If you’ve been indicted in a federal court or you are under investigation for a federal level crime, you will need to retain the best possible federal crimes attorney you can find. While there is no single hard and fast rule for making such an important decision, you can start by understanding that there are several differences between being charged with a federal crime vs. being charged with a state crime.
First, understand that there are 4,000 federal criminal statutes that apply throughout the United States. These laws focus on areas such as immigration laws, organized crime, anti-discrimination and civil rights laws, patent and copyright laws, drug laws, white-collar crimes, banking, counterfeiting and fraud laws, to name a few.
As you might guess, state crimes and laws differ by state, but generally fall under major crime categories such as murder, robbery, burglary, certain drug crimes, theft, kidnapping, sexual battery, and others. It’s important to note that when a crime crosses state lines, it will fall under federal jurisdiction.
Understanding these differences is critical when you begin your search for an attorney. It’s imperative to your defense that you find the right kind of attorney who has experience not only in defending the type of crime you’re accused of but that they have experience at the right level as well.
Although federal level crimes cover a broad spectrum, one of the most common classes of federal crimes that are charged is for fraud. Fraud comes in many forms and involves deliberately practicing deception to gain something unlawfully or unfairly. In some instances, fraud can be classified as a civil or a criminal case, but when larger numbers of people or larger amounts of money are involved, it will meet the test of being a federal level crime.
Some examples of fraud include: check or banking fraud, internet-based fraud, charities fraud, pyramid schemes, identity theft, insurance fraud, credit card fraud, wire fraud, and others.
When you retain an attorney such as Bill Peters to assist you with your fraud charges defense, there are several possible avenues he may be able to employ to defend you. Because fraud involves the intent to deceive, you may be able to claim that you did not have the requisite intent to commit fraud, in other words, the act you committed was through negligence or accidental. At other times, because a prosecutor has the burden of proving fraud, you may be able to claim insufficient evidence exists for a crime to be committed beyond a reasonable doubt. At other times, entrapment can be used as a defense, but this is a much more difficult course to follow.
Peters Law Firm serves clients in Scranton, Clarks Summit, Tunkhannock, Wyoming County and other surrounding Pennsylvania communities.