Some of the most severe criminal allegations involve federal laws rather than state laws. While the general process is largely the same, there are important practical differences between defending against a federal charge and defending against a state charge.
If you have been accused of breaking federal law, you can seriously benefit from the legal guidance of a Maryland federal defense lawyer who is at ease in the federal system. An accomplished criminal could explain your rights and build your defense case.
Each state, which includes Maryland, has its own criminal code that prohibits certain types of conduct by labeling them as crimes. On top of these state crimes, the federal government has a criminal code, too. It should be noted that since the federal government can only act when it is given the power to do so by the Constitution, federal crimes only cover certain types of conduct. This conduct includes what affects interstate commerce or international affairs.
In some cases, the same conduct can potentially run afoul of both state and federal statutes. In these cases, defendants can find themselves dealing with parallel criminal charges. The confusion that this can cause highlights the need for retaining the legal assistance of a federal defense lawyer in Maryland.
Title 18 of the U.S. Code is where federal crimes are listed. This is not a small body of law: There are 123 chapters within Title 18, with each one covering different federal offenses. These range from treason and war crimes to transporting water hyacinths across state lines. Some of the most common include:
These are just some of the numerous offenses that could be challenged in a federal defense case by retaining a Maryland attorney.
One of the most important aspects of a federal charge is the fact that it will be prosecuted by federal agencies, rather than state or district attorneys. Prosecutors and investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or Department of Justice (DOJ) have access to far more resources than their state counterparts.
While this tends to slow down the process of resolving a criminal charge, it also means that the prosecutor in a given case will have access to evidence databases and investigative manpower that local prosecutors do not. The legal assistance of a hard-working attorney may be a huge help.
If you have been accused of violating federal law, retaining an attorney who is well-versed in the differences between state and federal offenses is essential if you want to mount a strong defense to the allegations you are facing.
The prosecutors who will be pursuing a conviction will have access to lots of resources, so bringing in a lawyer who will fight for your rights and interests in court can be the best way to protect your future from a serious criminal conviction. Reach out to a Maryland federal defense lawyer for help. Contact one today.
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