When the Constitution established the American government in 1787, only three federal crimes were mentioned: treason, piracy and counterfeiting. By the 1900s, there were dozens of criminal statutes, and a 2008 study estimated that there were as many as 4,500 federal crimes.
Some criminal laws are so complex that even legal experts aren’t sure whether they count as one offense or several. As more laws have been passed, the number of people sentenced has also risen. The Bureau of Prisons estimates that there are almost 208,000 inmates currently in federal prisons.
All federal cases are prosecuted by skilled U.S. Attorneys, and the associated penalties can be severe. If you are under investigation or facing a federal crime, it is critical that you consult with an experienced and thorough defense attorney as soon as possible. At the Carman Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping those who find themselves struggling with serious criminal accusations. Based in Lexington, federal criminal defense attorney Dan Carman represents clients facing charges in Central Kentucky and throughout the state. His wide-ranging experience from service in the United States Marine Corps as defense counsel, prosecutor, legal assistance attorney, and in-house counsel for an infantry battalion gives him valuable insight into both sides of the legal process.
Federal crimes are violations of laws that have been passed by Congress, as opposed to state crimes, which are violations of laws adopted by state governments. Crimes that occur on federal property — such as federal courthouses, federal prisons, national parks, aircraft carriers or Native American reservations — are subject to federal prosecution. Federal jurisdiction also includes many offenses alleged to have been committed off of federal land, but that have been criminalized by Congress. You may be investigated by well-known federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Secret Service.
If convicted of a Felony or a Class A misdemeanor, the sentencing follows federal guidelines that set out a uniform punishment policy. Federal judges are required to consider these rules, which are intended to give fair and consistent sentencing ranges. The sentencing guidelines provide 43 levels of offense seriousness. The more serious the crime, the higher the offense level. Each defendant is also assigned to one of six “criminal history categories,” based upon the extent and timing of past criminal activity. The point at which the offense level and criminal history category intersect on the sentencing table determines the applicable guideline range. Factors such as whether the offender obstructed justice, used a firearm, had minimal participation or has accepted responsibility can increase or decrease the base offense level and ultimately affect the guideline calculation, and thus may affect the sentence conferred. While judges have to take the federal sentencing guidelines into account, they are also given much leeway in considering mitigating factors.
Examples of federal crimes include:
- Accounting fraud
- Bank robbery
- Child Pornography crimes
- Computer crimes
- Controlled substances violations
- Credit card and ATM fraud
- Falsely claiming citizenship
- Hate crimes
- Identity theft
- Immigration crimes
- Mail fraud
- Obstruction of justice
- Tax crimes
If you are under investigation for a federal crime or you have already been charged with a federal offense, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. The Carman Law Firm will be able to assess the strength of the case against you, explore any possible defenses and represent your best interests each step of the way. Attorney Dan Carman provides aggressive and comprehensive criminal defense representation, and has been admitted to practice in all Kentucky state courts, the federal courts in both the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, and in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. From your initial consultation through the final resolution, you can always expect honest and reliable feedback regarding the direction of your case. Contact us today by calling 859-685-1055 or by filling out this online form.