If you find yourself facing federal charges, whether due to your own actions, involvement in another’s wrongdoing, or unintentional participation in criminal activities, it is crucial to promptly seek the assistance of a federal criminal defense attorney.

Attempting to handle your case independently is often impractical given the intricate nature of federal criminal law. Therefore, hiring a skilled federal criminal lawyer can greatly assist you in constructing a compelling defense, regardless of the circumstances surrounding your charges or whether they involve white-collar crimes.

What Are Federal Criminal Laws?

Federal criminal laws encompass illegal activities defined as crimes by the United States federal legislation. These offenses span a range, including mail fraud, government tax fraud, interstate drug trafficking, and crimes occurring on federal property. In such cases, it can prove beneficial to engage the services of a federal mail fraud defense attorney, particularly in jurisdictions across the United States.

While some offenses are exclusively punishable under federal law, others like bank robbery and kidnapping fall under the purview of both federal and state statutes. If you have inquiries about the categorization of crimes such as money laundering and whether they are considered federal offenses, consulting a federal criminal defense lawyer is advisable.

The scope of federal crimes is narrower compared to state crimes, as federal agencies can only legislate in areas involving federal or national interests. In contrast, state legislatures possess broader authority to enact laws across various domains, subject to judicial review.

For example, counterfeiting US banknotes is deemed a federal crime due to the federal government’s responsibility for currency production and regulation.

Types of Federal Offenses

The following crimes fall under federal jurisdiction:

  • Felonies involving deception, fraud, or misrepresentation against the government or its agencies, such as fraud against the federal tax system, Medicaid fraud, or Small Business Administration (SBA) loan fraud.
  • Offenses committed on federal land or involving federal employees, such as homicides in national parks or on Indian reservations, thefts on military bases, or assaults on Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents.
  • Crimes where the offender crosses state boundaries, such as kidnapping.
  • Importing child pornography or engaging in global human trafficking, which are immigration and customs offenses falling under federal law.
  • Internet fraud schemes involving victims and offenders in multiple states or criminal activities crossing state boundaries.

What Make You A Federal Criminal

Engaging in criminal activities that violate federal laws of the United States or involve offenses across multiple states can lead to being charged as a federal criminal. Examples of such activities include wire fraud, commercial fraud, and drug trafficking.

When a federal prosecutor suspects someone of committing federal crimes, they will conduct an investigation to gather evidence. If there is sufficient evidence to support the allegations, the prosecutor will then file charges against the individual responsible for the criminal conduct.

What Does a Federal Lawyer Do?

A federal criminal defense lawyer can advise and represent you in court if someone accuses you of a federal crime. One of their main objectives is to assist you in avoiding or minimizing the following penalties:

  • Federal prison sentences
  • Fines
  • Probation

What Are Some Commonly Used Criminal Defenses?

A skilled federal criminal lawyer, like a DC federal bribery attorney, can offer comprehensive assistance by investigating the case, representing you in court, and collaborating with you to achieve a favorable outcome in your federal criminal case. Here are common arguments that attorneys often use to defend against accusations:


Serious crimes like battery, assault, and murder sometimes involve individuals resorting to violence in what they perceive as self-defense. In such cases, an attorney can argue the legal concept of self-defense. This defense strategy aims to demonstrate that the defendant’s use of force was necessary and proportional to the level of threat they faced.

Affirmative Defense

In this defense approach, defendants challenge the federal judge’s claims while their attorney supports with an affirmative defense, such as providing an alibi or citing self-defense. The strategy aims to disprove key elements of the prosecution’s case rather than addressing every detail.

Violations of Constitutional Rights

Both the US Constitution and various state constitutions safeguard citizens against unwarranted state actions. Consequently, individuals accused due to coerced confessions or illegal searches and seizures can raise this defense. If evidence results from constitutional violations, the federal court may be required to dismiss the case.

Coercion and Duress

For this defense to hold merit, the offense must not have been committed willingly. In such instances, a criminal defense lawyer could contend that the individual acted under coercion or duress. For instance, threats of unlawful force against the accused or their loved ones, like family members, can indicate that they acted out of fear and a reluctance to participate in criminal conduct.

How Long Do Federal Criminal Investigations Take?

Federal criminal investigations can be lengthy processes, often spanning years before any federal charges are filed in court. These investigations are typically conducted discreetly, with relevant records and reports classified. Additionally, officials involved in the investigation are often instructed not to publicly discuss the details.


What is a federal criminal defense lawyer?

A federal criminal defense lawyer represents individuals facing federal charges, providing legal counsel and defense in court.

What are federal criminal laws?

Federal criminal laws cover offenses like fraud, drug trafficking, and crimes on federal property, enforceable by federal authorities.

What makes you a federal criminal?

Engaging in criminal activities violating federal laws or involving crimes across states can lead to federal criminal charges.

What defenses do federal lawyers use?

Federal lawyers may use defenses like self-defense, coercion, or violations of constitutional rights to defend clients.

How long do federal criminal investigations take?

Federal criminal investigations can last years, conducted discreetly with classified records and limited public discussion by officials involved.

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