fingerprint recordsThis is the next post in my series on the handling of federal criminal charges in the Central District of Illinois. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to retain an attorney who is experienced in handling charges brought by the US government. It is important to remember that not all lawyers are licensed to practice in Federal Court. Of those who are licensed, some have never actually handled a case. By retaining counsel with actual experience in such matters, you increase the chances of your matter being handled correctly. In this article I will discuss the types of charges typically brought against a defendant. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

Federal offenses are typically charged pursuant to Title 18 of the US criminal code. This means that a defendant will be charged under a set of laws which is different from those passed by the Illinois legislature. Typical offenses charged by the US Attorney can include being a felon in possession of a firearm, the possession of illegal electronic pornography, certain narcotic offenses, crimes which cross state lines, white collar cases, and offenses which occur on federal property. A defendant does not have to have been arrested by the FBI, or some other federal enforcement agency, in order to be charged with any of these offenses. If a state or local police officer arrests someone, and believes that a federal offense has occurred, then they may take the individual into custody and turn them over to the US government. The accused individual will then be held, arraigned, and tried within the federal system.

It is important to note that Illinois state law will have no bearing on a case brought in Federal Court. Only federal statutes, regulations, and case law will be relevant. All matters are charged by the United States Attorney’s Office, and not by state or local prosecutors. Also different from State Court is the fact that Federal Judges are appointed for life and do not face election. As a general matter, Federal Court is considered much more “formal” than State Court and rules are more strictly enforced.

If you or a family member have been charged with a federal offense then it is important to retain an experienced attorney to assist you. I am a former state prosecutor who now devotes his practice to defending the rights of the accused. I am licensed in the Central District of Illinois and am experienced in handling such cases. My office strives to provide the highest levels of service and believes that everyone is entitled to aggressive representation. Contact us online or by telephone to speak with a Peoria federal defense lawyer. We are able to assist with cases such as gun charges, white collar crimes, sex-related offenses, and more. We also handle federal cases in Urbana.