Are You Facing Federal Criminal Charges?
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If you have been charged with a federal crime such as a violation of a federal statute, a crime committed on federal property (such as federal building or national park), a state crime committed on federal property (such as a military base or national park), a criminal activity that crossed state lines, an investigation/arrest by federal agency (such as FBI or DEA), or an arrest based on information obtained from a federal informant during a federal-level investigation.
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COMMON FEDERAL CRIMINAL CHARGES
- Racketeering/RICO : In general, racketeering involves interference with commerce using violence or threats, including extortion and robbery, and other crimes, such as money laundering (18 U.S. Code §1951-1960). The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (18 U.S. Code §1961-1968) is how federal authorities charge many individuals involved in organized crime, including but not limited to criminal conduct related to drugs, weapons, human trafficking, and the collection of unlawful debt. RICO encompasses dozens of crimes and specifically allows leaders of criminal organizations to be charged for conduct they ordered other people to perform. For every count of violating RICO, you can be imprisoned for up to 20 years.
- Conspiracy: Under 18 U.S. Code §371, you may be charged with conspiracy if federal authorities gain evidence that you and at least one other person planned and took at least one overt act toward completing a specific federal crime. If convicted of conspiracy, you can be fined and imprisoned for up to five years. Except, if the attempted crime was a misdemeanor, then the maximum penalty is that of the attempted misdemeanor offense.
- Federal Drug Crimes : Drug manufacturing, possessing, selling, and trafficking are all illegal under federal law (21 U.S. Code §841-865). In most situations, simple possession and sales are charged under state law. However, when a drug offense includes large quantities of controlled substances, trafficking allegations, or the drugs crossed state lines, then it is more likely to be charged as a federal crime. Federal drug charges are harshly penalized, which is why you should have a federal criminal defense attorney represent you.
- Federal DWI : If you are driving your personal vehicle on a military base, in a national park, or on other federal property and you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .08 percent, you can be charged with DUI/DWI under various federal laws. This is a misdemeanor offense for which you can be penalized with fines, months in prison, and years of probation. Also, if you are arrested for operating a common carrier under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance, you can be imprisoned for up to 15 years (18 U.S. Code §342). A common carrier includes vehicles involved in commerce by carrying passengers or goods on the ground, in the air, or across the water. Common carriers can be buses, trucks, ships, planes, and more.
- Federal Gun Crimes : In addition to the typical North Carolina firearm offenses, there are two main federal firearm charges: Felon in possession of a firearm and/or Ammunition (18 U.S. Code § 922(g)) and Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence or drug trafficking (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)). These federal gun charges are aggressively pursued, and convictions could result in significant mandatory minimum prison sentences and in some circumstances up to life imprisonment.
- Possession of Child Pornography : Child pornography charges may be federal when the materials are transported across state lines or if they originate outside of the United States. Federal penalties can be much harsher than state fines and prison time, so it’s important to work with a federal sex crimes lawyer to handle these charges from the beginning.
About Ryan Ames, Partner -
Federal Criminal Defense Attorney and Litigator
Ryan Ames focuses his practice on criminal defense, including DWI charges, in both state and federal courts. He works hard to help clients facing criminal charges to navigate an overwhelming and stressful time while providing them skilled legal service.
Prior to joining SeiferFlatow, Ryan lived in Washington, DC and worked as a trial attorney in Northern Virginia. He has significant courtroom experience, having handled hundreds of trials in over twenty different jurisdictions.
Ryan’s peers recognized him as one of North Carolina’s “Top 40 Trial Lawyers Under 40”. He is a member of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association and the Mecklenburg County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.
Ryan is admitted to practice in North Carolina and Virginia, as well as in the United States Federal Court for North Carolina and Virginia.
"Ryan Ames was there for me always on court and was very compentent. He always let us know the steps he was going to take in my case and all of the possible outcomes. Highly recommend."