27 Nov 23

Most Common Federal Crimes Prosecuted in Philadelphia

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Last Updated on: 4th January 2024, 08:45 pm


The Most Common Federal Crimes Seen in Philly Courts

If you find yourself in trouble with the law in Philadelphia, chances are it’ll be for one of these federal charges. Let’s take a look at the most commonly prosecuted federal crimes here in Philly and what you can expect if accused.

Drug Trafficking

It probably comes as no surprise that drug crimes, especially trafficking, are among the most common federal charges in Philadelphia. Our city has long struggled with issues of addiction and illegal drug sales. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in just one recent case, 22 people were charged with trafficking heroin, fentanyl, and crack cocaine on Philly streets.

Federal drug trafficking charges are no joke and can carry some hefty penalties if convicted. We’re talking years or even decades behind bars plus massive fines. Not to mention that having a felony drug conviction on your record makes life extremely difficult after release.

So you definitely want to avoid getting wrapped up in anything drug-related if possible. But if you do find yourself facing federal drug trafficking charges, be sure to get an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side right away.

Firearms Offenses

With the gun violence epidemic plaguing Philly, it’s probably not shocking that federal weapons charges are also common here. Felon in possession and selling guns illegally seem to be the most frequent firearms offenses prosecuted.

Because of Philly’s crisis with shootings, the feds often get involved in gun cases to try and get repeat, dangerous offenders off the streets. But even if you have a past record, getting caught with a gun can trigger excessive punishment.

Mandatory minimums, sentencing enhancements, and the “armed career criminal” designation can lead to outsized prison terms for gun convictions. And it’s crucial to remember that the feds win a majority of the cases they bring to trial.

Having a top-notch federal defense lawyer to argue against the charges or work out a favorable plea deal makes all the difference if you end up accused of a federal gun crime.

Financial Fraud

White collar financial crimes are yet another common type of federal case seen in the Philadelphia area. With big banks, investment firms, accounting offices, and other financial businesses based here, financial fraud charges definitely come up a lot.

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Some of the specific financial fraud and embezzlement-type charges frequently prosecuted include wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, identity theft, credit card fraud, securities fraud, Ponzi schemes, mortgage fraud, elder fraud, and more.

These types of federal financial cases can be extremely complex, involving reams of records, transactions, communications, and evidence. Skilled white collar defense attorneys are absolutely vital for mounting a strong defense.

And even if the evidence seems stacked against you, experienced lawyers may be able to get charges dismissed or reduced or work out a favorable plea agreement to avoid harsh punishment.

Child Pornography

Sadly, Philadelphia has seen a large number of recent federal prosecutions related to child pornography and exploitation. With the internet making this disgusting material easier to access and distribute, federal authorities have been cracking down hard on offenders.

Charges like possession, distribution, and production of child pornography typically result in severe mandatory minimum sentences upon conviction. And the emotional harm these crimes inflict on vulnerable young victims just adds an extra layer of awfulness.

Anyone facing federal child porn allegations definitely needs a top-notch defense team to try and avoid draconian punishment. Skilled lawyers can often get charges reduced or dismissed when flaws exist in the investigation or evidence collection.

While the crimes themselves are undeniably awful, even those accused of child pornography still deserve zealous representation to protect their rights and future.

Corruption & Abuse of Power

When public officials or others in positions of power abuse their roles or profit illegally, it often triggers federal charges. Corruption, bribery, extortion, racketeering, money laundering, wire fraud, and other such offenses are commonly seen in Philadelphia courts.

From crooked ward leaders to embezzling sheriffs, various figures of authority face prosecution for misusing their influence and public trust.

These complex white collar cases call for top-tier legal representation to analyze records, follow the money trail, challenge questionable evidence, mount an aggressive defense, and negotiate for leniency if needed.

Immigration Violations

Given Philadelphia’s diverse immigrant population, immigration-related crimes also show up frequently on federal court dockets. Charges like illegal reentry after deportation, visa fraud, passport fraud, human trafficking, alien smuggling, and false citizenship claims arise somewhat regularly.

The consequences of convictions can be severe, including huge fines, yearslong prison terms, and deportation. Vigorous criminal and immigration defense lawyers are essential for trying to avoid dire outcomes in federal immigration cases.

Skilled attorneys may manage to get charges dismissed due to unlawful arrests, improper evidence gathering, lack of proof, or other deficiencies in the prosecution’s case.

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What To Do If Facing Federal Charges

So those are among the most common federal cases seen in Philadelphia’s courts. If you or a loved one end up accused of a federal crime, staying calm and seeking experienced legal help right away are absolutely vital.

A qualified federal defense lawyer can analyze the charges and evidence against you, protect your rights, mount an aggressive defense, and negotiate for reduced or dismissed charges if possible. Don’t leave your future up to chance and try going it alone against skilled federal prosecutors.

With so much on the line, investing in a top-notch federal defense attorney is truly critical for anyone facing prosecution in Philadelphia’s tough-on-crime federal courts.