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Federal Crimes vs. State Crimes

Whether you are being investigated or were recently charged, most crimes are violations of California law and handled in state court. From DUI and drug possession to sexual assault and murder, the state has jurisdiction over these crimes. 

On the other hand, there are fewer crimes that break federal criminal laws or involve national issues. However, federal crimes are punishable by longer prison sentences with harsh mandatory minimum terms. In addition, individuals sentenced to prison will serve their time in federal prison, instead of state prison. 

The following are the types of crimes the federal government has jurisdiction over: 

  • You allegedly commit a crime on federal property – Common examples include robbery involving a federal bank, homicide on a military base, and destruction of a national forest. 

  • You travel from one state to another while committing the crime – For instance, you allegedly transport drugs from California to Arizona. 

  • Your alleged conduct happened in multiple states – For example, you are accused of running an online fraud scheme involving victims in different states. 

  • Immigration-related crimes – For instance, trafficking people from Mexico to California. 

  • Customs-related crimes – For example, distribution of child pornography. 

You need to understand that most people who are prosecuted in federal court are convicted. When facing federal charges, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who has successfully handled cases in federal court. 

At Corrigan Welbourn Stokke, APLC, our legal team is comprised of former prosecutors who have over 100 years of collective experience. Attorney Kate Corrigan specializes in federal criminal cases such as white-collar crime, drug trafficking, fraud, and RICO cases. 

If you are facing federal charges in Newport Beach or Orange County, contact us today at (949) 251-0330 and schedule a free consultation today.