Click to Schedule a Consultation
Colorado trial attorneys

Boulder Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you’ve been charged with a federal crime, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn. You need a lawyer who specializes in federal criminal defense law. It is important to understand the nuances of federal law so that you can make an informed decision about who should represent you. Let us help.

State Charges vs. Federal Charges In Colorado

Boulder federal criminal defense lawyer

The most significant difference between state and federal charges is the court system in which they are tried. State charges are heard in the state court system, while federal charges are heard in federal courts. Each court system has its own set of rules and procedures that must be followed during a trial or hearing. 

Another key difference is that a state charge is prosecuted by the local district attorney’s office, while a federal charge is prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office or, for certain kinds of investigations, by a private lawyer who has been appointed as a prosecutor by the government. 

This means that if you are facing criminal charges from both levels of government, you may have two different prosecutors working against you at once. 

What Types of Cases Go to Federal Court? 

So which types of criminal charges get heard in the United States district courts (federal courts)? Generally speaking, crimes are prosecuted in federal court if they occur on federally owned land or if they involve certain kinds of offenses under federal jurisdiction.  For example, if a crime involves activities that cross state lines or affect multiple states (or even countries), or involve allegations against large organizations or organized groups of people, then it is may be prosecuted as a federal offense.  A crime that occurs on federal land is also prosecuted as a federal offense.

Some examples include drug trafficking across borders, mail fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, certain white-collar crimes such as credit card fraud or identity theft, or allegations of organized criminal activity or enterprises.  Cases involving espionage or other national security matters also fall under this category. Finally, even offenses like DUI can be prosecuted in federal court if they take place on federal land.

You Can Be Tried and Convicted in State AND Federal Court

Double jeopardy is a legal principle that prevents an individual from being tried or punished more than once for the same crime. However, many people are unaware that double jeopardy only applies within the same sovereign entity, meaning that if a crime violates both state and federal laws, an individual can be tried and potentially punished by both state and federal courts.

For example, a person who traffics illegal drugs across state lines could face drug trafficking charges in both state and federal court. The same applies to a wide range of crimes, including tax evasion, computer crimes, and firearms offenses, to name a few.

It’s important to note that the outcomes of the two trials don’t have to be the same. In some cases, an individual may be acquitted in one court but convicted in the other. This highlights the importance of having a knowledgeable attorney who can help navigate the complexities of the dual-sovereignty system and provide the best possible defense.

Why Hire Dolan + Zimmerman LLP To Handle Your Federal Criminal Charge 

If you or someone you know is facing a federal criminal charge, it’s important to hire an experienced and knowledgeable Boulder criminal defense lawyer. Federal court is much different than state court and requires more specialized knowledge. Here’s why you should work with us:

Experience Matters 

In any area of law, experience matters—but it is especially important in federal criminal cases. Many lawyers will claim they understand how to handle these types of cases, but don’t actually have the experience necessary to effectively defend their clients. 

Our qualified attorneys have extensive experience in defending against federal charges and will be able to help anticipate strategies the prosecution may use so that we can effectively counter them. 

Knowledge of Federal Laws 

Federal law differs from state law in many ways, including its procedure and complexity. Our lawyers have an expert understanding of both state and federal laws so we can properly advise you on your rights and provide effective legal representation in court. We also stay up to date on recent changes in laws as well as established and evolving precedents that could affect your case. 

If you need help with a federal charge, contact Dolan + Zimmerman LLP today to schedule a consultation