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Anne Arundel County Federal Lawyer
Federal crimes mean that a person is being charged with something that has federal jurisdiction and as such will likely be handled by the federal court in Baltimore. Drug offenses are the most commonly charged federal crime, but other offenses such as sex crimes and fraud can also be charged in federal court. With that said, if you are under investigation or have been charged with a federal crime, it is important you contact an experienced Anne Arundel County federal criminal attorney as soon as possible to begin preparing a defense. Federal offenses are extremely serious and therefore warrant contact with a defense attorney in Anne Arundel as soon as possible. To learn more or to begin preparing your defense, call today.
Types of Federal Criminal Offenses
Any crime, regardless of magnitude, can be considered a federal crime if it falls in the federal jurisdiction. These charges most commonly manifest in drug-related offenses that involve the movement of particular drugs from one state to another or interstate commerce of some kind. However, there are also many different criminal offenses that could fall under federal jurisdiction even at a minor level like DUI because there are roadways in Maryland, like the Baltimore Washington Parkway, which are part of the federal jurisdiction because they are federal roads. Therefore somebody who receives a DUI on one of those roads or a speeding ticket on those roads will have their case handled in the federal system of the United States Courts.
Similarly, a person who is charged with a federal offense could also be somebody who is charged with a small offense, but was on a military base of some kind. Those would be considered federal territories as well and warrant contact with an Anne Arundel County federal criminal attorney.
Differences Between State and Federal Crimes
The major difference between a criminal offense being classified as a federal offense over a state-level offense is jurisdiction. State crimes are going to be handled by the state court system and federal crimes will be handled by the federal court system.
Regarding the criminal process, the federal system differs in that it usually takes a lot longer to process than a state criminal case would. It is also handled more seriously because the investigation, particularly at a felony level, is far more in depth than it would be at the state level.
Most cases in federal court are going to be large-scale drug offense cases or large scale fraud cases that have been investigated for years. The cases at the state level are usually criminal acts that are very serious like murder, rape, burglary, and armed robbery, but they involve one crime that is being investigated, instead of a number of crimes or a scheme of some kind. For this reason, state cases tend to be much shorter in their investigation periods and move through the system more quickly at the procedural level.
Usually the penalties in federal court are much more serious than they are in state court. The federal court uses sentencing guidelines and the judges are far more likely to adhere to those sentencing guidelines than they are at the state level.
Additionally, with federal courts and federal penalties, there is a far more likely a possibility of mandatory minimums associated with federal cases than with state cases, particularly when it comes to gun offenses, drug offenses, human trafficking offenses, or even child pornography offenses. Those kinds of cases require mandatory sentences that even a judge does not have discretion to not abide by if a person is convicted of them. This is why it is so important to have an federal lawyer in Anne Arundel County who has relationships with prosecutors in the federal system, because those prosecutors can often determine whether they are going to go forward on the cases that carry mandatory minimum sentences and they can elect not to give the defense a great deal of leeway in how to handle a particular case and the defense of that particular case.
Benefit of An Anne Arundel Federal Attorney
The steps that a federal lawyer in Anne Arundel County will take in a federal case are no different than in state cases. They want to make sure that a full investigation is done, not only from the defense’s side or from the state’s side, but also by not relying on the state’s results and the discovery of the state investigation. The defense is often able to uncover issues in the state’s case and use them to the defense’s benefit to get more favorable results from the prosecutor or to have the cases dismissed altogether.
Like any criminal case, knowing the jurisdiction that you are in is extremely important. Additionally, the relationships with judges, prosecutors, probation agents, and police officers are all things that could be beneficial to a person facing a federal charge. When a defense attorney is experienced in handling federal cases, they will also know valuable information about investigative methods, what to expect in discovery, and how to best tackle the defense of a particular criminal case when it comes to court.