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Criminal offenses charged at the federal level will carry much harsher penalties than those penalized at the state level. If you have been accused of a crime at the federal level, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced federal defense attorney. The Criminal Defense Team represents defendants throughout the State of Indiana in federal criminal court, and the firm is led by five board-certified attorneys who work together on every case at the firm. When you hire The Criminal Defense Team of Baldwin Perry & Kamish PC, you will get two lawyers on your individual case, which can prove critical to strategizing an airtight defense against federal charges.
Contact The Criminal Defense Team for a free initial consultation to learn more. Defending clients throughout Indiana.
While most matters are handled according to state law, there are several scenarios in which federal law has jurisdiction. In the context of criminal charges, the federal court has jurisdiction over crimes that impact the federal or national interest to some degree.
The following types of crimes are handled in federal court:
- Crimes that take place on federal land or that involve federal officers. For example, a murder in a national park or an assault against a Drug Enforcement Agency officer.
- Crimes that cross state lines. For example, a kidnapping that begins in California and ends in Indiana or a wire fraud scheme with offenders and alleged victims in several states.
- Crimes involving fraud, deception, or misrepresentation on the federal government or one of its agencies. Examples include federal tax fraud and Medicaid fraud.
- Crimes related to immigration or customs violations. Examples include cross-board human trafficking and importing illegal products.
Federal crimes are prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys and investigated by federal law enforcement agents (as opposed to local police officers for state-level crimes).
The federal government implements advisory federal sentencing guidelines, which lay out a sentencing range for federal crimes based on the following:
- Offense level – Federal crimes are assigned an offense level between 1-43, with 43 being the most severe level.
- Criminal history category – Defendants are also assigned one of 6 criminal history categories based on their past convictions, with Category VI being for offenders with significant criminal records.
The offense levels and criminal history categories are organized into a grid, and where the specific numbers assigned to an offender’s case intersect is what the advised sentencing range is for their crime. Federal penalties are typically longer than state penalties for similar offenses, and prison sentences will be served in federal prison.
Certain factors in a case could impact the offense level to increase several levels or decrease. Common examples of level adjustments are:
- The crime was motivated by hate – increases 3 levels
- The defendant knew the alleged victim was vulnerable (due to age or physical or mental condition) – increases 2 levels
- The offender obstructed justice – increases 2 levels
- The defendant clearly accepts their responsibility for the crime – decreases 2 levels
- The defendant was a minor participant in the crime – decreases 4 levels
Federal criminal charges must not be handled lightly. If you are facing federal criminal allegations, reach out to The Criminal Defense Team of Baldwin Perry & Kamish PC to discuss your defense options immediately. The federal criminal justice system is complex to navigate, but the board-certified attorneys at The Criminal Defense Team will guide you through it step by step.
Schedule a free consultation today to get started on your federal crimes defense.