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What is the Difference Between State and Federal Crimes?

Facing any type of criminal charges in Fulton County is a serious matter that requires experienced, professional legal representation. Depending on the type of crime you are accused of, you could face heavy penalties, including a permanent criminal record and a potentially lengthy jail sentence if convicted.

These penalties become even more severe if you are charged with a federal crime. Our Atlanta federal criminal lawyer explains four ways in which state and federal charges differ in terms of both the seriousness of your charges and the complexity of building a strong criminal defense.

Common Types of Federal Crimes

As the names imply, state criminal charges can result from behavior on your part that violates any provision of the Georgia Criminal Code. This includes different types of theft, assault, sexual assault or harassment, drug and alcohol offenses, fraud, and homicide.

In contrast, federal crimes are those which violate Title 18 of the U.S. Code. These are activities that are illegal, no matter what state you are in, and include:

  • Drug manufacture and trafficking;
  • Organized gambling, prostitution, or other crime rings;
  • Acts of domestic terrorism;
  • Immigration violations;
  • Weapons offenses;
  • Any crime in which you cross state lines;
  • Any crime or threat committed on or against federal property.

When facing the above or other types of federal crimes, different rules and procedures apply. To protect yourself against a conviction, you need an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer on your side.

Four Ways Federal Crimes Differ From State Charges

Any type of criminal charge needs to be taken seriously. Even a seemingly minor criminal offense in Fulton County can ruin your reputation, result in a permanent criminal record, and may carry serious jail time, fines, and other penalties.

Federal offenses are even more complex and require a strong, experienced federal criminal lawyer. The following are four important ways these charges differ from state crimes:

  • Investigating officers: Rather than dealing with local or state police, you may be dealing with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) or other federal law enforcement agencies.
  • Jurisdiction: Rather than having your case heard by the local Fulton County Court, hearings are held within the federal court system.
  • Investigations: The federal government has broader powers in investigating suspects, which include surveillance, search, and freezing of assets.
  • Penalties: If convicted on federal charges, you could face a harsh mandatory minimum prison sentence at a federal facility far away from loved ones. You could also face additional penalties for federal charges under the U.S. Code, such as RICO violations.

Request a Consultation with Our Atlanta Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

Facing any type of criminal charges in Fulton County is a serious matter. If your case involves a federal crime, the overall situation and the penalties you are facing are significantly more severe.

To protect yourself and your rights, get the trusted legal guidance and professional representation you need at Ghanayem & Rayasam. To request a consultation, call or contact our Atlanta federal criminal lawyers online today.