Award-Winning Columbus Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys

As one of Ohio’s premier law firms, Joslyn Law Firm is uniquely qualified and prepared to handle all aspects of your federal criminal defense. From the moment you are notified that you are the subject of a federal investigation, the team of attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm will work diligently on your behalf to obtain the best possible results.

Joslyn Law Firm is nationally recognized and locally respected throughout Ohio and the U.S. The managing attorney, Brian Joslyn, has been recognized by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Lawyers as one of the 10 best criminal defense lawyers in Ohio. He has also been ranked by Super Lawyers Magazine as a Rising Star amongst Ohio criminal defense lawyers.

The government agencies, including the FBI, DEA, ATF, conduct thorough and in depth investigations. The agents are sophisticated and specially trained to build a federal case against you. It is imperative to have an attorney with the skills and experience to stand up to the federal investigators and prosecutors in your case.

Joslyn Law Firm strongly defends individuals facing federal criminal charges, including federal sex crimes charges, federal drug charges, federal weapons or firearm charges, and federal white collar charges.

The team of attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm represent clients throughout Ohio, including Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton. Contact Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 to schedule a confidential review of your case.

Federal Crimes

A federal crime is any violation of criminal laws or statutes developed by the United States Congress. It is possible for a particular offense to a violation of both federal and state law. The decision to prosecute a criminal offense as a federal crime is at the discretion of the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ). The USDOJ may decide to prosecute the offense or refer the case to the state.

Federal crimes can be divided into the following categories:

  • Federal Sex Crimes- Sexually motivated crimes and crimes involving children are treated especially seriously by federal agencies. Common federal sex offenses include the following offenses:
    • Child pornography,
    • Sex trafficking,
    • Aggravated sexual abuse, and
    • Sexual abuse of a minor or ward.
  • Federal Drug Crimes-Many drug offenses may also be investigated and prosecuted as federal crimes. Common federal drug crimes include the following offenses:
    • Drug trafficking,
    • Drug importation, and
    • Drug exportation.
  • Federal White Collar Crimes- Generally, when an individual thinks of white collar crimes he or she thinks of federal white collar crimes. Common federal white collar crimes include the following offenses:
    • Insider trading,
    • Securities fraud,
    • Computer or internet fraud,
    • Tax evasion, or
    • Credit card fraud.
  • Federal Weapons Crimes- Due to the high number of violent crimes in the United States each year, the federal government has cracked down on the enforcement of firearm and weapon statutes. Common federal firearm and weapons offenses include the following:
    • Possession of a prohibited firearm,
    • Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and
    • Commercial robbery.

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Difference Between Federal Crimes and State Crimes

The determination of whether a crime is considered a federal or state offense depends on the type of statute or law violated. A federal crime occurs when an individual violates a federal law or a statute created by the U.S. Congress. A state crime occurs when the individual violates a state law. At times criminal conduct may be a violation of both state and federal statute.

Federal crimes are handled in United States Federal Courts. In Ohio there are three federal courts—United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Not all attorneys are authorized to handle cases before a federal court. For an attorney to appear before a federal court, he or she must first satisfy certain requirements and be admitted in that particular court.

Federal crimes often carry higher criminal penalties than state crimes. For example, in Ohio an individual charged with possession of child pornography under state law may be convicted of a fourth degree felony, which is punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment. On the other hand, an individual charged with transporting child pornography across state lines faces fines and a statutory minimum of 5 years to 20 years maximum in prison.

Due to the severe penalties imposed under federal law, it is imperative to consult an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as you learn a federal investigation has commenced.

Who Investigates Federal Crimes

The federal government has established federal agencies to investigate and prosecute specific federal crimes like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation-The FBI is the federal agency responsible for the investigation and enforcement of U.S. criminal laws. The FBI investigates white collar crime, cybercrime, human trafficking, violent crime, and major theft.
  • Drug Enforcement Agency- The DEA is the federal agency specifically tasked with the enforcement of controlled substance laws and regulations in the U.S. The DEA investigates federal drug trafficking and federal drug importation and exportation.
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives-The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATG) is the law enforcement agency which investigates illegal use and trafficking of firearms, illegal use and storage of explosions, acts of arson, and acts of terrorism.

