When it comes to theft, jurisdiction usually falls under state law. In the case of Washington, Pennsylvania state law applies. However, certain types of theft that are considered federal crimes are taken to trial in federal courts. If you find yourself accused of stealing federal property or engaging in interstate commerce, you may face charges for a federal theft crime. In such a situation, it is crucial to consult a Washington PA crime lawyer.
A few Facts About Federal Theft
Federal theft crimes encompass thefts that cross state lines or involve federal agencies.
Property owned by the government, including computers, trucks, data, and documents, falls under the purview of federal theft laws. Regardless of the value of the stolen item, federal prosecutors actively pursue such cases.
Misappropriation of government funds, including loans and grants, is also prosecuted as a federal theft crime.
Identity theft and illegal downloading are classified as interstate theft and are tried in federal court.
What’s the Difference Between Federal and State Court?
Now, you may wonder about the difference between federal and state court. The federal court system is more intricate than state courts, and the processes and procedures greatly differ from Pennsylvania’s state courts. A theft crime attorney in Washington can help clarify the distinctions. Notably, federal courts utilize distinct and complex sentencing guidelines for determining punishments in federal crime convictions.
Furthermore, federal prosecutors have access to extensive resources that state prosecutors cannot utilize. For instance, federal prosecutors can cite the findings of ongoing investigations conducted by federal agents, which are not accessible to Washington PA DUI lawyers.
The Consequences of Federal Charges
The consequences of federal charges are severe. If you face charges brought by the federal government, you are likely to receive harsher sentences and steeper fines compared to facing similar charges at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania level.
Want to Learn More About Federal Crimes?
If you want to learn more about federal crimes, visit the United States Code for additional information on federal crimes, including theft.
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