Most Common Federal Crimes: Federal Attorneys Discuss Crimes Claimed by National Lawyers and Federal Organizations


A Federal forensic investigator and scientist is dusting a gun which was found at the scene of a federal crime in South FloridaWhat are federal crimes?

Federal crimes are offenses that violate U.S. federal statutes. All federal crimes are prosecuted under federal courts. Federal cases are prosecuted by either the Federal Bureau of Investigation or federal government agencies. According to Womack & Associates, more than 90%  are prosecuted and convicted.


What are the most common federal crimes?

The most common federal crimes in the United States are:


Federal Drug Crimes

Federal drug crime laws ban ownership, sale, and production of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and ecstasy. 

Depending on the way that the drug is used, it may be legal. If any drug is prescribed by a certified and licensed doctor for an illness or disease, the drug is legal. 

For example, “marijuana is used to treat cancer-induced nausea” (Just Criminal Law, 2018). If any of the five schedules of drugs are violated for abuse, distribution, and illegal use, then the substance user can be charged with a drug offence. 

Drug offenses can be charged at the state or federal level. If a federal officer arrests the substance user, or if the substance was transported over state or international lines, then they will be charged at the federal level.


Federal Weapon Crimes

Similar to federal drug crimes, federal weapon crimes are held at both the state and federal level. More than likely if an offender is charged with a weapon offense, they will face a long sentence. 

In addition, weapon crimes are associated with other charges. This can include drug trafficking, rape, aggravated assault, or homicide. 

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “approximately half of all robberies, about a quarter of all rapes/sexual assaults involved an armed assailant” (Perkins, 2003). 

Overlapping with numerous crimes, the charges and penalties can increase if a weapon was involved or discharged. In addition, handguns, firearms, and knives are the most common weapons used for homicide (Weapon, 2019). 

Gun trafficking is an example of a federal weapons crime. Gun running or trafficking involves smuggling guns and ammunition into a country secretly and illegally. It could also involve transporting them across state lines. Consequences for weapon and gun related crimes can vary from 5 years in federal prison all the way to life in prison depending on the type of guns and the circumstances of the crime alleged. 


Federal White-Collar Crimes

Federal White-collar crimes are illegal acts committed by perpetrators from a financial or business sector. The perpetrator’s main objective is gaining a profit in finance, so they are money-motivated crimes. Even though white-collar crime is non-violent, it is not a victimless crime. 

Several types of white-collar crimes include fraud, insider trading, Ponzi schemes, identity theft, embezzlement, counterfeiting, money laundering, and espionage (CFI, 2021).

Typically, the goal of a white-colllar crime is to obtain or avoid losing money, services, property or a business or even personal advantage.


 The penalties include home detention, restitution, imprisonment, community confinement, probation, and fines. 

The term “white-collar crime” was coined in 1939, according to the FBI, and it’s become “synonymous with the full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals.”


Federal Cybercrimes

A Federal Cybercrime is a computer crime that targets other individuals via a computer, network system, or a networked device. Not only does cybercrime threaten the public’s safety, but it also affects economic security. 

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), several common types of cybercrimes include business email compromises, identity theft, spoofing/phishing, ransomware, and online predators (FBI, n.d.). 

Penalties for federal cybercrimes vary greatly depending on the nature of the specific crime. 

Federal Mail Fraud

Federal mail fraud is a fraudulent scheme used to obtain money or property through USPS mail services or private interstate carriers. 

An individual can be prosecuted for mail fraud when 

  1. a person created or joined a scheme to defraud an entity for financial gain; 
  2. the scheme was carried out to defraud others; 
  3. the person had reasonable knowledge that wire communications were necessary to complete the fraud; and, 
  4. interstate or foreign wire communications were used for the fraud (Black & Askerov, 2018).  

With these four elements, a person can be prosecuted. However, all four components must be proven. Ponzi schemes fall under mail fraud, yet emails do not count (FindLaw, 2019).

Federal Crime Defense Strategies 

Being charged with a federal crime in Florida in no way indicates that you will be convicted of the crime - and having a great federal attorney helps to maximize the chance that you will suffer minimal consequences. 


There are numerous defense strategies that can be employed to protect you, your rights, and your future from the threat of a federal allegation, charges and convictions.


Free Federal Defense Consultation in South Florida 

We offer Free Strategy Sessions to anyone facing a federal criminal allegation in South Florida.


We go above and beyond a free consultation by offering a free strategy session in which we listen to your whole story and learn everything we can about your case and let you know how we’d get to work to defend you and what kind of strategy we’d employ to protect your future - you learn all this before you ever pay Rossen Law Firm a single penny.


Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for your free consultation: