What Are the Penalties for Federal Crimes and How Do They Differ from State Level Charges?

If you are facing accusations of a federal crime, it can be extremely confusing and stressful. There are a few key differences to know if you are being charged on both a state and federal level or only a federal level. In this article, a federal criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg with The Rickman Law Firm shares the key differences between federal and state charges and what the possible penalties for federal crimes are if convicted.

Related: Understanding the Differences Between Federal and State Crimes

How Will You Know If You are Under Federal Investigation?

Federal investigations are often done in secret until charges are brought forth, which means the government may have built a case against you before you are even aware. A person may find out that they are being investigated when they are met by a federal agent requesting that they answer questions or are blindsided by multiple agents executing a warrant. If you are confronted by a federal agent or investigator, it’s important that you talk to an experienced attorney before making any statements. Remember, even if it is a federal investigation, you have the right to remain silent and to wait to speak to your attorney before answering questions. 

Related: What You Should and Shouldn’t Do When Under Federal Investigation

Common Penalties for Federal Crimes

The penalties for federal crimes differ based on the charge. However, there are a few penalties that are common among federal crimes as a whole. State crimes may allow you to serve less time in prison or jail; however, in federal court, you will have to serve 85 percent of your sentence if convicted of federal charges. For example, if you are sentenced to 10 years, you will have to serve at least 8.5. 

If you are convicted of a federal crime, you may also have to serve your sentence in a federal prison rather than a state-run facility and face monetary fines and restitution, depending on the type of crime.

How Do Federal Crimes Differ from State Crimes?

Crimes charged at the state level involve local statutes. However, federal crimes may be more serious in nature. In some instances, federal charges are tacked onto state charges due to the use of federal property to commit the crime, like cases of mail fraud. Further, some felonies may result in both state and federal charges, such as drug trafficking. 

If you are facing a federal charge, indictment by a grand jury, or investigation, contact a federal criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg with The Rickman Law Firm to discuss the best defense for your specific case. It’s crucial that you speak with an attorney before speaking with any investigators in order to protect yourself from unfair charges. A free consultation with Anthony Rickman is just a phone call away.

For a free consultation with the best federal criminal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.


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