Most individuals accused of violent offenses like assault will face state charges. Although the definition of assault varies from state to state, assault is one of the most common violent offenses in the country.
Though most people accused of assault offenses will face state charges, there are circumstances in which an individual could find themselves facing federal assault charges instead. Federal charges mean federal penalties and incarceration, instead of possibly more lenient state charges and more local state incarceration facilities.
When might the federal government prosecute you for an act of interpersonal violence?
When the victim is a federal employee
Whether you had an encounter with a federal law enforcement official or someone managing a federal property, allegations that you assaulted a federal worker could easily lead to federal assault charges.
This rule also applies to postal workers, although they are no longer technically government employees. Anyone who assaults a postal worker in an attempt to steal or destroy mail will also likely face federal charges.
When the offense takes place on federal property
Did you get into an altercation at a federal courthouse? Did an angry confrontation with another park visitor turn violent while you were on federal lands, such as a national park? Acts of assault that occur on federal property, even if the other person involved is someone that you know, could lead to federal assault charges.
As with state-based assault charges, those accused of a federal violent offense have many defenses available to them. Exploring your situation can help you determine how to defend yourself against federal charges that could have serious personal consequences.