PA Federal Defense Attorney Explains How Criminal Charges Escalate
Most criminal law is under the jurisdiction of the state in which the crime is committed. Usually, when local, county or state police make an arrest, a state or county prosecutor seeks an indictment and tries the suspect in the state or county court. However, federal law enforcement also operates within the 50 states. They make their own arrests and even claim jurisdiction in some state cases. When a case goes to federal criminal court, the full weight of the U.S. Department of Justice is behind it. When that happens, you need a seasoned criminal defense attorney with federal court experience protecting your rights. The David Jay Glassman Law Offices has more than 35 years of experience defending clients from serious criminal charges in Pennsylvania. Common federal crimes include:
Federal jurisdiction in criminal matters
Why might a criminal case go from a state matter to a federal one? Because the offense:
- Crossed state lines — The Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution gives the federal government jurisdiction over interstate activity. Kidnapping across state lines thus becomes a federal offense.
- Happened on federal government property — A crime committed in a federal building or a national park is a federal offense.
- Was against an agency of the federal government — Bank robbery is a federal crime, if the institution is nationally chartered or a member of the National Reserve.
- Was against an officer of the federal government — Title 18 of the United States Code forbids “assaulting, resisting, or impeding” government officers and employees performing their duties, as well as assault or intimidation of former government officers and employees.
- Relied on a federal instrumentality — Fraud schemes that use the U. S. Postal Service to lure victims are federal crimes.
- Violated a federal statute or a regulation of an executive branch agency — Title 18 of the United States Code details some crimes, such as arson, but several agencies, notably the Internal Revenue Service, have enforcement powers for violations of their regulations.
Most frequent federal crimes in Pennsylvania
In our federal criminal defense practice in Pennsylvania, we’re most often retained for cases involving allegations of:
- RICO violations — The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is a federal statue giving the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice jurisdiction over organized crime activities.
- Human trafficking — A form of organized crime most often involving sexual slavery, human trafficking falls into the category of kidnapping that crosses state lines.
- Internet child pornography — The First Amendment does not protect images of sexually exploited children. Possession, production and dissemination of these images are outlawed under Title 18 of the U.S. Code.
- Money laundering —The Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 made this a federal crime.
These are very serious crimes with stiff prison sentences attached. If you are accused of a federal crime, you need an experienced trial lawyer who has tried cases before federal court juries. Trust The David Jay Glassman Law Offices to deliver staunch advocacy that protects your rights.
Contact us if you’ve been charged with a federal crime
The dedicated criminal defense team at the The David Jay Glassman Law Offices has decades of experience defending clients against federal charges. For innovative legal solutions and determination to deliver a positive result, our firm should be your first call. Call 215-563-7100 today for a consultation and evaluation of your case or contact us online.