding of federal law regarding sentencing, a lawyer must be familiar with the various federal criminal statutes as well as with how the federal sentencing guidelines operate.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a federal crime or is simply being investigated by federal law enforcement agents, it is essential that you hire a lawyer who has a working knowledge of the federal criminal system. It would almost certainly be a mistake to hire a lawyer who practices only in state court since such an attorney would probably have little familiarity with how the federal criminal legal system operates. Ron Chapman has 20 years’ experience in state and federal criminal defense attorney law.