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Common Questions: Federal Crimes

While every state has its own laws governing criminal activity, there are some laws governing criminal activity throughout the U.S. These are called federal laws, and a violation of these laws can result in federal charges. Several of the major differences between a state and federal crime is that you will be tried in a federal court, and the penalties that you face for conviction are often far more severe. It is essential for you to understand the situation that you face.

Refer to the following frequently asked questions and answers provided by our lawyers to obtain some basic information regarding your current legal situation.

Under what circumstances can a state offense become a federal one?

There are a number of different offenses that are a violation of both state and federal law; however, the state government is sometimes the only court to bring criminal charges. There are specific circumstances under which a state crime can be escalated to a federal offense. Any crime that is committed on federal property is automatically increased to a federal crime. Drug trafficking of high quantities is also a crime that is often charged at the federal level.

Are penalties for a federal crime more severe than a state crime?

It depends. Federal laws often have maximum and minimum sentencing guidelines, and there are factors to be considered that will accumulate points. These factors can include loss to a victim, the use of a weapon, the age or disability of a victim, prior criminal history, and other factors.

Is there parole available for federal prison time?

No. As of November 1, 1987, the federal justice system adopted the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines which determine the sentencing for a given charge, and make no provision for parole sentences when defendants are convicted of a federal offense.

I am under investigation. Should I contact a lawyer?

Yes. According to the United States Constitution, you have the right to privacy, you have the right to protection from unlawful search and seizure, and you have many other rights. When under investigation, you could experience a violation of your rights without even knowing it, and a federal defense lawyer can help ensure that this does not happen, and that any evidence gained through a violation of your rights is thrown out.

We offer a free case evaluation so that you may obtain some information regarding the situation that you face before making any financial commitment to our firm.

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Okabe & Haushalter
San Francisco Criminal Defense Lawyer

Located at:
1934 Divisadero Street
Suite 100
San Francisco, CA 94115

Local Phone: (415) 252-8530
Phone: (415) 483-9708