How do US Attorneys select proper forum / venue for federal crimes?

Asked about 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

How do US Attorneys select proper forum / venue for federal crimes? Do they communicate with each other?

Big drug drug ring in Cali with a lot of smaller drug dealer in Cali, partner in Nebraska. Big guy from Cali + partner in Nebraska get prosecuted in Federal District of Nebraska. Will the prosecutors also prosecute the smaller guys in Nebraska or will they prosecute with them in District of Cali? How is that decided?

What if there is a company that primarily defrauds people in Hawaii but happen to defraud someone in Alaska? Will federal prosecutors prosecute the members of the company in Hawaii or Alaska?

How are those decisions typically made?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. John M. Kaman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Rules for jurisdiction and venue are set out in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and its companion Federal Rules of criminal Procedure. I suggest you go there for your homework assignment.

  2. Anthony Michael Solis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Typically they make a decision as to where most of the crime occurred, or which prosecutor's office did the investigation. They could prosecute them in either place. Sometimes, the place where most of the investigating officers or witnesses are is the factor. Many times in fraud cases like you suggest, there are victims in many jurisdictions all over the country. The prosecution will likely take place in the jurisdiction where most victims were, or where the investigation originated. There's no science to it, it's a judgment call.

    No legal advice is given here. My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must NOT... more
  3. Stephen F Wallace

    Contributor Level 19

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    chosen by asker

    Answered . District offices will communicate about the location of the crimes and the affected jurisdictions. These are not usually discussions defense attorneys are a part of.

  4. Mordechai David Pelta

    Contributor Level 8

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Usually where most of the evidence is located for convenience of all involved. However, as you pointed out this can be complicated and could be prosecuted in either location depending upon the situation.

  5. Dean George Tsourakis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . A lot of the decision making process will involve the investigating agency. They will have a lot of input.

  6. Raymond George Wigell

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    2

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    Answered . The decisions are made by experienced federal prosecutors base on multiple factors and policy. The AUSUs (Assistant U.S. Attorneys) who are assigned to investigate and bring the information before Federal Grand Jury are under the supervision of attorneys who have extensive experience in particular type of criminal enterprise. The supervising AUSAs report to other even more experienced lawyers. The investigation is conducted by federal law enforcement officers from the FBI, DEA, IRS-CID, U.S Postal Inspectors and many other highly trained and experienced persons.

    I realize that this response does not really address your question. The purpose of my response is to emphasis that the government has extensive resources and assets at their disposal to assist in the decision process. If your question is hypothetical then significantly more context is necessary to respond. If your question is based in fact and concern please cease using a public forum and consult an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer ASAP.

    Of course, every answer or response is based on the information provided in the question asked and requires a much... more

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