What are federal crimes?

Federal crimes / federal criminal offenses are acts that are made illegal by the U.S. Legislation. A federal crimes investigation is conducted by government agencies like the FBI, IRS and DEA.

Federal crimes range from charges as simple as identity theft to as complex as organized crime.

For a list of federal crimes that you may be charged with, please visit our Federal Crimes page.

What is a federal crimes investigation?

The first step of the federal crimes prosecution process is the federal crimes investigation. A federal crimes investigation is typically provoked by the filing of a police report taken by a local department or a parallel government agency.

A federal crimes investigation involves agents of the federal government who are assigned to the investigation who work alongside a federal prosecuting attorney. Together they gather evidence, interview witnesses, execute search warrants, and take all other necessary steps to help determine if a federal crime has been committed.

At the completion of the federal crimes investigation, the prosecuting attorney will examine all of the information gathered during the federal crimes investigation to determine if formal federal criminal charges will be brought against an individual.

How will I know if I am the target of a federal crimes investigation?

A federal crimes investigation can take months to years before charges are formally filed against a person.

If you are the target of a federal crimes investigation, you may not always be aware. Some of the ways you may find you are being investigated are:

  • You are notified by letter by a federal prosecutor that you are being investigated.
  • A federal law enforcement agent contacts you requesting a meeting.
  • Federal agents show up at your home, employment, or places that you frequent attempting to interrogate you.
  • Federal agents execute a search warrant on your residence or place of business.
  • You receive a grand jury subpoena requesting the production of documents and/or requiring you to testify.
  • An acquaintance, family member, or coworker advises you that they have been contacted by a federal agent with respect to activity that you may have been involved in.

How are some ways a federal crimes investigation is conducted?

There are a myriad of ways that a federal crimes investigation is conducted to gather evidence.

  • Wiretapping the suspect’s phone.
  • Performing surveillance of the suspect over a period that typically exceeds weeks, if not months. Monitoring a suspect’s online activity.
  • Reviewing a suspect’s financial history such as financial documents, bank records, tax returns, and transaction histories.
  • Issuing a grand jury subpoena to witnesses for testimony and/or documents Executing search warrants for residences and/or businesses.
  • Seizing documents and electronic devices that may have information that can lead to evidence.

What should I do if I am being investigated for or charged with a federal crimes offense?

If you become aware that you are the target of a federal crimes investigation, the first thing you should do is consult an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.

It is the burden of the prosecution to prove you have committed a federal crime. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty. An experienced federal criminal defense attorney will protect your rights and assure that you do not incriminate yourself.

Can any defense attorney represent me for a federal crimes investigation?

The short answer is yes, but you shouldn’t hire just any criminal defense attorney.

If you are the target of a federal crimes investigation, you should seek the counsel of a competent federal criminal defense attorney. Federal crimes are more complex than state crimes and should only be handled by someone who understands the process.

Attorney Joseph Arnone is an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who has successfully represented individuals during the investigation, indictment, and trial stages. Contact our office for a free consultation with Macomb County’s aggressive criminal defense team.

Federal Crimes Michigan 


Contact the Arnone Law team today for a free consultation!