What Happens When a Crime Occurs in Multiple States?

map of the united states on a globe

Crimes that cross state borders are handled differently than those that don’t. Let’s discuss some of the most common types of offenses that occur in multiple states, as well as what happens if you’re charged with committing one of these crimes.

Criminal Offenses that Span Multiple States

A crime occurs in multiple states if the defendant physically crossed state borders while committing a crime, or if the criminal activity affected people in numerous states.

Some examples of offenses that commonly fit this criteria include:

  • Drug trafficking: Transporting any illicit substances across state lines can be considered trafficking, even if it is a relatively small amount.
  • Wire fraud: This type of crime uses the Internet as a tool to commit fraud. It’s common for wire fraud offenses to affect users in multiple states, or even different countries.
  • Mail fraud: This offense is committed by sending fraudulent mail to individuals.
  • Kidnapping: The unlawful taking of a child and traveling across state lines.
  • Weapons crimes: Traveling with an illegal handgun or otherwise violating weapons laws in multiple states.

Federal Offenses

Any crime that occurs across state lines can be charged as a federal offense. This means that the offense will have more severe potential penalties and will be handled by the federal court system. This is true even if the crime is relatively minor. 

Additionally, many federal offenses require the defendant to serve a mandatory minimum prison sentence if convicted. This is especially true for drug offenses. Mandatory minimums can range from a year to a life sentence depending on the type of case.

Federal Crimes Defense in Georgia

You may be shocked to find out you’re facing federal charges after an arrest. Upon learning the news, you likely have a lot of questions about how the case will go. Our team at Weintraub & Alper Legal can help you through your federal case and use creative defense strategies to fight for a positive outcome. Call us today at (404) 907-1536 for high-quality and aggressive legal representation.