Residents of Washington State and any other state in the country are lucky to live in a free nation that protects its citizens from government overreach. For example, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures. While the notion of what type of search is reasonable is rather slippery in the eyes of the law, in general the key is whether the individual had a legitimate right to expect privacy in the place being searched. There is a two-prong test that is used when determining whether such a right to expect privacy exists.
In Washington State, people may be aware of the difference between state law and federal law due to the difference between the two regarding certain substances. Marijuana was legalized at the state level in Washington, but this substance is still illegal at the federal level. As a result, a resident of Spokane could be facing federal charges for marijuana-related offenses despite the substance being legal -- to a certain extent -- per state law.
What most people in Spokane know about the crime of kidnapping probably comes from television and the movies. Fortunately, stranger abductions of children are not common, nor are random abductions of adults. However, the crime of kidnapping does encompass a wide variety of actions, many of which can lead to a person being faced with federal charges.
Perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions about marijuana use in Washington - and in other states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana - concerns the impact of federal law on users. The use of marijuana is generally against federal law, even though Washington and a few other states have taken steps to legalize marijuana use. Is the federal government still cracking-down on those who use marijuana in states like ours? Are the feds even putting people in prison over federal anti-marijuana laws?
It is likely that plenty of Spokane residents have heard of the National Sex Offender Registry, but few may know exactly what it is, how it works and what happens if one is required to register. In many instances, a person facing federal charges for online child pornography, exploiting children and similar offenses will be required to register as a sex offender if convicted. This sentencing element contains many stipulations and a person facing such serious charges may want to seek legal advice immediately.
Computer crimes include exploiting children, identity theft, computer fraud and more. These crimes often violate federal law and require a strong criminal defense.
When it comes to many offenses committed in Washington State, a person may be charged with a crime at either the state or federal level. For example, in some circumstances, larceny may be charged at the federal level. A person facing federal charges is often wise to seek out a criminal defense attorney experienced in defending against federal crimes.
Those who are accused of certain crimes may assume they have little in the way of effective defenses against a conviction. After all, computers contain tons of data and law enforcement often has multiple agents working on gathering data and prosecuting offenders. Many computer crimes involve the pressing of federal charges. When this happens, a defendant may want to seek professional advice immediately.