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Do Federal Districts give priority to prosecuting their local criminals and criminals directly affecting their district?

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Do Federal Districts give priority to prosecuting their local criminals and criminals directly affecting their district?

Attorney Answers 7

Posted

sometimes. See my other answer on this identical subject.

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Posted

Here is but one of many examples.

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Posted

It matters on the type of crime.

Do you have a specific question with real problems at issue?

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

No. I do not. I am just trying to learn federal criminal law and procedure.

Asker

Posted

Let's say gun trafficking though.

Posted

Yes.

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Posted

Yes, but why is this question of interest?

Of course, every answer or response is based on the information provided in the question asked and requires a much more complete context than is available in this public forum. This answer/response should NOT be relied upon to make any legal decisions. Seek the advice of an experienced Federal and/or state criminal defense attorney in your jurisdiction BEFORE you say or do anything.

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1 comment

Asker

Posted

I am just curious about venue rules / charging decisions. What district takes on which criminals? How do US Attorney's Offices communicate, etc.

Posted

Yes - in fact, in certain cases, defendants may be transferred to different courts based upon venue or where the crime occurred.

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Asker

Posted

The transfer is really up to the AUSAs not defendants though correct?

Alex R. Hess

Alex R. Hess

Posted

It is possible for a defendant to request a transfer - but venue is proper where the alleged crime was committed. It's difficult to answer anything based upon your question - but I can forewarn you that you won't get any leeway or slack in a criminal case just because you aren't a local or anything like that. I've never seen a AUSA move to transfer a defendant unless there is an AUSA in another district asking them to do so due to a more serious crime.

Asker

Posted

I am just trying to learn about the topic. I am not charged. But let's say A sells 500 grams of cocaine in Florida and also 10 grams of cocaine in Nebraska and he lives in Florida, district of Nebraska probably won't prosecute him right? They will let Florida prosecute him right?

Alex R. Hess

Alex R. Hess

Posted

I see no reason why they wouldn't prosecute both. There's no telling who gets priority, and in fact, prosecutors have much discretion over the cases they bring. In a situation like this, I see no real benefit to being prosecuted one place first over the other. More importantly to the set of facts you supplied above, both Nebraska and Florida will prosecute, don't think that won't happen. The AUSA who is prosecuting the crime that occurred first in time will likely go first, and then that conviction would be used under the sentencing guidelines to up the sentence for the second conviction. Either way, you wouldn't get out of one case. Both cases would go forward

Asker

Posted

What if A has a co-conspirator in Nebraska so proper venue is in both -- how does that change the situation? Would Florida try him then?

Alex R. Hess

Alex R. Hess

Posted

It doesn't change the situation. Florida will prosecute him for the drug sale in Florida, and Nebraska will prosecute him for the drug sale in Nebraska. There's no upside or benefit here. It's important to view these as 2 separate crimes and 2 separate criminal transactions. It won't be viewed as one case.

Posted

Having served as an intern in the US Attorney's Office when I was in law school, I can speak somewhat intelligently to this issue: it depends. Each US Attorney's Office sets its own priorities. If you think you are likely to be prosecuted then you should begin the search for an attorney you are comfortable with. Remember that you generally get what you pay for.

This answer is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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