When a crime is committed on federal property, that crime can be elevated to a federal charge, even if it would normally be pursued at the state or local level. Unfortunately, federal property crimes are much more severe than the state equivalent. The result can be a seemingly minor offense turning into a serious felony with a lifetime of repercussions.
If you stand charged with a federal property crime, don’t face it alone. You need to talk to an experienced Los Angeles federal property crimes lawyer. At the Simmrin Law Group, we offer legal help from some of the best federal defense lawyers in the state.
We are proud to provide a hand-picked team of lawyers with a focus on federal charges. Let us fight for you. Simply fill out the form to the right or give us a call to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.
What Counts as a Federal Property Crime?
Technically, any crime committed while on the premises of federal property can be charged as a federal offense. These properties include post offices, federal government offices, military bases, and other federal lands. Even national parks and national forests count as federal property when it comes to property crimes.
A crime is deemed more serious if it targets the federal government or takes place on federal property. This is because any threat to the federal government is considered a threat to the stability of our country and an offense against the U.S. government itself.
Unfortunately, this legal doctrine is maintained even when the crime in question had nothing to do with the government. For example, simple graffiti on the back wall of a federal courthouse would be punished as a federal offense. A federal charge would be brought even if the graffiti was not anti-government and didn’t seek to attack the U.S. in any way.
For a free legal consultation with a federal property crime lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (310) 928-9347
What Are the Most Common Federal Property Crimes?
Although any crime becomes a federal offense if committed on federal property, some federal property crimes are more common than others. These include:
These crimes are the most common because they can easily be committed with innocent intentions while on federal property.
For example, the goal of theft at a federal facility may be to simply steal a small, inexpensive object. However, it is still treated as a crime against the U.S. government. In some cases, even neglecting to pay for an envelope at the post office could count as a federal crime.
Los Angeles Federal Property Crime Lawyer Near Me (310) 928-9347
What Counts as Federal Property/U.S. Government Land?
Federal property can include:
- Many airports
- All U.S. Post Offices
- Any national park or national forest
- Military bases
- Government buildings or complexes and their grounds
- Federal courthouses
- Parking lots located on federal land
- National monuments
- Any other property owned or operated by a federal agency
In some cases, the land or roads surrounding a federal property also count as federal property for the purposes of charging a crime.
What Makes a Federal Property Crime Different from a Standard Property Crime?
There are several factors that make a federal property crime different from a property crime committed on non-government premises. A few of these differences include:
- Prosecution at the federal level
- A felony charge
- Harsher penalties
Prosecution at the Federal Level
If you are charged with a federal crime, you will face federal prosecution. Facing a trial at the federal level is a far greater challenge than dealing with state-level prosecution. Federal prosecutors are highly experienced and can draw the resources of well-funded agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
They tend to put together stronger cases and have a high conviction rate. However, it is still possible to beat them. Hiring an experienced federal property crime lawyer in Los Angeles will put you in the best position for a victory.
A Felony Charge
Many property crimes are misdemeanors at the state level or are only felonies under certain circumstances. However, when a property crime is committed on federal property, not only is it prosecuted in federal court, but the crime is often bumped up from a misdemeanor to a felony. A conviction brands you with convicted felon status, which affects your career and other factors.
State charges often carry jail time or can be negotiated to no incarceration at all. Federal charges typically result in long prison sentences. The fines are also much worse. When up against such harsh penalties, it is critical that you have a Los Angeles federal crimes lawyer on your side. An experienced lawyer will give you the best chance to win your case or at least get the charges and sentencing reduced.
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Is It True I Can Be Prosecuted by the State and the Federal Government?
Yes. The Constitution guarantees that no citizen will be subject to “double jeopardy,” which protects defendants from being convicted of the same crime twice. Unfortunately, this has been interpreted as meaning you can’t face the same charge twice, and federal charges are separate from state charges.
That means that many people find themselves in the awful position of facing both federal and state charges related to the same crime.
You can be convicted of either or both. If convicted at the federal and the state level, you would serve a combined sentence for both of the separate charges. We consider this a horrible injustice, and we will fight for you in both of your legal battles to protect you from these charges.
Is It Possible to Defend Against a Federal Property Crime?
Absolutely. We have attorneys who have focused their entire careers on federal offenses and routinely win cases against the federal government. The best defense will depend on the specifics of your case.
When facing a federal property crime charge, your Los Angeles federal property crime lawyer may use various tactics to avoid even having to defend your case in federal court. These include:
- Filing a motion that the case be moved to state court rather than federal court
- Challenging the evidence itself and potentially getting the case dismissed
- Documenting any violation of your rights, which can also get your case dismissed or make it much easier to win
- Striking a plea bargain that reduces the charge or involves no prison time
If your case does proceed in federal court, many possible defenses can be used against the charge. Some of the most common arguments include:
- False accusation
- Mistaken identity
A stipulation of most federal property crimes is intent. If you accidentally committed a crime, you should not be found guilty. For instance, if you accidentally knocked something over and broke it, you did not commit an act of vandalism.
You may have been arrested for a federal property crime based on an accusation from another party. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why someone may falsely accuse another person of a crime.
The accuser may be the actual offender and attempting to divert attention. The accuser may also have a personal problem with the accused and use this as an opportunity for vengeance.
Witness memory is highly suspect, and often people are misidentified. You may match the description of the true culprit. It is also possible that you were present at the time of the crime, and the witness made a false connection between your face and the actual perpetrator.
Make Sure You Hire a Lawyer with Experience at the Federal Level
When your case is prosecuted at the federal level, it is important to hire an attorney with experience against federal prosecution. Federal offenses are severe, and the rules for federal court are different from state judiciary rules. Federal prosecutors are also generally tougher than state prosecutors.
How Much Does a Federal Property Crime Lawyer in Los Angeles Charge?
Unfortunately, the cost of hiring a federal criminal lawyer can be quite high. Federal lawyers tend to be among the best lawyers in the country, and the fees for their services tend to correlate.
At the Simmrin Law Group, we believe that everyone deserves experienced legal aid. We will work with you to find a way to win your case without bankrupting you in the process. You can sit down with a member of our team for a free, no-obligation case evaluation, and we’ll go from there.
Talk to a Los Angeles Federal Property Crimes Lawyer Today for Free
One federal conviction can take away years of your life and affect your rights forever. Don’t face the prosecutor alone. The lawyers of the Simmrin Law Group are ready to help fight these charges.
Simply fill out our online contact form or give us a call to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation today. One of our Los Angeles federal property crime lawyers will meet with you and review your case. They will advise you of your legal options and explain how we can help in your battle against these charges.