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Why do the federal government pick up charges on felon in possession of firearm when state charges are dropped?

San Juan, TX |
Filed under: Criminal defense

It seems as though there is a conspiracy against me by the federal government. When they could not find a fugitive they falsely believed was hiding in my home they searched my residence and found two firearms. I was taken to county jail and booked for unlawful possession of a firearm by felon. I bonded out two days later. After four days passed, the marshals came back with a warrant and arrested me again for the firearms. I was told the state was dropping the charges and Feds were picking them up. They were the same people who got me the first time and I'm guessing because I have been out 9yrs after incarceration,they knew state charges wouldn't stick so they did this for malicious and unlawful reasons other than their duties to uphold the law. Even though, I'm sure they will not admit it.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    The possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is an offense that may be prosecuted in either state or federal court. In federal court, the charge actually is the possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person who has been convicted of a crime that is punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year (18 USC Section 922(g)(1)), and federal jurisdiction is proper if the firearm or any of its components has traveled in interstate commerce (that is, across state lines). All US Attorneys' Offices follow the "Petite Policy," which is an informal rule that the federal government will not prosecute a case that has already been prosecuted in state court. However, if the state court prosecution has not been concluded, the federal government will "adopt" the case from the state, usually pursuant to certain criteria (for example, the defendant has been convicted of one serious drug offense or violent crime in the past five years or two of either in the past ten years). Other reasons for the "adoption" may be that the state and federal agents have decided that you should be punished more severely (federal sentencing is usually more severe than state courts) or that federal law may be more lenient on the admission of evidence than state law under these particular circumstances.

    Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.

  2. Usually the reason the feds pick up a case that the state drops is that the feds can impose longer sentences. Or, a search may be illegal under state law but fine under federal law. As much as this feels like a conspiracy, I can assure you the feds do it all the time.

    This answer is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as the practice of law in any jurisdiction in which I am not licensed. The answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. The answer is based only on the information provided, and may be inaccurate in the context of additional facts that have not been provided. The questioner should be aware that I am only licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts of Minnesota. Accordingly, before taking any action or refraining from taking any action, the questioner should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in his or her jurisdiction.

  3. I again strongly urge you to meet with your attorney to discuss all the issues surrounding your case. That person is in the best position to advise you. If for some reason you don't have confidence in your current lawyer, you can seek other private counsel.

    Legal disclaimer: This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and should not be construed as offering legal advice. It is offered for informational purposes only. Only a lawyer fully versed on the facts and circumstances of your case can properly advise you on the case.

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