Some offenses result in charges at the federal rather than state level. Federal agencies investigate these crimes and defendants must appear in federal court.
Review common offenses that fall under the jurisdiction of U.S., not Texas, law.
Traveling over state lines with controlled substances can result in federal charges. However, drug possession with intent to sell can also constitute a Texas trafficking offense depending on the amount of the substance, the type of substance and the circumstances of the person’s arrest.
Many so-called white collar crimes fall into the category of federal prosecution. Examples include money laundering, embezzlement and fraud. Often, crimes involving computers and phones have victims in many different states.
Some of the violent crimes that may result in federal charges include bank robbery, manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon. Arson, theft involving a weapon and manslaughter may also fall into this category.
Additional factors may result in prosecution in federal instead of Texas court. Examples include:
- Crimes that involve a federal official or take place on federal land (on a military base or at a national park, for example)
- Violations of customs and immigration laws
- Fraud against a government agency (tax fraud or Medicaid fraud, for example
- Crimes that involve victims in multiple states or in which the offender crosses state lines
Like state-level crimes, federal crimes may result in a range of legal penalties based on the severity of the offense, the offender’s prior criminal record, the jurisdiction where the crime took place and other factors.