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What is a Federal Crime?

In the American system of government, states have some areas of responsibility for enforcing criminal laws and the Federal government has other areas.  Sometimes the areas overlap and the two government agencies then decide who will take responsibility. Federal crimes are generally more serious than crimes charged in state courts. And the penalties in federal cases are generally more harsh -- there are many offenses which carry a mandatory sentence of five or ten years in prison. Many crimes can be charged in either state OR Federal court (or even in both courts, however that doesn't happen very often) and the consequences of being charged in Federal court are serious.

Although there are literally thousands of crimes which can be charged in Federal courts, in Central Texas, federal prosecutors generally focus on  drug offenses involving large quantities of drugs, immigration offenses and large scale frauds such as money laundering or bank fraud and other white collar crimes. 

Because Federal court rules and procedures are significantly different from State court, it is important to have an attorney with experience in Federal court. Kristin Etter leads our federal practice group --she worked for many years exclusively defending people against federal offenses.

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