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When is a Crime Considered to Be a Federal Offense in Texas?

 Posted on June 09, 2021 in Criminal Defense

Midland criminal defense lawyerIf you have ever heard someone mention the term “federal offense,” they were talking about a crime that is illegal in the eyes of the federal government. These offenses cover a wide range of subjects, from drug charges, like the sale or manufacture of controlled substances, or possibly even more serious charges, such as murder. In some cases, a crime can incur both federal and state criminal charges. Having someone by your side who handles both types of charges is important for success when you have been accused of breaking the law.

Common Factors in Federal Cases

If you have been charged with a crime, you may be wondering how the government determines whether a crime is charged in federal or state court. In typical cases, jurisdiction is first determined by the location of the crime. If a crime takes place in Texas, it will likely be under Texas’ jurisdiction for prosecution. Some crimes violate only Texas state law, however, many crimes violate both state and federal statutes. This leads to the question, “What gives a crime federal jurisdiction?” Some of the most common reasons crimes are charged as federal crimes include:

  • The crime took place in more than one state or across state lines.
  • The crime violated federal statutes.
  • The crime took place on or involved federal property, including National Parks.
  • The crime occurred off land in U.S. maritime jurisdiction.
  • The case involved an ambassador, public minister, or consul.
  • The case involved a citizen of another country.

Facing Both State and Federal Charges

In some cases, a person may face both state and federal charges for the same incident. While some people may think this violates the “double jeopardy” clause in the Constitution, it does not. The Fifth Amendment states that nobody should be subject to charges for the same crime twice. However, since the state and federal governments are two separate governmental entities under the idea of “dual sovereignty,” they both have the right to impose criminal charges under certain circumstances.

Speak to a Texas Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, including both state and federal charges, you should contact our knowledgeable Midland, TX criminal defense lawyers right away. At the Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, we can help you with any charges you may be facing. To begin discussing your case, call our office today at 512-474-2222 to schedule a free consultation.



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