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Federal criminal charges are taken very seriously. Punishment for federal crimes can be rather severe and may include imprisonment in federal prison. If you or someone you care about has been charged with a federal crime, reach out to an aggressive, compassionate criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the federal criminal justice system.

Our experienced federal crime attorneys at MC Criminal Law have decades of combined experience successfully defending people in Dallas, Texas, and throughout North Texas against federal charges. As former prosecutors in Dallas County and reliable defense attorneys, we have earned a reputation for our unwavering commitment to clients. We have built valuable relationships with local law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges, which may make all the difference in your case.



Understanding Federal Crimes

Federal criminal proceedings can be categorized into three broad categories:

  1. Subject matter jurisdiction. The U.S. Constitution grants the federal government exclusive authority to hear specific types of criminal matters. The exclusive authority is also referred to as “subject matter jurisdiction.” The following matters may require subject matter jurisdiction: immigration, bankruptcy, money regulation, coining, patents, and the Postal Service. Common types of criminal offenses that fall under the category of subject matter jurisdiction include mail fraud, money counterfeiting, and bankruptcy fraud, among others.

  2. Crimes across state lines. When a criminal offense crosses or is committed across state lines, it can be elevated to a federal crime. However, if an individual commits separate criminal offenses in different states, they will usually be prosecuted at a state level. Common types of federal crimes across state lines include drug trafficking, firearms-related crimes, mail and wire fraud, kidnapping, human trafficking, and others. 

  3. Crimes on federal property. Criminal offenses committed on federal property are usually prosecuted at a federal level. Common types of crimes that may occur on federal property include assault, theft, arson, vandalism, drug-related crimes, kidnapping, theft, trespassing, and others. For the purposes of prosecution, the term “federal property” is defined as any area owned, leased, occupied, or administered by the federal government. Common examples of federal property include federal prisons, national parks, federal courthouses, and other buildings, lands, or real property that meet the definition of “federal property.”

According to the United States Sentencing Commission, there were 64,659 federal criminal cases in 2020 in which the offender was sentenced. Compared to 2010, the number of federal crime cases in which the offender received a sentence decreased by 30%. However, this does not mean that federal crimes accusations aren’t something you need to take very seriously.

Examples of Federal Crimes

A criminal offense can be elevated to a federal crime if it meets any of the above-mentioned criteria (subject matter jurisdiction, crimes across state lines, or crimes on federal property). Some examples of federal crimes include:

  • Drug trafficking

  • Counterfeiting

  • Money laundering

  • White-collar crimes

  • Mail and wire fraud

  • Human trafficking

  • Identity theft

  • Cyber cries

  • Securities fraud

  • Bankruptcy fraud

  • Healthcare fraud

  • Tax fraud or evasion

  • Immigration law violations

Regardless of what federal crime you are facing, contact a federal crime attorney in Dallas, Texas, who will work with investigators and expert witnesses to build a strong defense strategy on your behalf.

Overlap of Federal & State Laws

It is not uncommon for federal and state laws to overlap. When this happens, prosecutors may want to prosecute the alleged criminal offense at both a federal and state level. However, the Fifth Amendment protects people from being prosecuted twice for the same crime. This is known as the “double jeopardy” clause. When there is an overlap of federal and state laws, both federal and state courts have jurisdiction over the matter. 

The Federal Crime Process

The federal criminal justice system involves rules and procedures that differ from state criminal procedures. Many people being investigated by federal authorities or charged with a federal crime do not understand how the federal crime process works. Individuals can be arrested during the federal criminal investigation process before any charges are filed.

Once a criminal complaint is filed and the defendant becomes aware of the complaint, the government must present their case and evidence to a grand jury within 30 days. A grand jury indictment is a formal instrument used to file federal criminal charges against the defendant. A federal grand jury consists of between 16 and 23 panel members. The defendant may testify before the grand jury.

It is never recommended to speak to law enforcement, testify before the grand jury, or otherwise attempt to handle your federal crime case on your own. The federal court process involves very specific procedural requirements and rules, which is why you’ll need to hire a federal crimes lawyer to fight for the best possible outcome in your case.


If federal authorities launched an investigation or filed criminal charges against you, you might feel overwhelmed. Contact a federal crime attorney as soon as possible. At MC Criminal Law, we have successfully handled numerous federal crime cases. Our federal crime attorneys have decades of combined experience representing clients in criminal matters at a state and federal level. We provide creative, effective, and caring solutions to our clients in Dallas, Texas, and other parts of North Texas, including McKinney, Fort Worth, and Denton.


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