What Is a Federal Criminal Lawyer and When Do You Need One?


“What is a federal criminal lawyer and when do you need one?” These are just some of the questions that attorneys from Scrofano Law, PC, can answer. Call us now!

Who Is a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer?

You may have committed a federal offense that you now regret, or you might have merely become involved in someone else’s wrongdoings. Perhaps you engaged in a criminal activity unintentionally. Whatever may be the case, it is a good idea to hire a federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you have been charged with a crime by the federal authorities.

Irrespective of the reason behind your federal criminal charges or white-collar crimes, independently managing your case is generally not feasible. Consider hiring a federal criminal lawyer due to the complex nature of federal criminal law to help you make a convincing case.


What Are Federal Criminal Laws?

Federal criminal laws govern illegal acts categorized as crimes by the United States federal legislation. Offenses such as mail fraud, government tax fraud, interstate drug trafficking, or crimes on federal property are federal crimes. It may be advantageous to consider a federal mail fraud defense attorney for hire in mail and wire fraud cases in any jurisdiction of the United States.

Some offenses are only punishable by federal law, whereas other criminal activities, such as bank robbery and kidnapping, are punishable by both federal and state law. If you have questions regarding the classification of offenses, such as, “Is money laundering a federal crime?” contact a federal criminal defense lawyer today.

There are fewer categories of federal crimes because federal agencies can only enact laws when a federal or national interest is at risk. On the other hand, state lawmakers can pass laws on nearly any category subject to judicial review.

For instance, counterfeiting US banknotes is a criminal violation since the federal government is in charge of printing money.

Types of Federal Offenses


The following crimes are categorized as federal offenses:

  • A felony involving deception, fraud, or misrepresentation against the government or one of its agencies, such as fraud against the federal tax system, Medicaid fraud, or Small Business Administration (SBA) loan fraud.
  • Any offense on federal land or involving federal employees, such as a homicide in a national park or on an Indian reservation, a theft on a military base, or an assault on a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent.
  • A crime where the offender travels across state boundaries, such as kidnapping.
  • Importing child porn or engaging in global human trafficking are examples of immigration and customs offenses and also come under the purview of federal law.
  • An internet fraud scheme with victims and offenders in numerous states or a crime where the criminal activity crosses state boundaries.


What Makes You a Federal Criminal?

You become a federal criminal when you violate federal laws of the United States or engage in criminal activity in numerous states, such as in cases of wire fraud, commercial fraud, and drug trafficking.

A federal prosecutor will investigate the situation and file charges against the person allegedly responsible for the criminal conduct.

What Does a Federal Criminal Lawyer Do?

A federal criminal defense lawyer can advise and represent you in court if someone accuses you of a federal crime. One of their main objectives is to assist you in avoiding or minimizing the following penalties:

  • Federal prison sentences
  • Fines
  • Probation


What Are Some Commonly Used Criminal Defenses?

A federal criminal lawyer, such as a DC federal bribery attorney, can investigate, represent and collaborate with you to help get a better result in the federal criminal case.

Below is a list of arguments that an attorney commonly uses to defend the accusations made against you:


Serious crimes such as battery, assault, and murder may be committed by people who resort to violence to protect themselves.

An attorney in such cases may argue self-defense and demonstrate that the use of force was necessary and appropriate to the level of threat faced by the defendant.

Affirmative Defense

In this type of defense, the defendants refute the claims of the federal judge, and their attorney aids with an affirmative defense. Examples of affirmative defenses include providing an alibi or an explanation, such as self-defense.

A positive federal criminal defense strategy works to disprove the most critical components of the prosecution’s case rather than necessarily attacking every facet of it.

Violations of Constitutional Rights

Certain rights are enshrined in both the US Constitution and some state constitutions to shield citizens from unjustified incursions of the state. Accordingly, individuals facing charges from coerced confessions or unlawful searches and seizures may choose to argue this defense.

The federal court might have to dismiss the case if evidence stems from constitutional infractions.

Coercion and Duress

For this defense to be valid, the offense must not have been committed voluntarily. In such a case, a criminal defense lawyer might argue that that person was coerced or under duress.

For example, threats of using unlawful force against the accused or someone close to them, such as a family member, may demonstrate that they behaved out of fear and a lack of desire to engage in criminal activity.

How Long Do Federal Criminal Investigations Take?

A federal criminal investigation may take a long time. Federal courts may spend years looking into a case before filing any federal criminal justice charges.

Investigations are also frequently conducted secretly, classifying relevant records and reports. Furthermore, officials involved in the investigation may have instructions not to discuss it publicly.

What Are the Most Common Federal Crimes?

Cases concerning drugs, immigration, gun violence, and instances involving fraud, robbery, or embezzlement made up 83.1% of all reported cases to the federal court.

In the 2021 fiscal year, drug charges made up 31.3% of all federal criminal cases, surpassing immigration crimes as the most frequent federal crime.

Contact Scrofano Law for understanding the role of a federal drug lawyer.

How Can a Federal Defense Attorney Help?

Hiring a federal criminal lawyer is beneficial if you are charged with a federal offense since there are significant differences between dealing with allegations in state and federal courts. Furthermore, they can help you understand legal concepts more effectively. For instance, you may want to understand the difference between federal blackmail and extortion.

A federal defense lawyer can walk you through your alternatives and help you build a strong case. Additionally, they can help you formulate a defense strategy for your case.

At Scrofano Law, PC, we have a legion of experienced lawyers to help you find justice in your federal criminal case. Contact our federal criminal defense attorney today to schedule a consultation.


We Fight for Your Rights!