If you read the news, specifically when it comes to teachers being charged for having sex with students, or people being accused of having child porn, then you’ve probably heard the term “federal charges.” And chances are, you know that there’s a difference between criminal charges brought by the state of Michigan against someone, and federal charges, which mean the charges are being brought by the federal government. But what exactly is the difference, and does it really matter?
Answer: Absolutely! It matters a lot!
Just because something is illegal in the state of Michigan, and also illegal under federal law, doesn’t mean it’ll be handled in the same way. Not sure what we mean? Think about it this way: Child pornography is illegal under Michigan law. It’s also illegal under federal law. But what’s the difference? Well, under Michigan law a person convicted of producing child pornography would be looking at 20 years in prison max. Under federal law the maximum is 30 years.
So as you can see, there’s a significant difference in how sex crimes are handled by the state and by the feds. So what does that mean for you? Surely if you’re convicted of a sex crime in Michigan you’ll be facing charges from the state, which means you’re looking at a more lenient sentence? Maybe not.
DAs sometimes hand off cases to the feds!
District Attorneys here in Michigan are aware of the fact that punishments under federal law are often much more harsh than under state law. Which is why, in many cases, they hand off the charges to the feds, hoping it’ll earn the accused a longer prison sentence. If you’re being charged in a federal court (and yes, we have several of those here in MIchigan, as they do in every state), it means you’re fighting a much large battle, on a much bigger battle field!
The feds have much deeper pockets, which means the prosecutor you’re up against in a federal case has access to the most expensive expert witnesses who can provide whatever testimony supports their case. It also means you’re going to need a defense lawyer who is licensed to practice in federal court (not all lawyers are!). And access to experts is only one reason your lawyer better be good!
The feds have different rules they operate by.
Unlike the state, federal prosecutors are under no obligation to provide you or your attorney with police reports or witness statements. Which means you have no idea what they’ve got on you, and the law says they don’t have to show you (scary!) That’s why it’s so important to hire a law firm that has a legal defense team with the capability of conducting its own in-depth and thorough investigations on your behalf. You definitely wouldn’t want to be clueless about what a witness against you is going to say about you in court!
So if you or a loved one have been accused of a sex crime by the federal government, call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail). Our highly skilled and experienced sex crime defense attorneys have decades of experience defending people against allegations in both state and federal courts around Michigan. We’ve been doing this since last century and we’re very good at it, which is exactly what you need if you’re up against the feds!