South Carolina Federal Arrests

Facing charges for a federal crime is very different than charges pending before a state court. The penalties may be more severe, and with the full backing of the U.S. government behind them, the prosecution may be better funded and committed to obtaining a conviction.

If you are under investigation or charged with a federal crime, it is advisable to work with a defense attorney well-versed in South Carolina federal arrests. A dedicated legal professional could help you understand the charges you are facing and work with you to build a robust defense.

Understanding the Crimes that Lead to Federal Arrests

Both federal and state governments have the authority to charge someone with a crime. Each government has a criminal code establishing unlawful conduct that may lead to punishment. State and federal jurisdiction overlap in some instances, and a person can face charges in both places, but in other situations, only one criminal scheme applies.

The Constitution of the United States assigns the federal government sole authority over bankruptcy, immigration, money production and regulation, patents, and many other subjects. So, a person violating laws related to these topics would be arrested on federal charges only.

The United States Code, Title 18, Part 1 lays out the bulk of the unlawful activity that leads to federal arrests. Some common examples of federal crimes in South Carolina include:

  • Money laundering and counterfeiting
  • Bankruptcy fraud
  • Federal tax evasion
  • Mail and wire fraud
  • Organized criminal activity
  • Drug trafficking
  • Child sex offenses

South Carolina attorneys who frequently represent individuals arrested on federal charges may help them at all points in the criminal process – from initial investigations through plea negotiations. A seasoned attorney could also represent a defendant at trial if needed.

Investigation and Arrests of Federal Crimes

Unlike on the State level, where local police handle crimes, no federal police force investigates unlawful activity. Various federal agencies split the responsibilities for investigating and arresting suspects for crimes related to their area of expertise. For example, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scrutinizes unlawful activity related to tax evasion, punishable under 26 U.S.C. § 7201.

Other agencies with police powers include the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Homeland Security, the Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Before speaking with agents from any of these organizations, individuals should consider exercising their rights and retaining a lawyer who regularly represents people facing federal arrests in South Carolina.

In Some Cases, Both Federal and State Courts Can Bring Charges

There are certain crimes that both federal and state governments can prosecute. These include homicide, sex-related offenses, kidnapping, drug charges, and many other infractions. When someone is arrested for one of these crimes, they might face charges in one or both jurisdictions.

The concept of double jeopardy (outlined in the Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights) – not being tried for the same offense twice – does not apply in these situations. State and federal violations are distinct offenses, even though they arise from the same activity. It is also possible for a defendant to win an acquittal or dismissal of the charges in one venue but still need to answer for their conduct in the other. When under federal arrest, it is crucial to have a South Carolina defense attorney who understands the interplay of State and federal criminal laws to devise the most vigorous defense possible without compromising either case.

Face South Carolina Federal Arrests with a Dedicated Attorney on Your Side

Federal criminal charges can lead to lengthy periods of incarceration. If you become the target of a federal investigation, it is crucial that you work with a defense attorney experienced in handling South Carolina federal arrests. Our team has the know-how and compassion to help you through this challenging time, so give us a call right away to set up your free case consultation.