A Criminal Charge Doesn't Have to Become a Conviction

Federal Law Attorney in Quincy, Massachusetts

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, in 2019, law enforcement agencies in the United States made approximately 10,085,207 arrests for all offenses. Of these, there were an estimated 1,203,808 violent crimes, 6,925,677 property crimes, and 1,558,862 drug-related arrests. Federal crimes are offenses that violate federal statutes, including drug crimes, internet crimes, immigration crimes, RICO violations, money laundering, and embezzlement. If convicted of a federal crime, the defendant could be facing severe punishment, such as substantial fines, mandatory minimum sentences in federal prison, or even the death penalty.

If you are under investigation for a federal crime or if you’re facing federal criminal charges, it is paramount to retain an aggressive and highly-skilled Massachusetts criminal defense attorney immediately to help build a strong defense. McBride Law is committed to providing comprehensive legal guidance and reliable representation to clients facing federal crimes charges. Devin McBride will investigate every detail of your case and determine an effective defense strategy for a favorable outcome. He will fight vigorously to protect your rights.

McBride Law proudly serves clients across Quincy, Massachusetts, and the surrounding communities of Boston, Weymouth, Hingham, Norwell, and other areas throughout the state.

Understanding Federal Crimes

Under the American criminal justice system, the majority of offenses are prosecuted at the state level. However, the federal government may exercise its jurisdiction when:

  • The state lacks jurisdiction in a criminal matter.

  • The criminal offense was committed on federal property.

  • The crime is a criminal offense that was specifically reserved for the federal government under the U.S. Constitution.

Additionally, federal authorities may prosecute a crime that crosses between states. In such situations, both the federal and state prosecutors are allowed to pursue different actions against the offender, regardless of the “Double Jeopardy” clause in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that prohibits a defendant from being prosecuted twice for arguably the same offense.

Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Pursuant to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, the federal government has exclusive authority over matters involving immigration, patents, bankruptcy, regulation of money, and coining. As such, the exclusive authority is regarded as “subject matter jurisdiction.” Hence, defendants involved in any of these matters will be prosecuted by federal authorities.

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Crimes Across State Lines

Furthermore, federal authorities have the jurisdiction to prosecute crimes perpetrated across state lines. Such offenses include drug trafficking, sex trafficking, and mail and wire fraud. While these crimes fall under state authority, the federal government will derive jurisdiction by the fact that:

  • The U.S Constitution permits federal authorities to regulate interstate commerce.

  • The offense crossed state lines.

Crimes on Federal Property

In addition, federal statutes often apply to crimes committed on an area of land or property owned or managed by the federal government. Examples of these areas include U.S. National Parks, Indian reservations, federal courthouses, federal prisons, and the District of Columbia. Likewise, the federal government has authority over airplanes in flight and ocean-going vessels at sea. They may prosecute crimes committed in these areas.

Examples of Federal Crimes

While there are many federal crimes, some common examples include:

  • Drug crimes

  • Internet crimes including piracy, identity theft, hacking, election fraud, online predators, and child pornography

  • RICO violations

  • Public corruption

  • Credit card fraud

  • Conspiracies

  • Violent crimes involving dangerous weapons and firearms

  • Bank, securities, and other forms of fraud

  • Kidnapping

  • Tax evasion

Overlap of Federal and State
Laws – Concurrent Jurisdiction

When a disagreement exists between state and federal statutes, federal law usually supersedes and will govern the state law. Nonetheless, state statutes won’t be pushed aside due to an overlap or conflict with federal laws. In such situations, “concurrent jurisdiction” applies.

Concurrent jurisdiction exists when more than one court from different systems (state and federal courts) has a claim of power over a certain criminal case at the same time. Under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, “no person subject for the same offense shall be twice put in jeopardy of life or liberty.”

Therefore, the government cannot prosecute a defendant again for the same offense after failing to convict the person of the initial charges. This is usually known as “double jeopardy.”

Though, under concurrent jurisdiction, federal and state authorities may charge a defendant with different “crimes.” Thus, if the person is acquitted of the federal charges, state prosecutors could still file another charge.

The Federal Criminal Process

There are several distinctions between how state and federal crimes are investigated and prosecuted. Here are some of the major differences:

  • Federal crimes often involve federal authorities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and Immigration authorities.

  • A federal case will be assigned to an Assistant United States Attorney.

  • In federal cases, investigators need to build their case and have noteworthy evidence before making an arrest.

  • Federal prosecutors are allowed to withhold witness statements and other related information in the discovery process.

  • The President of the United States has the responsibility to appoint federal judges. They will be confirmed by the United States Senate and usually serve for life.

  • Before a defendant can be released on bail, federal judges usually impose supplementary conditions.

Hire an Experienced Federal
Crime Defense Attorney

Defending your federal crime charges without proper guidance or legal representation can increase your risk of getting convicted and suffering maximum punishment. Therefore, when facing federal criminal charges, retaining a knowledgeable Massachusetts federal law attorney immediately is important to help defend your rights and strategize an effective defense for your unique circumstances.

Attorney Devin McBride has devoted his career to providing experienced legal services and handling federal law cases. As your legal counsel, he will review every aspect of your case, carry out a comprehensive, private investigation, and outline an effective defense strategy to establish a strong case.

Using his extensive experience, Devin McBride will help you navigate the federal criminal justice system. He will fight aggressively to defend your rights and attempt to keep you out of jail. Having him on your side can improve your prospects of a favorable outcome in your case.

Federal Crime Attorney
Serving Quincy, Massachusetts

Have you been arrested and charged with a federal crime? Contact McBride Law today to schedule a free one-on-one case evaluation. Attorney Devin McBride will offer you the experienced legal guidance and aggressive representation you need in your federal crimes case. He is proud to serve clients across Quincy, Boston, Weymouth, Hingham, Norwell, and other communities throughout the state of Massachusetts.