How Federal And State Offenses Intermingle Under Georgia Law


Though in most cases there is a clear delineation between federal jurisdiction and state jurisdiction, in most practical cases law enforcement agents from both cooperate and work together during the course of investigations to apprehend and charge transgressors for a number of different offenses. For practical purposes, here are the most common federal offenses that could supersede the jurisdiction of the State of Georgia.

Computer And Internet Related Crimes

In this, the digital age, there are many ways to commit various types of crime, and defraud many thousands of different people, through a computer hooked up to the Internet. Most often, any kind of case involving the use of the Internet for a crime will bring in the involvement of either the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security, depending upon the nature of the crime.

Drug Trafficking, Possession And Distribution

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) handles most of the large scale drug related apprehensions throughout the country. In most cases, it involves drug traffickers or dealers with intent to sell and distribute large amounts of controlled substances. For matters of minor possession or purchase, generally a state law enforcement agency will take control of the investigation of the case.


Racketeering and RICO conspiracy violations will almost always involve a federal agency, with offenders most often remanded to federal custody to be tried in a federal court. RICO charges most often involve the operation and conduct of organized criminal behavior, such as drug and firearms trafficking, intimidation, kickbacks, graft, murder and many other types of crime. For a racketeering charge to be relevant, it is not only the crime itself that plays a role, but that there was a conspiracy of two or more offenders organized to commit the crime.


Kidnapping can be a matter for state jurisdiction unless and until the kidnappers cross state lines with the victim, if there has been a threat of ransom, or if there is significant evidence that a conspiracy to commit the kidnapping exists. Most kidnapping cases will come under the purview of the FBI during the course of an investigation.


Violations to immigration law are exclusively adjudicated by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). For immigration violations, offenders are often apprehended, brought before and arraigned by an immigration judge, and either deported or remanded to federal custody if found guilty of the violation.

Several Types Of Fraud

Certain types of fraud will most certainly require the involvement of federal authorities. These include insurance fraud, interstate commerce fraud, bank and bankruptcy fraud, health insurance fraud, identity theft, social security fraud, U.S. mail fraud and various types of accounting fraud.

Tax Fraud

The Internal Revenue Service has exclusive jurisdiction over federal tax law violations, including failure to pay taxes owed, failure to report valid income, reporting or misrepresenting your income or filing an intentionally erroneous tax return. For matters of state tax collection, the state of Georgia handles transgressions made in the collection of state taxes.

A crime if considered “Federal” if it violates a law in the United States Code. Generally, the prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office take only the more serious Federal crimes and allow the State courts to handle the less serious offenses. Some other Federal offenses are:

Computer Crimes
Computer Hacking
Controlled Substance Violations
Corporate Crimes
Gun Law Violations
Health Care Fraud
Mail Fraud
Accounting Fraud
Child Pornography
Money Laundering
Multi-Level Marketing
RICO Crimes
Securities Fraud
Social Security Fraud
Military Crimes
Drug Manufacturing
Drug Possession/Sales
Drug Trafficking
Export/Import Crimes
Tax Crimes
Weapons Charges
Wire fraud

If you are suspected of or charged with violating a Federal Law, then contact a seasoned Columbus GA Federal defense lawyer immediately.