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Phoenix Federal Crime Attorney

If you have been accused of a federal crime in Arizona, make sure that you speak to a Phoenix federal crime attorney with experience in handling these cases. Federal crimes often involve most “white collar crimes,” a relatively new subset of criminal law. White collar crimes emerged shortly after the Great Depression, signifying crimes relating to financially motivated non-violent crimes committed by business professionals. White collar crimes have since expanded from the early days to include many forms of corporate fraud and identity theft. These crimes have had vast repercussions on countless Americans today, drastically impacting our current economy. As a result, federal prosecutors have begun to hand down harsher sentences in recent years to curtail the number of financial federal crimes being committed in hopes of stifling criminal intent.

The classification of “federal crimes” often sends shivers down the most hardened criminals’ spine due to the implications that can arise from such crimes. State crimes are one thing since accused criminals are brought in local court to answer in state court for crimes they may have committed. However, federal crimes and charges involve a different set of procedural rules and penalties which every local attorney is not accustomed to.

Penalties for Federal Crimes in Arizona

Penalties and sentencing for federal crimes differ greatly from those at the state level. In general, federal crimes carry harsher sentences, for several reasons:

  • Federal statutes involve longer and harsher sentencing rules.
  • Maximum punishments are harsher at the federal level than the state level.
  • Federal prosecutors do not enjoy the same discretion as state-level prosecutors regarding plea-bargaining.
  • Federal judges do not have the same discretion in sentencing.
  • Under federal law, judges must follow strict guidelines for sentencing.
  • Federal crimes are more likely to carry additional punishment enhancements.

Several factors may influence the ultimate length of sentencing and punishment upon conviction for a federal crime. For example, a white-collar crime may carry severe punishments to begin with, but details may enhance sentencing, such as:

  • The length of the criminal activity
  • The number of people involved
  • The amount of damages related to the criminal activity

In federal sentencing, several factors that are not present or applicable in a state level case may affect a conviction. Combined with the fact that judges and prosecutors do not have much liberty with striking pleas or sentencing, federal crimes carry much harsher penalties in general. Additionally, a federal crime carries a sentence in federal prison, which is often further from home and has higher security.

Sentence Terms for a Federal Conviction

Finally, federal crimes differ from state crimes in that the actual time served is much longer. For a federal conviction, a person must serve at least 85% of the sentence before negotiating for an early release. At the state level, this percentage is usually around 50%. For example, a jail sentence of 10 years may only be five at the state level but will be at least 8.5 for a federal crime. In other words, federal sentencing is harsher than state-level sentencing in virtually every way.

What Kind of Crimes End Up in Federal Court?

Some crimes naturally fall under the federal purview if a federal law enforcement agency investigates it or completes the arrest. In some cases, a crime may rise to the federal level if it occurs on federal property. A common example of a federal crime involves illegal activity related to interstate commerce. Other examples of federal charges include:

  • Drug-related offenses, including trafficking
  • Bank robbery
  • Border crossing or smuggling illegal aliens
  • Child pornography
  • Mail fraud
  • Internet fraud
  • Organized crime
  • Money laundering
  • Securities fraud
  • Counterfeiting
  • Tax violations

Differences Between State and Federal Charges

As mentioned previously, federal crimes usually involve harsher sentences and maximum penalties. However, several other notable differences apply.

Many crimes, for example, are illegal at both the state and federal levels, but the federal government is most likely to defer to the state for many of them. In general, the state prosecutes more crimes than the federal government. However, the federal government may choose to intervene and exercise “dual sovereignty” in some cases. If this applies, a person may face charges for a crime at both the state and federal levels.

The federal government may choose to pursue charges when the entire nation’s welfare is at risk. Child pornography, for example, represents a threat to society and is a matter of federal law. In other cases, such as those involving interstate commerce or counterfeit money, the federal government intervenes simply to avoid the chaos of letting the states regulate the matter.

Overall, federal crimes involve more serious matters or criminal actions spanning several states. For this reason, the federal government often prosecutes them, and they may involve harsher penalties. Retaining the services of an Orent Law Firm attorney with experience in federal law can help you in this difficult situation.

Federal Court

Federal crimes encompass a unique section of the law which seems similar to state law but often contains more severe penalties. State court and federal court are also drastically different, causing an important distinction within the entire court process. The United States Attorney’s Office often have quite a bit more resources at their disposal than ordinary local and state offices do, thus have greater academic credentials than state or local prosecutors. Therefore federal cases can often be complex and lengthy, requiring a criminal defense attorney who understands the implications of a federal conviction as well as the federal court system in its entirety.

Examples of Federal Crimes

You may be subject to federal crimes prosecution for the following offenses:

  • Drug Trafficking
  • Human Trafficking (sex crimes)
  • Mail or wire fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Embezzlement

Orent Law Offices | Phoenix Federal Crime Attorney, Arizona

Not every criminal defense attorney has a background in federal crimes. It is a unique area of criminal defense which not only requires the licensing to practice in front of a federal court but also experience in the federal courtroom and the court system as a whole. If you have been arrested on suspicion of a federal crime, do not hesitate to contact the Phoenix criminal defense lawyers at Orent Law Offices. Craig Orent, Phoenix federal crime attorney, has over 25 years of experience in assisting clients to fight for their rights. He understands that federal charges are often quite removed from any state charges and have a completely different set of consequences to worry about. Federal criminal defense is a niche area of the law, which requires the best and brightest defense lawyers who have prior experience handling federal claims.


  • Client Review

    Great experience. Craig was honest and upfront from the get go. Always easy to get a hold of and professional. I would highly recommend Craig Orent as your choice for representation."
    D.H.