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Investigation into Federal Crimes

The investigative process with federal crimes differs substantially from state crimes. With state crimes an individual usually reports the criminal act after the criminal conduct occurs, after witnessing the criminal activity, or after receiving information that a criminal act occurred.

The witness or victim of the offense then reports the crime to law enforcement. Law enforcement will investigate the validity of the report. Should law enforcement determine a crime occurred and obtain enough evidence to execute an arrest criminal charges are filed and a suspect is pursued and/or arrested.

Federal investigations are conducted by highly skilled, specialized government agencies, including the FBI, ATF, or DEA. These agencies are comprised with officers or agents with specialized knowledge and training in the investigation of specific federal offenses. For example, ATF agents exclusively investigate federal firearm offenses or DEA agents exclusively handle federal drug crimes.

Federal agencies also have increased funding and resources to investigate crimes. As a result the investigations can last from several months to years. An individual under federal investigation will usually be unaware until the appropriate agency has obtained enough evidence to bring criminal charges.

Federal criminal investigations are generally commenced in one of two ways:

  • The appropriate agency receives credible information from one or multiple persons that criminal activity has occurred; or
  • The appropriate agency performs a sting operation or an operation designed to catch an individual committing a criminal offense.

It is important to understand federal investigators are highly trained and sophisticated. Upon notifying an individual that he or she is under federal investigation, the officer or agent will advise the individual to consult an attorney immediately. An experienced federal criminal defense lawyer will skillfully communicate with federal agencies and navigate all the formalities in a federal criminal case.


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Ohio District Court Information

United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio- The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The federal court has offices in Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton.

Columbus Court Location:
Office of the Clerk
Joseph P. Kinneary U.S. Courthouse
Room 121
85 Marconi Boulevard
Columbus, Ohio 43215

United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio- The United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The federal court has offices in Akron, Cleveland, Toledo, and Youngstown.


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Federal Crime Resources for the Accused

Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) ǀ Federal Mandatory Minimums- Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) is a nonprofit organization that fights for smart state and federal sentencing laws that protect public safety. Access the link to a chart which lists all federal sentencing laws that require the judge to give an offender a mandatory minimum prison term. The chart includes law in effect as of August 6, 2012.

United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) ǀ Criminal Division-The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) is responsible for the enforcement and prosecution of federal crimes. To better develop strategies, the DOJ divides the criminal division into several specialized divisions, including child exploitation and obscenity section, computer crime and intellectual property section, fraud section, human rights and special prosecution section, and more.

United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) ǀ Overview of Federal Criminal Cases- The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) is an independent agency within the judicial branch of the federal government that is dedicated to the reduction of sentencing disparities and promotion of transparency and proportionality in sentencing.


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Federal Crime Victim Resources

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ǀ Victim Assistance Programs- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provides resources for victims of federal crimes, including a case notification system, educational material regarding rights of federal crime victims, and printable brochures and handouts.

Office for Victims of Crime ǀ Ohio Resources- The Office of Victims of Crime provides resources for victims of federal crimes, including compensation benefits, month web forums, and publications.

United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) ǀ Restitution Process for Victims of Federal Crimes- The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), which is responsible for the enforcement and prosecution of federal crimes, developed an educational pamphlet outlining the restitution process for victims of federal crimes.


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Joslyn Law Firm ǀ Franklin County Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys

Federal crime investigations and charges are especially serious. It is imperative to hire competent, experienced legal counsel as soon as you are aware of a federal investigation. In building a federal case against you, the government employs its best FBI, DEA, or ATF agents. When building your defense, it is important to have an attorney qualified to go up against these actors and mount the strongest defense possible.

The trial proven, federal criminal defense attorneys Joslyn Law Firm are uniquely qualified to achieve the best results possible in your case. Contact them today at (614) 444-1900 or submit an online form to schedule a confidential review of your case.

The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm represent individuals facing criminal charges throughout Franklin County, including Columbus, Hilliard, Grove City, Worthington, Upper Arlington, and surrounding areas.


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