What is a federal crime?

Whitney S. Boan Protecting Your Right

Video Transcript

A federal crime is a crime where the government believes that it has jurisdiction to charge you in a Federal Court. While there’s certainly substantive crimes that can be charged either at the state level or the federal level, the federal government will take jurisdiction of a federal crime when it believes that you’ve either effected interstate commerce in the commission of a crime that they’re alleging or where they would have jurisdiction by virtue of the fact of where the crime is alleged to have been committed. In other words, in a national park, in the Veteran’s Administration. Things of that nature where it’s already federal jurisdiction. The federal crimes, however, will be handled through federal courts. You will be charged and prosecuted in the Federal District Court. It’s important to talk with a lawyer if you even remotely think that you may have committed a federal crime or could be exposed to prosecution for a federal crime to assess what rights that you have and what, if any, defenses that you have.