Criminal offenses are broadly classified into two categories – state offenses (violation of state law) and federal offenses (violation of federal law). Federal crimes are investigated and prosecuted by federal agencies like the FBI, DEA, and the ATF. They carry serious penalties and the consequences of a conviction can be life-changing.
It is critical to have robust legal representation from a top-rated criminal defense attorney who is experienced in defending people charged with federal crimes. Here are three examples of cases where a federal criminal defense attorney might be needed.
1. Money Laundering
Money laundering is the process of converting dirty money (obtained through criminal activities like smuggling or drug trafficking) into clean money (obtained through legitimate means). It is a serious federal offense and the penalties involve fines (up to $500,000) and a prison term (up to 20 years).
It should be noted that money laundering is an ipso facto offense, which means the activity of converting dirty money into clean money in and of itself is a crime. In addition to that, you can also face additional charges for the criminal activities through which the money was obtained in the first place. So, if you believe that you are an object of a money laundering investigation, you should get in touch with a federal criminal defense attorney as quickly as you can.
2. Drug Trafficking
Drug related offenses can be prosecuted at the state level or at the federal level – depending on the type of drugs in your possession, the quantity of drugs, and whether you intended to sell them. If you cross state borders with the intention of delivering or selling controlled substances, you can be charged with drug trafficking, which is a serious offense that carries extremely harsh penalties – ranging from large fines to life in prison.
The federal government takes drug related offenses extremely seriously. So, even if you unwittingly played a minor role in a large drug trafficking operation, you could face serious consequences. Due to this, it is important to be represented by a federal criminal defense attorney who has handled drug related cases before.
3. Identity Theft
Identity theft is defined as the act of using another person’s identification details without their knowledge for the purpose of committing an unlawful activity. While it is classified as a white-collar crime, the penalties can be harsh – depending on the amount stolen or misappropriated. For instance, if a dead person’s identity is used to commit a financial crime, and if the amount of money or items stolen is worth $50,000 or more, the defendant can be charged with a first-degree felony and could spend years in a federal prison.
Choose a Seasoned Federal Criminal Defense Attorney to Protect Your Rights
Federal offenses are more serious in nature than state offenses and carry harsher penalties. So, you cannot afford to take chances with your legal representation.
Chad Piotrowski is a highly accomplished federal criminal defense attorney with a track record of defending people against a wide range of federal offenses – from identity theft to firearm crimes. Highly respected by his clients and peers, Piotrowski is a former prosecutor who knows how these cases are built and prosecuted. He can protect your rights, mount the most aggressive defense possible, and do everything in his capacity to achieve the best possible outcome.