The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are the two better-known federal government agencies known for pursuing and processing federal crimes. However, many other federal government departments may play a role in issuing warrants, collecting evidence, charging individuals, and handling federal crimes.
If you were served with a subpoena or charged with a crime by the federal government, do not lose hope. Depending on the nature of your case and the crimes and the government department in question, there are many ways we can defend a case. McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. and our Norristown federal crimes lawyer help our clients understand and handle federal criminal cases. Contact our offices at (610) 680-7842 to learn more about how we help our clients.
Federal Offices and Law Enforcement
There are many different branches of the federal government—15, to be exact—and there are many types of crime that individual departments oversee. Well-known government departments that deal with different types of federal crime include:
- IRS/IRS-CI: Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations
- DoD: Department of Defense
- USCIS: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- DoL: Department of Labor
- ICE: Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- SEC: Securities and Exchange Commission
When it comes to investigations and law enforcement, however, the federal agencies tasked with maintaining law and public order include:
- FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation
- USMS: United States Marshals Service
- DEA: Drug Enforcement Administration
- ATF: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
- BoP: Bureau of Prisons
Depending on the nature of the crime in question and the jurisdiction in which it occurred, different federal government departments—and different law enforcement agencies—may be involved in a federal criminal case. To learn more about these agencies and the rules and guidelines they follow in processing federal crimes charges, please speak with a Norristown federal crimes lawyer.
Types of Federal Crimes
There are many different types of federal crime. Most involve some form of theft, abuse, fraud, deception, or physical danger to the general public. Common examples of federal crimes include the following.
This involves the use of illegal means to obtain something of value from a bank or other financial institution. Identity theft, account takeovers, wire transfer fraud, check fraud, and loan fraud are all examples of bank fraud. Wire transfer fraud that involves only two individuals may be resolved privately. The federal government typically only handles cases involving an attempt to defraud large members of the general public or specific categories of individuals.
Cases of bank fraud are usually handled by the FBI in conjunction with the IRS-CI.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported the national health expenditure at $3.6 trillion in 2018. Many healthcare fraud cases involve fraudulent billing claims submitted to government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid or commercial health insurance companies. The federal government will usually only intervene to handle healthcare fraud if the fraud is provably widespread and systematic.
Similar to health insurance fraud, examples of insurance fraud include submitting fraudulent claims or overbilling commercial insurance companies. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) estimates non-health care related insurance fraud to be $40 billion a year. Insurance companies then pass on these losses to customers in the form of higher insurance premiums for basic insurance policies.
Also known as stock or investment fraud, SEC fraud involves the deceptive use of stocks or commodities to dupe investors or the general public with false information. This violates federal securities laws.
Money Laundering and Tax Evasion
This is the concealment of the source of money obtained and the manipulation of earnings to avoid paying taxes.
If a public official breaches the trust of the public or abuses his or her position, the federal government may investigate and charge him or her with corruption.
Crimes Involving Drugs or Terrorism
Laws pertaining to drugs are in the Controlled Substances Act, and enforcement is usually from the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Department of Homeland Security usually handles terrorism cases.
For a review of your case and the charges against you, call (610) 680-7842. The Norristown federal crimes lawyer with McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. may be able to assist.
Defending Federal Crimes Allegations
Many of the rules and laws on which federal charges are based are very broad and vague. Because they are vague, some laws are open to interpretation, and this can help when defending a client against federal charges. Furthermore, many issues can arise that can weaken the case against you. The examples that follow illustrate how.
Evidence That Was Obtained Illegally
Federal agents cannot violate the constitutional rights of a suspect or a defendant when gathering evidence against them. If they do, it can weaken the case against the defendant.
Allegations of Conspiracy and Attempt
As per the Federal Conspiracy Statute, you do not have to break the law to face federal criminal charges. You can still be charged with conspiracy to commit a crime or an attempt to commit a crime. However, in most cases, intent must be established. If intent cannot be established—if, for example, someone committed SEC fraud because they were unfamiliar with federal rules pertaining to stocks and commodities—this may weaken the case against them.
Most penalties for federal crimes are in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, but these sentences are just that—they are guidelines and are not binding. As long as you did not intend to commit a crime, an attorney will emphasize this fact to the authorities to protect their client.
Some federal crimes require that all prescribed evidentiary requirements against a defendant be met before penalties can be levied. Therefore, beyond the three categories of defense outlined above, if it can be proven that any one of the many complex criminal justice codes that apply to your case has not been satisfactorily met, a case can potentially be dismissed from court. A Norristown federal crimes lawyer can help you determine if this defense applies to your case.
Call Us Today
The Norristown federal crime lawyer with McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. helps our clients understand federal criminal laws. We will strive to ensure that you understand the charges that are being brought against you so that we can gather the evidence and argue the rules that can help support your case. To learn more, please contact us today at (610) 680-7842.