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Federal Crime – What Is It and What Are The Legal Consequences?

Federal crime refers to those acts that are made criminal or illegal by federal law and prosecuted in federal courts. Most federal crimes are listed in Title 18 of the United States Code. Some examples of federal crime are gang activity that affects interstate commerce, conspiracy to commit offense or defraud the United States, solicitation to commit a crime of violence, communicating interstate threats of extortion.

The legal consequences for these crimes can result in lengthy periods of incarceration possibly up to a life sentence.  The legal consequences for certain federal crimes can even result in the death sentence.

For example, a conviction of first-degree murder within federal jurisdiction can lead to punishment by death or imprisonment for life.  

Federal Violence Charges

Violent charges with federal punishment attached to them include female genital mutilation, domestic assault by a habitual offender, international terrorism, participating in criminal street gang acts of violence, murder, domestic violence, arson, maiming, or disfiguring, cutting, biting, or slits the nose, ear, or lip, or cuts out or disables another, if within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, may be fined or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

Federal Drug Crimes

A federal drug charge is a narcotic related offense that is outlawed by the Federal Government. Most drug crimes are prosecuted at the state level. However, suspects caught in possession, selling, or manufacturing drugs on federal property can lead to federal prosecution with federal consequences.

Further, agreements made between state and federal prosecutors can result in federal prosecution for drug offenses committed within the individual states.

The United States Sentencing Commission, an independent agency that is part of the judicial branch of government and which was created in 1984 to create ‘transparency and proportionality’ in sentencing, has sentencing guidelines for the commission of federal drug crimes. 

There are four sentencing zones, Zones A – D, with Zone A punishment ranging from 0 months to 6 months. Zone B punishment ranges from 1 month to 15 months imprisonment. Zone C punishment ranges from 10 months to 18 months imprisonment. Finally, Zone D ranges from 15 months to life imprisonment.  

Sex Crimes at the Federal Level

Federal sex crimes are among the most serious crimes in the United States. Punishment for this type of offense includes long terms of imprisonment, being labeled as a sex offender, and serious fines.

Title 18 of the United States Code punishes many types of sexual crimes. The most heinous types of sexual crimes often result in the maximum punishment. Federal sex crimes include crimes such as aggravated sexual abuse and rape. Aggravated sexual abuse can be imprisoned for any term of years or life, or both. Sexual exploitation of children is punishable by not less than 15 years but not more than 30 years of prison. 

Restraining Orders

While many restraining orders are entered by state courts, federal courts mainly issue temporary restraining orders. Federal courts decide whether or not to issue temporary restraining orders designed to block state or federal legislation. A temporary restraining order may be extended into a final restraining order.

Lawyer Vickas Bajaj has a winning track record in the criminal defense of these federal crimes and the issuance/dissolution of restraining orders. Contact Lawyer Vickas Bajaj for a consultation today.


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