Federal Crimes Defined

Federal Crimes Defined

State crime, federal crime, what’s the difference? In the United States, we have state laws and federal laws. A federal crime is simply an offense that violates federal legislation or federal laws, whereas state crime is a violation of state law.

By far the vast majority of offenses are in violation of state law, which means that most people who commit crimes are prosecuted in the state courts. When they are convicted of state crimes, they’re housed in state prisons. However, there are a handful of people who violate federal laws and are therefore prosecuted in the federal court system, and if convicted, sent to federal prison.

Federal Bureau of Investigation and Federal Crime

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the agency responsible for investigating numerous types of federal crimes, many of which are referred to as “white-collar crimes.”

The term “white-collar crime” was coined in 1939 and today it’s synonymous with numerous types of frauds, most of which are committed by business or government professionals. The FBI wants to make it known that while not violent, white-collar crimes are not victimless.

One sophisticated scam can have devastating effects, it can destroy someone’s company, it can wipe out a family’s life savings, and it can cost investors billions in the blink of an eye.

Some examples of white-collar crimes, include:

  • Corporate fraud (one of the FBI’s highest priorities)
  • Falsification of financial information
  • Self-dealing committed by corporate insiders (e.g. misuse of corporate property for personal gain, kickbacks, and insider trading)
  • Fraud connected to legitimate hedge funds
  • Financial institution/mortgage fraud
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Identity theft (often committed by regular people)
  • Intellectual property theft
  • Money laundering
  • Investment fraud
  • Market manipulation

The FBI has entire task forces focused on tracking down and investigating the above types of federal/white-collar crimes, but we have not included all of the federal crimes they investigate; there are many more.

The FBI field offices work with other law enforcement agencies as well as regulatory agencies, such as the Securities Exchange Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service, and U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and others in order to build solid cases that lead to federal prosecution.

If you are facing federal charges in Plano or Dallas, you need a federal criminal defense attorney. To get the hard-hitting representation you need, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today!