03 Aug 23

How Do You Know If You’ve Been Charged With a Federal Crime?

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Last Updated on: 15th August 2023, 07:05 am

How to Determine If You’ve Been Charged with a Federal Crime

Ever been arrested and somehow you cannot tell in which category does that crime belong? Most people are often confused about whether the crime they suspected of committing is a federal crime or not. Before we look into what makes one know if he is charged with a federal crime, let us first understand what federal crime is. Federal crimes are those actions that illegalized by federal law and prosecuted in the courts of the federation. For example, kidnapping is a federal crime, and its trial can only be made through federation law courts. How can one tell if is involved in federal crime? Below are a few tips and factors that can help tell your status.

Arrested by federal agents

Usually, arrests are made by local police. Anytime you see that agents of the federal government have arrested you, it is clear that you are facing federal criminal charges. This is because these federal agents only are involved in matters of interest to the federal government. These agents include the FB, secret service among other federal watchdogs of the law. Anytime time you see someone being physically brought to custody by the FBI, be sure he or she is charged with a federal crime.

Federal law courts

This may sound obvious, but it is another vital sign that someone has been charged with a federal crime. These federal courts are only for trials and interpretation of matters regarding the federal laws. In case you find yourself or someone you know being arraigned in the federal courts, you can conclude that charges are those of a federal crime. This is because, in federal law courts, the application Federal of federal laws is paramount. So if presented in a federal court, you are charged with a federal crime.

Federal Prosecutors

This is another way of telling whether you are charged with a federal crime. If you or your attorney receives courts summons from federal prosecutors, it is evident that you have been charged of a federal crime. These court summonses from the prosecutor are often the charge sheets with your details, details of the crime you are being accused of, the complaints and court procedures. It is also good to note that these summonses are a gesture of respect because the alternative is you being arrested by the FBI. Every time you receive a court summons by a federal prosecutor, there you go, it is a federal charge.

Nature of the crime

Here, it can be slightly tricky and hard to tell. It is not as obvious as the other signs, but it is the most important sign since it directly involves you and it is within your knowledge. There are crimes that if you find yourself in, probably you will be charged with a federal crime. These types of crime include but not limited to, terrorism, kidnapping, sexual offences, drugs, bank theft, immigration offences, planned crime, special metal, minerals gem theft crimes, counterintelligence, civil and human rights violations, cyber and technological crimes, white –collar crimes, attempt or assassination of the president or the deputy president and finally Indiana county crime. If you are involved in any crime in the list above, there is a high likely hood that you will be charged with a federal crime.

Not charged

Sometimes we are encountered by federal agents tracking us down to our homes. Taking times to interrogate us on some issues. Under such circumstances, it is important to know that you are not charged. It is just a normal legal procedure they follow in a certain matter of interest. Mostly is always an investigation that in one way or another you are involved either as target/victim, subject or a crucial witness of a crime.

FBI may also come to your home with search warranties to search your premises in search of proof and leads to some crime. Even at this moment you are still not charged until something incriminating is found against you. At this point, if you have an attorney, his services are essential. He will guide you on how to answer questions and also inquire on your behalf if charges are made or when, if any, they are going to be made. An attorney at this stage is a very vital asset.

Finally, it is also important that many types of federal delinquencies are also illegal at the state’s level, but it is true to say that only specific illegal activity that happens on federal property or American reserves are considered illegal at federal level. Most federal crimes have a limitation statute meaning that the suspect cannot be prosecuted after three years are over unless the crime is punishable by death, or it is a sexual crime or crimes of terror. By considering the above points, you can tell when you are charged with federal charges.

How Do You Know If You’ve Been Charged With a Federal Crime?

Being charged with a federal crime can be an overwhelming experience. It can be made even more overwhelming if you’re unclear about whether you’ve even been charged with a crime. As a citizen, you have every right to a fair trial and investigation. This is how to know if you’ve been charged with a federal crime.


There’s not much ambiguity when law enforcement arrives, places you in handcuffs, and reads you your rights. If you’re still unsure about whether or not you’ve been federally charged, as opposed to just charged by local law enforcement, see if your arresting officers are federally-based, such as FBI.

Charged Without Arrest

You don’t have to be put in handcuffs to be charged with a federal crime. You might receive a notice in the mail summoning you to federal court and detailing the charges. Make sure to read this to verify that these are indeed federal charges. As long as you’re keeping up with your mail, you should have enough time to make the necessary provisions to appear in court at their requested date. If you have a personal attorney, make sure to consult with them regarding the charges. You want to ensure that they will be available to represent you.

Investigation Without Arrest

Just because federal officers don’t have a warrant to arrest you’re in the clear. You might be greeted one day by FBI agents possessing a search warrant who look around your home. This means a judge has determined there’s enough of a possibility of incriminating evidence to allow for a search of your home. You need to understand your rights. Don’t be afraid to request physical evidence of a warrant. You also should remember to adhere to your right to remain silent, even if you haven’t been placed under arrest.

What To Say

If you learn or suspect that you’re under investigation for a federal crime, there might be an impulse to try to cover your tracks and insist upon your innocence, either at the time of a raid or when under questioning. This can greatly sabotage your case, as answering questions could leave you open to being caught in contradictions that could cast doubts over your innocence. You also shouldn’t be discussing your case with anyone but your attorney. The matters of your case should be considered confidential. Discussing them with others leaves them liable for questioning and investigation themselves. You could end up making your case even more complicated by discussing it.

What To Do

When you’ve been charged with a federal crime or are facing investigation, the best thing to do is nothing. You will need to consult with your lawyer and cooperate with authorities, but don’t do anything unless you’ve been specifically advised to do so. Do not tamper with evidence under any circumstances. Any files or documents that have been marked as evidence need to be kept intact. You could face additional charges of obstruction of justice. This also includes requesting any witnesses to your case recant or modify their testimony.

Legal Counsel

The right attorney can make all the difference when it comes to a federal investigation. If you’re in an industry that is frequently subject to federal charges, it would be wise to have a lawyer who can help to make sure you’re following all federal statutes to avoid the possibility of an investigation. Should you end up charged, you will have a better chance of fighting your case thanks to the guidance they’ve provided for you. Listen to their advice and do your best to face these circumstances with your head held high.

Transparency in the Legal System

There needs to be as much transparency in our legal system. By holding those in power responsible for communicating about the state of your case, you’re showing that you take your rights very seriously. With the counsel of an experienced and dedicated attorney, you can have the best possible experience your case.