Federal Crime

Federal Criminal Attorney in Jacksonville, FL

There are very few life events that can elicit as much dread and anxiety as being charged with a federal criminal offense. The United States government has almost unlimited resources, and can afford to spare no expense when building a criminal case against a suspect.

If someone is the target of a federal investigation, or has reason to believe they soon will be, it is absolutely essential that this person contract the counsel of an experienced federal criminal attorney as soon as possible.

Darryl R. Smith, Esq is an award-winning Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer who boasts over 600 cases resolved, and more than forty jury trials participated in to date.

What Does It Mean to Be Charged with a Federal Crime?

Being charged with a federal crime is very different from a state or local criminal charge, even a felony. When federal law has been violated, defendants must face prosecution under Federal guidelines, the consequences and terms of custody of which can be much more severe for a conviction under those terms.


Someone facing a federal charge faces a higher likelihood of being sent to prison and for much longer periods of time than someone who is charged with a similar offense in a lower court. There is likely to be a deeper, more extensive investigation, and therefore a greater probability of conviction, and the possibility of receiving any sort of probation offer is substantially reduced. It is also possible to be charged with the same crime at both the state and federal levels.

What Constitutes a Federal Criminal Offense?

One of the things that separate a federal crime from a state crime is jurisdiction, or simply “did the crime take place on state or federal property?” A crime that is committed in a state campground becomes a completely different matter if that same crime is committed on federal grounds like a national park. This circumstance moves prosecution of the offense from the jurisdiction of state authorities and into the jurisdiction of the federal government.


A partial list of crimes that rise to the level of federal offense include, but are not limited to:

  • Tax evasion
  • Crossing state lines in the commission of a criminal act
  • Wire fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Bank fraud
  • Bank robbery
  • Human Trafficking
  • Drug Trafficking

Who Prosecutes Federal Crimes?

Federal crimes are usually prosecuted by a U.S attorney or assistant U.S attorney. Federal cases can be investigated by a number of different government agencies including:


  1. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  2. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  3. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
  4. The Secret Service
  5. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  6. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

What You Should Do If Federal Agents Want to Speak to You

First contact between agents of the federal government and the defendant is a critical point in a federal case. Not unlike state and local law enforcement, federal officers have been trained to extract incriminating statements and information from people who have no experience speaking to law enforcement in such a capacity. These agents know how to manipulate someone who is already off balance by exaggerating the situation, and even using deception to collect evidence against the person.



This can be ended by invoking one’s right to counsel and the right to remain silent. These things must be clearly and unequivocally stated. “I refuse to answer any questions without a lawyer present” will end any questioning, since the agents would much rather not see their case dismissed for procedural misbehavior. Asking if you will need a lawyer is unlikely to be sufficient to invoke your Constitutional rights.

Contact Darryl R. Smith, Esq in Jacksonville, FL Today for A Free Consultation

If you have been brought up on federal criminal charges, or you have reason to believe you will be, you need to contact Darryl R. Smith immediately. The federal government does not sleep when it comes to building a criminal case and will take months to make sure they have covered every possible, so time is of the essence for building your defense strategy. Contact Jacksonville-based criminal defense attorney Darryl R. Smith, Esq today.

Let Darryl help you!

If you have any questions, call or email Darryl today for a free case review/consultation.

Call : (904) 779-3646

dsmith@smithandeulo.com 7 days/week 24 hours