It’s important to know about the consequences, the elements working against you and what fighting your case will entail. And a good starting place to build your case is to note whether the crime you are up against is a state or federal one.
Learning the classification of a crime can help you and your legal team devise a defense plan that makes the most sense. Below are a few simple ways to determine whether the crime you’re accused of is beyond California state lines.
Simplifying federal crime classification:
- Investigation – When an agency that isn’t based out of a state office is involved in the investigation, the crime is federal. This is often the case with cyber, violent, tax, drug and immigration offenses. Some common agencies often involved in these types of crimes include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
- Place of crime – Even if a crime starts and ends in California, it may still be a federal crime. This is because if a crime takes place on federal property, like a national park or military base, it becomes a bigger deal. Also, a California resident could be looking at a federal charge if there was a visit to another state at any point in committing the crime.
- Scope – Coordination with a more extensive network, specifically with people outside of California, can make a crime federal. So, even when the person facing charges never left the state, when there are moving parts in one or more states, out-of-state agency involvement becomes necessary.
If you are a loved one engaged in a crime beyond the California border, it’s crucial to begin building your case as soon as possible. Because of the complexity of federal cases, time and care are essential to a strong defense plan.