Given that the federal government controls so many different laws and regulations, it’s not surprising that there are also a variety of crimes under federal law. Federal crimes are those that are prosecuted by the federal government as opposed to state or local authorities. There are several different types of federal crimes, each with its own specific elements and consequences.
If you are facing charges for a crime under federal law, you need an attorney who understands how these cases work. This article explains some of the most common types of federal crimes.
White-collar crimes are criminal offenses committed largely by business people and government employees. These are not violent crimes, but they can result in significant financial loss and other damage to individuals, businesses, and the public. White-collar crimes are often committed by individuals who have the education and resources to break the law and get away with it.
Examples of white-collar crimes include fraud, insider trading, money laundering, and computer crimes such as hacking, identity theft, and ransomware. White-collar crimes are not as easy to spot. However, many white-collar crimes face federal level charges once detected.
Cybercrimes are online criminal activities that can be prosecuted at the federal level. Some examples of cybercrimes are hacking, denial of service attacks, child pornography, trafficking in stolen identities, and ransomware. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is responsible for investigating cybercrimes. The bureau employs a variety of techniques to gather evidence from computers and electronic devices that have been hacked or compromised. The FBI also works with other federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Justice, and state and local authorities to investigate federal cybercrimes.
Drug offenses are generally prosecuted under state, not federal, law. However, there are some federal drug crimes, such as the illegal importation of controlled substances across state borders, sales of certain illegal substances on federal property, or dealing in certain drugs near a school or public playground. Federal law enforcement agencies that investigate drug offenses include the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Organized crime is a sophisticated network of criminals that crosses state borders and sometimes international borders. It is often difficult to identify, investigate and prosecute because of its sophistication and because it often involves corruption of public officials. It can include gambling, money laundering, drug trafficking, extortion, fraud, and theft of assets. Organized criminal groups usually have a centralized leadership and control, employ sophisticated methods of communication, make use of codes and other means to prevent law enforcement from infiltrating the group, and have members who are willing to use violence to achieve their goals.
Computer crimes are criminal activities that involve computer systems, networks, or individual computer devices. The computer system or device may be hacked or otherwise compromised, or the owner or user may commit a criminal act using it.
Computer crimes may involve malicious software, such as viruses or computer worms. They may also include:
- Unauthorized intrusions, or hacking, into computer systems
- The illegal use of computer systems
- The theft of data
- The distribution of child pornography or other illegal materials online
Computer crimes can be either federal or state offenses, depending on the particular activity.
Hate crimes occur when a person or group attacks someone because of his or her race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, or another personal characteristic. Hate crimes are federal offenses when the victim is a member of a federally protected class and when the attacker knowingly or willfully selects the victim because of his or her membership in that particular group.
Sex trafficking occurs when an individual uses force, fraud, or coercion to force another person into prostitution. It also occurs when an individual sells another’s sexual services or otherwise profits from the sexual exploitation of another person. It is a type of human trafficking, which is also a federal crime.
Contact a Savannah Federal Crimes Defense Attorney Today
Federal crimes are serious offenses that can have serious consequences if you are convicted. The federal government has more resources than state and local governments and can often investigate and prosecute crimes more effectively than state or local prosecutors. Therefore you should not ignore a federal crimes investigation or charges or try to defend yourself without an experienced attorney. It is important to respond quickly and to know your rights and your options.
Phillips Carson Phillips is a trusted and experienced Savannah criminal defense attorney that is available to help. They have experience in defending clients accused of a federal crime. Contact us to schedule a consultation by calling (912) 232-0081 or using our online contact form.