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Unlike state charges, federal crimes involve more serious offenses investigated by federal agencies such as the FBI, DEA, the ATF, and other federal investigatory units. Federal cases are prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the district where the offense took place.

The criminal defense attorneys at our firm have a background in public defense and state prosecution—vital knowledge they use when preparing your defense. If you are currently under investigation, early intervention by our office will ensure your rights are protected and may help prevent formal charges. Immediate involvement in the case is crucial so contact us now.

The Las Vegas federal crimes defense attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter have the experience you need to get involved immediately with your case, handle all communication with federal prosecutors, and stand by your side throughout this entire process.

Have you been accused of a federal offense?

Being accused of a federal crime involves you in a process quite different than if you were charged with a state crime. The process is generally more complex and federal prosecutors can be particularly relentless and aggressive. Penalties also tend to be severe. It is vital you have a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer fighting on your side if you have been accused.

Federal offenses can include crimes such as the following:

  • Bank Robbery: Per 18 U.S.C. § 2113, bank robbery carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to 20 years and/or heavy fines. In order for a conviction to stand, the defendant must be found guilty of taking and carrying away by means of force or intimidation.
  • Bribery: This is a federal offense according to 18 U.S.C. Chapter 11. § 202 of this chapter gives the definitions of the different types of bribery. It is against the law to bribe a public official, a witness, members of Congress, and certain other individuals.
  • Certain Firearm Crimes: 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 outlines the federal offenses involving the use/possession of firearms. Per § 922, it is unlawful to import, manufacture, or otherwise “deal” firearms without a license. It is also unlawful to sell or give a firearm/ammunition to an individual if that individual is an illegal alien or has been convicted of a crime where the punishment is imprisonment for more than one year.
  • Certain Drug Crimes: Certain drug crimes are federal offenses per the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. For example, it is against federal law to transport drugs from one state to another just as it is illegal to transport drugs into the United States from another country.
  • Counterfeiting: 18 U.S.C. Chapter 25 deals with the federal crime of counterfeiting. Unlawful acts such as counterfeit obligations, dealing in counterfeit securities, imitating securities or advertisements, and the like can all be found in sections of Chapter 25.
  • Cybercrimes: 18 U.S.C. § 1030 is the section of the United States Code that deals with “fraud and related activity in connection with computers.” Other than crimes of fraud, such as credit card fraud, cybercrimes can also involve sex crimes over the internet such as chat room misconduct, child pornography, and online solicitation.
  • Embezzlement: 18 U.S.C. Chapter 31 deals with crimes of embezzlement and theft on a federal level. For example, crimes involving public money, property, and records.
  • Healthcare Fraud: According to 18 U.S.C. § 1347, it is illegal to knowingly and willfully execute (or attempt) to defraud any healthcare benefit program and related offenses. Possible imprisonment terms could be 10 or 20 years plus fines.
  • Mail Fraud: Mail fraud is unlawful per 18 U.S.C. Chapter 63. Some examples of mail fraud offenses include giving a fictitious name or address or attempting to scheme or defraud a person by means of mailed letters.
  • Racketeering: RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in 18 U.S.C. Chapter 96. Racketeering involves obtaining money by means of an illegal enterprise. Simply put, RICO deals with organized crime.
  • Tax Evasion: If you have been notified of an investigation from the Internal Revenue Service, you could be facing tax evasion charges detailed in 26 U.S.C. § 7201.
  • Terrorism: 18 U.S.C. Chapter 113B deals with federal crimes defined as terrorism. Acts of terrorism against the U.S. are dealt with severely, especially after the attacks on 9/11.
  • Wire Fraud: Fraud by means of wire, radio or television is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. This crime is detailed in 18 U.S.C. § 1343.

Possible Penalties for a Federal Crime Conviction

It is crucial to point out that federal crimes are not the same thing as state crimes. With these offenses, the federal government will be responsible for bringing charges and prosecuting you. This has significant implications when it comes to sentencing. Federal judges are steered by the federal sentencing guidelines when they have to sentence the person after conviction.

There are mandatory minimum sentences in the federal statutes, which means that federal sentences tend to be more lengthy than state sentences. This can be confusing for a person who looks at similar charges at both the state and federal level and sees vastly different possible outcomes. Even if the crimes are similar, a person with a federal conviction will likely face a much harsher penalty than a person convicted at the state level.

If a person is convicted of a federal crime in Las Vegas, Nevada, a judge will set a date for sentencing. Sentencing in these cases could include:

  • Time in federal prison
  • Fines
  • Community service

Can You Face Both State and Federal Charges?

Above, we mentioned that federal sentencing differs from state sentencing guidelines, even if there are similar crimes. We also need to point out that a person can face both state and federal charges for the same crime. In some cases, you often see that either the state waits for a federal court to conclude before pursuing their case against a person, or vice versa. While this may seem to violate the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment prohibition against double jeopardy, that is not the case. Double jeopardy only applies to one jurisdiction at a time, but the federal court and Nevada court are completely different jurisdictions.

At Okabe & Haushalter, our federal crimes defense attorneys also have extensive experience handling state criminal defense matters in Nevada. Our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys are fully prepared to represent a person facing charges at both the state and federal levels. In some cases, we may be able to work to get the charges at either the state or federal level dismissed and focus only on one set of charges. However, even if this is not possible, we have no problem fully defending our clients had both levels.

Legal Representation & Your Defense

At Okabe & Haushalter, we can conduct our own investigation and seek to locate evidence that can be used in your defense. The sooner you retain our services, the better as we can take prompt action to assist you. If you are under investigation but charges have not yet been filed, we may be able to dissuade prosecutors from pursuing your case. Otherwise, it may be possible for us to have lesser charges pressed, thus reducing the potential penalties and effect on your record and future. If charges have been filed, we will attempt to conclude your case favorably without going to trial. We are, however, fully prepared to aggressively defend you in court and will pursue all legal means in our endeavor to achieve an acquittal.

Contact a Las Vegas federal crime lawyer if you are under investigation for or have been charged with a federal offense so you can have strong legal representation.