If you commit a crime in Illinois, you may be dealt with in the state courts or the federal courts, depending on the nature of the offense.
Typically, federal offenses carry stiffer penalties. Not all attorneys are geared up to defend you from these offenses.
The majority of crimes are committed at a state level. They include DUI, property damage, theft, and battery.
However, the federal authorities may get involved when crimes cross state lines or national borders or are committed against federal property.
Cases dealt with at a federal level can include:
· Robberies such as those involving a bank which holds deposits insured by a federal agency.
· Bringing illegal drugs into the country or across state lines
· Human trafficking
· Child pornography cases that cross state lines.
· Major gang cases
· Use of the U.S. mail service to defraud people.
· Other white collar crimes.
· Immigration offenses
· Healthcare fraud.
By their very nature, federal crimes can be complicated cases. They also carry very severe sentences. If you are accused of child pornography offenses, you can face a sentence of 12-2- years in a federal prison for a first offense.
If you are charged with a federal drug offense such as trafficking you will face a minimum of 10 years, even if it’s your first offense. Often you will serve at least 30 years, representing a vast chunk of your life.
Often, criminal defense attorneys who are lacking expertise in federal offenses will let a client plead guilty and be sentenced to a long term of incarceration.
Unlike in state jails, there is no prospect of parole in federal prisons. It was eliminated under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 for defendants convicted of crimes committed after November 1, 1987.
Although federal prisoners can no longer hope for parole release, they may nevertheless earn reduced terms for good behavior.
Given the serious nature of federal crimes and the high sentences they attract, it’s vital that you hire an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer. Please call us at (312) 229-0008 for a free consultation.