Pennsylvania Federal Crimes Defense Lawyer

Most crimes committed in Pennsylvania will be governed by Pennsylvania law. However, other crimes are illegal because of federal law. Federal crimes are prosecuted by the United States Government, not the state government. Additionally, federal crimes are often more serious than state crimes. In the face of federal criminal charges, you need all the help you can get.

Our lawyers have extensive experience defending clients against federal charges. We are ready to fight hard for you in court to get a favorable outcome in your case. We can assist you with preparing your case, trial, and post-trial matters.

Call our federal crimes defense lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 372-8667 for a free case review.

Who Investigates Federal Crimes in Pennsylvania?

Federal crimes are investigated by federal agencies. Some of these agencies deal with specific crimes or things to investigate, while other agencies investigate a more comprehensive array of conduct.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probably the most well-known federal agency. The are the primary federal law enforcement body. The FBI is responsible for investigating terroristic threats, threats to national security, and other organized criminal activities.


The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is tasked with combatting illegal drug trafficking in the United States. The DEA investigates crimes involving the manufacture, distribution, and sale of controlled substances.


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) investigates crimes involving those items. The ATF is primarily known for dealing with illegal activity involving firearms. If someone is suspected of making illegal machine guns or bombs, the ATF will likely be involved in that investigation.


The Internal Revenue Service does more than just remind you to do your taxes. Tax evasion, tax fraud, and other money-related crimes are investigated by the IRS.

Crimes Upgraded to Federal Offenses in Pennsylvania

Some crimes, like wire fraud and federal tax crimes, specifically fall under federal law. However, certain conduct that is a state-level offense can result in a federal criminal charge under certain conditions. The nature of the conduct in question might result in one of the federal agencies outlined above handling the case. Our lawyers can help determine the best way to proceed if a state offense is turned into a federal charge.

Violating a State and Federal Statute

If the state crime also violates a federal statute, federal agencies could get involved. In these instances, you might get charged with both a state and federal offense for the same conduct, and you can face prosecution and penalties from both governments without facing “double jeopardy” issues.

Crimes Committed on Federal Property

If the crime you are accused of was carried out on federal property, it is in the domain of federal criminal law. A common example of a crime carried out on a federal property is robbing a bank.

Crimes Crossing State Borders

Committing a crime across state lines often results in federal authorities getting involved. This usually results from the transportation of illicit goods, such as drugs or firearms. Additionally, crimes like kidnapping, rape, or murder that happen across state lines will result in federal authorities investigating the case.

Organized Crime

It should come as no surprise that criminal organizations are often prosecuted by federal authorities. In these instances, state and federal law enforcement will likely cooperate to arrest and convict those accused of participating in organized criminal activity.

The Stagers of Federal Charges in Pennsylvania

Since federal crimes are prosecuted under federal law, they are heard in federal courts, not state courts. The process is somewhat different in federal court than in state courts. For example, federal courts have their own rules of civil procedure that take precedence over state rules. Our attorneys are experienced in handling federal cases and know how to navigate the federal legal process to fight for a favorable outcome in your case.


Before a case ever enters a courtroom, and often before a defendant is formally charged with a federal crime, government agencies will collect evidence against the defendant. Government agencies can spend years collecting evidence like phone calls, website traffic, text messages, and emails before formally pressing federal charges. Federal agencies have more resources than state entities, so they will often have more evidence before making an accusation than a state entity would.

Our lawyers can make what are called discovery requests to obtain some of this evidence before trial. If any of it was obtained illegally, we can move to suppress it and try to make sure it cannot be used against you in court.

Charging Someone with a Crime

After the relevant federal agency feels they have enough evidence, they will bring that evidence before an impartial jury which will determine whether a crime has been committed. The processes that occur at this stage are much like those at any other trial. Witnesses might speak about the case, and evidence will be weighed by the jury. If enough jurors agree that a federal crime has been committed, they issue an indictment and the case proceeds further.

Initial Hearing

Defendants are brought in for an initial hearing either on the same day they are arrested or close to it. This might be the first time a defendant learns the full extent of the charges against them. At this stage, decision are made as to whether a defendant should get bail. The defendant also gets arraigned, which is when they are told what charges they face and enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.


The final stage in a federal case is a trial. However, not all federal criminal cases make it to trial. Many are settled beforehand.

At trial, the prosecution will present evidence, and both sides will offer witnesses and expert opinions, if relevant, on the case. After hearing all of the evidence and testimony, a jury will decide whether the defendant is guilty of the alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

Talk to Our Pennsylvania Lawyers Today

Discuss your case for free with the federal crimes defense lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 372-8667.

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12 Convenient Locations Across Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Philadelphia, PA

7909 Bustletown Ave, 1st Floor Philadelphia, PA 19152 (215) 607-7478 Get Directions

Quakertown, PA

328 Broad St. Quakertown, PA 18951 (215) 515-6876 Get Directions

Allentown, PA

137 N 5th St. Suite A Allentown, PA 18102 (215) 240-4082 Get Directions

Jenkintown, PA

135 Old York Road Jenkintown, PA 19046 (215) 544-3347 Get Directions

Easton, PA

101 Larry Holmes Dr. #212 Easton, PA 18042 (215) 515-7077 Get Directions

Bala Cynwyd, PA

2 Bala Plaza, Suite 300 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 (610) 557-3209 Get Directions

Bensalem, PA

3554 Hulmeville Rd, #102 Bensalem, PA 19020 (215) 515-6389 Get Directions

Plymouth Meeting, PA

600 W. Germantown Pike #400 Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 (215) 515-6876 Get Directions

Harrisburg, PA

2225 Sycamore St Harrisburg, PA 17111 (717) 864-8887 Get Directions

Cinnaminson, NJ

909 Route 130 South #202 Cinnaminson, NJ 08077 (609) 796-4344 Get Directions

Hamilton Twp., NJ

100 Horizon Center Blvd., 1st and 2nd Floors Hamilton Township, NJ 08691 (609) 236-8649 Get Directions

Marlton, NJ

10000 Lincoln Drive E One Greentree Centre, Suite 201 Marlton, NJ 08053 (856) 213-2805 Get Directions

Piscataway, NJ

200 Centennial Ave. Suite 200 Piscataway, NJ 08854 (908) 367-7256 Get Directions