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How does a crime become a federal offense?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2020 | Criminal Law, Federal Crimes |

While the penalties for a federal criminal conviction will vary based on the offense and the related federal statutes, a federal crime should never be taken lightly. A conviction may mean your very livelihood is compromised.

For an offense to take on a “federal” classification, the crime will likely involve actions made across state lines or because the offense is against the federal government itself. White-collar crimes, for example, are often classified as federal crimes because they often involve transferring funds and activity over phone lines or the internet.

Some examples of federal crimes include:

  • Mail or wire fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Committing or conspiring to commit a computer crime
  • Internet crimes
  • Exploitation of children
  • Money laundering
  • Certain drug crimes like manufacturing and distribution across state lines
  • Bank robbery or bank fraud
  • Crimes involving domestic security
  • Fraud against the government

Note also that Montana state crimes and federal crimes may vary in the severity of penalties and you may even be tried in both courts, depending on the gravity of the offense.

The penalties can be life-changing

Penalties for some federal crimes can include prison time, high fines, restitution and even a charge for the cost of the prosecution. In building your defense case against a federal criminal charge, your lawyer will need to know as much detail as you can give them. There may be circumstances you are unaware of that could help your argument.