Indianapolis Federal Criminal Offenses Attorney
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.
The 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.
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, 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 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.
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.
Why Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Any American accused of a crime needs a reliable 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 attorneys at Banks & Brower have more than 40 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 will review the charges against you, determine the jurisdiction for your case, and let you know how we can help.