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federal theft crimes

Different Types Of Federal Theft Crimes

Theft crimes involve taking property that belongs to someone else with the intent to deprive the owner of the property permanently. Theft can be charged at the state or federal level, depending on specific facts and circumstances. In general, theft crimes that involve government or public property, crossing state lines with stolen property, or theft that impacts interstate commerce, can be charged as federal crimes.

Attorneys at Vinas & Graham, PLLC know that all criminal theft charges are serious, but the consequences are typically more severe for theft crimes charged at the federal level than for those charged at the state level. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of federal theft crimes.

Impacting Interstate Commerce Or Crossing State Lines

Interstate commerce involves the buying, selling, or moving of products, services, or money across one or more state borders. Theft crimes that impact interstate commerce are often investigated by federal agencies and prosecuted at the federal level. The federal government also prosecutes thefts that involve moving stolen goods across one or more state borders.

Government Property And Programs

Theft or misuse of government or public property can be charged as a federal crime. Bank employees and other people that are in a position of safekeeping public money will likely face federal prosecution for misappropriating those funds for financial gain. Theft from employee benefits plans and embezzlement related to healthcare also violates federal law.

Theft of U.S. money or property or theft of property from a U.S. government agency will also result in federal charges. Many government agencies offer grant and loan programs for businesses and individuals. Individuals and corporate representatives can be criminally charged for fraud in the application process and misuse of government funds from government programs.

Theft In Maritime Or Jurisdictional Territories

In some cases, theft crimes that occur beyond the United States’ territorial confines can be federally prosecuted. It is a federal crime to take or attempt to take someone else’s money or property in special maritime and territorial jurisdictions of the United States. Knowingly receiving stolen property in specified extraterritorial jurisdictions is also a violation of federal law.

Defenses To Theft Allegations

You may be facing federal theft crimes charges, but that does not mean that you will necessarily be convicted, especially when you have a valid defense to the allegations. Common defenses raised to theft allegations include mistaken identity, you did not intend to steal the property, and you committed the crime under duress. Under some circumstances of police misconduct, you may also raise a constitutional violation defense.

Federal Theft Crimes Attorney

Theft convictions can lead to significant consequences, and defendants should not try to defend these charges without an attorney, especially when facing federal charges. If you are facing federal theft crimes charges, an attorney at Vinas & Graham, PLLC, can help. Contact our office at 713-229-9992 or online to schedule a no-obligation consultation. Follow us on Facebook for more information about our firm and areas of practice.

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