Indianapolis Federal Offenses Attorney

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Federal offenses often carry the most weight and harshest penalties of all criminal accusations. Some factors can lead to a criminal charge at the state level falling under federal jurisdiction, and an accused individual in such a situation needs to know his or her rights and what to expect from the federal prosecution process. State and federal prosecutions work similarly in some aspects, but they are entirely different in others.

Why Do I Need an Indianapolis Federal Offenses Attorney?

Any American accused of a crime needs a reliable Federal crime defense attorney. The Constitution allows for a public defender to represent an accused individual who cannot afford private legal representation, but it’s important for accused individuals to understand that public defenders have very little stake in their clients’ success and generally manage several cases at once. Some public defenders are very good at their jobs, but they rarely provide the same quality of representation as a private defense attorney. An individual accused of a federal offense should investigate options for representation beyond a public defender.

The federal offenses attorneys at Banks & Brower have gained a reputation as the most reliable criminal defense attorneys in the Indianapolis region, and we do not back down from federal cases. Our attorneys worked as prosecutors for years, so we understand how state and federal prosecutions work. We also know how to dismantle shoddy evidence and protect our clients’ constitutional rights to a fair and impartial trial and due process.

Indianapolis Federal Offenses Attorney

State vs. Federal Prosecution

Determining state or federal prosecution in a criminal case hinges on jurisdiction, or the purview of the state’s or the federal government’s legal reach. Some criminal acts at the state level may fall under federal jurisdiction for a variety of reasons, including interstate connections, the severity of the crime, or violation of federal statutes. Some criminal cases will fall under dual jurisdiction, meaning both the state and the federal governments have the authority to prosecute. However, in most of these cases, one of these entities will defer to the other and only step in if the first prosecution fails.

Criminal acts that take place within a state may at first appear to fall under that state’s legal jurisdiction, but elements of the situation may cause it to fall under federal jurisdiction. Some examples of when the federal government would have jurisdiction over a criminal case include:

  • Criminal activity that took place on a ship or vessel flying the American flag, even if the activity took place in international waters
  • Criminal activity that took place on federally owned or controlled land, such as a national park or a military installation
  • Criminal activity that crossed state lines, such as kidnapping, drug trafficking, or human trafficking

For example, a burglary of a business may typically fall under state jurisdiction, but if the money or goods stolen were federally insured, it could become a federal case.

Common Federal Crimes

Federal law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Department of Justice, and US Immigration and Customs, all have the power to prosecute visitors, residents, and citizens of the US should they violate any federal law. There are a wide variety of crimes that may be committed that may ultimately lead to a case against you. Some of these crimes include:

Drug offenses: The federal government does not tolerate drug trafficking or possession of drugs. If you are caught transporting drugs across state lines, into the country, or at an airport, you can face severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences. The FBI and DEA invest a lot of time and resources investigating those who are suspected of smuggling drugs, charging thousands with drug trafficking each year.

White-collar crimes: White-collar crimes are typically nonviolent, financially motivated crimes that are committed by individuals or organizations so that they may gain a financial or personal advantage. Examples of white-collar crimes include embezzlement, bribery, insider trading, fraud, and money laundering. These types of charges are regularly prosecuted by the federal government. 

Firearm offenses: Because of the second amendment, it is generally legal to own a gun in the US, so long as it was obtained legally and according to state guidelines. However, the federal government has very stringent laws around the sale and transportation of firearms. You may be facing federal firearm charges if you possess an illegally obtained firearm or illegally transport one across state lines. 

If you are being charged with one of the crimes listed above or another federal crime, it is imperative you hire an experienced attorney to help you defend your rights and freedom. The federal offense attorneys at Banks & Brower can help you clear your name. Reach out to us today to explore your options. 

Punishment You May Face If Charged With A Federal Crime

Every case is unique, so the punishment given to those charged with a federal crime will vary on a case-by-case basis. Generally, the penalty given will depend on the severity of the crime and the offender’s criminal history, along with several other factors. Penalties can range from fines to probation to lengthy prison sentences, with the latter being the most common. The length of the prison sentence will depend on the classification of the felony.

  • Class A Felonies: Life sentence in federal prison, or the death penalty
  • Class B Felonies: A minimum of 25 years in federal prison
  • Class C Felonies: Up to 25 years in federal prison 
  • Class D Felonies: Up to 10 years in federal prison
  • Class E Felonies: Up to 5 years in federal prison

Defenses Against Criminal Charges

When working with a skilled attorney, they may use one of the following defenses to clear your name so that you are not charged. These defenses include:

  • Mistaken identity – federal agents will sometimes arrest the wrong person due to vague information. With a successful mistaken identity defense charges are likely to be dropped fairly quickly. 
  • Insufficient evidence – your attorney can argue that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove that the defendant is guilty and can lead to the dismissal of the case.
  • Rights violation – if in the process of investigating, holding, and arresting the defendant, federal agents must still honor their constitutional rights. If they fail to do so, and your attorney is able to build a successful defense, they may be able to get evidence thrown out or have the case dismissed altogether. 

Does Double Jeopardy Apply?

Double jeopardy laws protect accused individuals from facing charges for the same offense twice, but this only applies when the charges are from an identical sovereign entity. Double jeopardy is not applied when both the federal and state government prosecute separately, so an accused individual may face prosecution from the state and then face prosecution for the same offense from the federal government.

Contact our Indianapolis Federal Offenses Attorneys | Free Consultation

The criminal defense attorneys at Banks & Brower have more than 80 combined years of experience with criminal justice, and we work tirelessly to protect the rights of our clients. If you are facing charges for federal crimes, reach out to our firm for a consultation with one of our attorneys. We understand how to effectively defend our clients against federal charges and will do everything in our power to clear your name. We will review the charges against you, determine the jurisdiction for your case, and let you know how we can help.

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