Which Federal Criminal Cases Will the Central District Prosecutors Take in Los Angeles Versus State Authorities?
This is a big question that a lot of people have because they're concerned that the feds are more harsh than the state government, so they're always concerned about whether the feds will take their case or whether the state government is going to take it.
Child Pornography Cases
Really, there's no hard and fast rules on it. The federal government in the Central District of California seem to take the more sophisticated cases that require more time, manpower and funds to be able to prosecute. That's definitely one factor that I see in federal criminal cases. Also, they have their specific areas that you'll usually see them in.
For example, child pornography because that's usually crossing state lines when the internet is being used. It's a little more difficult to investigate for the state government, but even there there's a dividing line of the amount of images. If .you could just have a few images, they'll usually kick that down to the state to deal with.
Large-Scale Drug Cases
Another big area I see the federal government getting involved with in Los Angeles in the Central District is big drug cases, even big drug cases that involve gang members. Some of the drug cases there's no gang members involved, but a lot of the drug cases, because of the amount of money involved and the amount of coordination that it takes, gang members get involved, the feds will come in and investigate that.
They're pretty well-equipped to do wire-taps and track that and monitor that. They've got the time and the manpower to deal with that; whereas, the state government is usually not as well-equipped, especially if the drug trafficking involves multiple jurisdictions.
Definitely the feds are going to get involved with something like that if it's high dollar amount or a lot of drugs. Stuff at the border, obviously the feds in San Diego I see getting involved a lot with large amounts of narcotics coming through.
Again, where it's difficult to catch the thieves, but high dollar amounts are involved, that's where the feds will get involved. I just recently dealt with a distraction jewelry theft case where jewelers were being followed from downtown Los Angeles and all over Orange County and San Francisco.
Then the distraction thieves would distract the person — pop their tire or various different things – and then steal thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry. So, that's another area that the feds are well-suited to deal with.
Large conspiracies to bilk people out of money – Ponzi schemes — you're definitely going to see the feds involved with because they have the software and agents to be able to track those individuals involved in these type of sometimes internet-related offenses.
Also, internet-related offenses where people are tricking individuals out of money — maybe dating schemes — maybe money currency scheme — money laundering — any time the feds are losing significant amounts of money.
They're not getting their piece of money that's being moved in and out of the country — they're going to get involved to track that money, capture those offenders and get their money back if they possibly can.
Large theft ring — people who are putting devices at gas stations and capturing people's credit card information, that's another big area that I will see the federal government get involved in because they've got the people to surveil.
They GPS tracking monitors on individuals, so there's a whole host of different crimes that the feds get involved with, but regardless of whether or not it's the federal or state government, you're in a position where you're going to want to get a criminal defense attorney who has experience and can either fight the case.
Retain a Federal Criminal Attorney
One who can file motions to try and block some of the evidence the prosecutors are trying to use against you, or do damage control and mitigate the potential sentence that you're facing.
Obviously, in a federal criminal case you serve 85% of the sentence, whereas, in state, you're not always looking at 85%. Even in the 85% cases which are serious violent felonies, you don't always end up serving the full amount of time. So, you're better off usually if the state prosecutes your case versus the federal government prosecutors. It just depends on the circumstances.
But your first step if you or a loved one is being investigated or being charged with a federal criminal crime is to pick up the phone and hire somebody like me that's been practicing for 26 years, has a lot of experience and knows what it takes to be successful.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. We are also located at 633 West Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA 90071. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.