Criminal Defense for Federal Charges in Pennsylvania
Federal crimes include offenses that fall under United States law, rather than state-specific statutes. These offenses are prosecuted at the federal level, meaning you need an attorney with experience navigating the federal court system if you or someone you care about is facing federal charges.
At van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, we have defended numerous clients accused of all types of federal crimes. We know how to aggressively advocate for our clients’ rights, and we are prepared to fight tirelessly for you in and out of the courtroom. Led by Attorney van der Veen, our Philadelphia federal crimes attorneys will seek the best possible outcome in your case.
It is important that you reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. If you are under investigation for a federal crime, or if you have already been charged with a federal offense, the prosecution is likely already building its case against you. You need someone who will just as efficiently begin crafting your defense. You need van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin.
What Are Federal Crimes?
Federal crimes, as opposed to state crimes, are acts that have been made illegal under federal legislation. Federal crimes are illegal in all 50 states and are prosecuted under federal criminal law, rather than state criminal law.
Examples of federal crimes include:
- Aircraft hijacking
- Animal cruelty
- Art theft from museums
- Assassination/attempted assassination of a U.S. president
- Bank robbery
- Car hijacking
- Child pornography
- Computer crimes
- Credit card fraud
- Drug trafficking
- Election fraud
- Hate crimes
- Identity theft
- Immigration offenses
- Internet crimes
- Mail fraud
- Money laundering
- Organized crime
- Patriot Act violations
- Racketeering and RICO Act violations
- Securities fraud
- Tax evasion and related violations
- White collar crimes
- Wire fraud
Note that these are just some examples of federal crimes; any criminal offense that falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. federal government is considered a federal crime.
What Are the Penalties for Federal Crimes?
The exact criminal penalties an individual may face if convicted of a federal crime depend on the various details of the case. Different federal offenses carry different penalties, and the presence of certain aggravating factors can lead to enhanced penalties.
That being said, federal crimes often carry harsher penalties than state crimes. This is due to a variety of reasons, including the fact that federal statutes tend to abide by stricter sentencing laws. Often, the maximum penalties for federal offenses are significantly higher than those for state crimes (though not always). Additionally, federal prosecutors tend to have less discretion than state prosecutors when it comes to negotiating plea bargains, meaning it could be more challenging to negotiate for reduced sentencing. Federal judges also have less discretion than state judges when it comes to making sentencing decisions—generally, they must adhere to strict federal sentencing guidelines.
To make matters worse, nearly every federal crime carries additional penalty enhancements. In short, being convicted of a federal crime will likely result in serious prison time, steep fines, and other harsh criminal penalties. It is very important that you work with an experienced attorney who can protect your rights under the full extent of the law.