Federal crime is a violation of the laws passed by the US Congress. Trials of federal crimes are very different from state crimes: federal rules of evidence differ, and sentencing for federal crimes is governed by rules so complex that state attorneys are often unable to navigate them. Federal crimes are tried in federal courts, by a separate set of judges from state courts.
Federal crimes are committed in one of several ways. First, federal crimes can indicate a violation of federal law, rather than (or in addition to) state law. Federal crime also covers all commission of crime taking place on military installations and federal government buildings. Federal crimes sometimes involve a criminal activity that crosses state borders, such as kidnapping or trafficking. Trials for federal crimes are increasing as more and more laws become federalized.
If you are accused of a federal crime, it is important to retain an attorney who understands the procedures and processes of federal criminal trials. There are significant differences in the way trials are conducted for state and federal crimes: state trials require prosecutors to share information with the defense team well before trial, federal crimes trials allow prosecutors to withhold information until after witnesses have testified; sentencing for federal crimes is done by a judge, using strict sentencing guidelines, rather than by a jury. Federal crime attorneys familiar with these differences can get a fair trial for clients accused of federal crimes, while the attorney who does not specialize in federal criminal law may miss important opportunities before and during the trial. Consult a federal crime attorney if you have questions about how to proceed with your case.