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What is a Federal Crime?

In virtually every jurisdiction a crime can be charged under a state law or under a similar federal law. The Northern Kentucky area is no different with the Federal District Court located in Covington in Kenton County. Federal crimes must be a violation of federal law and must concern or be involved with an "interstate" action. That is, there must somehow be more than one state involved. The decision on whether to charge as a state or federal crime may be based on the facts and applicable law, the investigative agency or a decision by local prosecutors. Certain crimes such as harboring illegal aliens and mail/wire fraud are only federal crimes while other crimes such as kidnapping, drug trafficking and theft or embezzlement may be chaged under state or federal laws. The agency involved may determine whether federal charges are filed. If a crime is investigaged by the FBI, INS, Secret Service or other federal agency, generally federal charges are brought. Drug and embezzlement cases are often result in federal charges if they are of a larger quantity or amount and involve multiple states. Often criminal cases are handled very differently in federal versus state court. A defendant may be invetigated or a target of an investigation long before a formal charge is made. Many times an attorney can negotiate the charges, culpability and even a sentence prior to an arrest in federal jurisdictions. If you have committed a crime or are under investigation or have been charged with a crime, you should contact an attorney who defends federal criminal cases. In Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, contact Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin@fuse.net or 859-581-6453.

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