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13 Major Crimes in the USA


Under the federal law of the United States of America are major crimes in USA that when committed will incur heavy penalties as set by federal justice.

Federal major crimes in USA simply mean crimes that threaten the whole nation and cannot be contained only under local jurisdiction. A crime can fall under the federal grounds if it happens in federal property.

However, there also are crimes that could impact both the national and local setting. One example is an act of terrorism as it puts the state and the rest of the country in peril with the loose and potential terrorist attacks.

Apart from the seven most common criminal offenses that we have already discussed, there is a long and complex list of major crimes in USA that will get you tried and later prosecuted but here are the most common ones that you should know about based on the federal penal code of US in case you encounter it in the future.

#1 Drug Crimes

Usually, drug crimes of manufacturing, possession, and selling stay in state’s jurisdiction just like in Nevada. But the moment it becomes wide-scale and involves large production of drugs and any other criminal activities that lead to violence and deaths like a drug cartel then it becomes under federal law.

One of the most enduring examples of events that show federal drug crimes is the drug war in Mexico that continues to affect America even if they are two different countries.

According to a 2018 report of Drug Enforcement Association (DEA), Mexico is still the greatest threat to the United States for drug crimes as they remain the dominant distributor of illegal substances in the streets.

#2 Mail Fraud Crimes

A type of fraudulent scheme, mail fraud is the act of deceiving people through US’s Postal Services (USPS) in ways of obtaining money or property under false pretenses or selling or distributing counterfeits (according to 18 U.S. Code, Section 1341). One scenario of a mail fraud crime is when a certain somebody or group sends you a contract through the mail which you will have to sign in order for them to scam you.

When mail fraud happens interstate, then it is time for the feds to step into the scene.

#3 Wire Fraud Crimes

Just like mail fraud, a wire fraud crime is designed to swindle a person through the use of mail albeit this time done through electronic means. When this is done interstate or through overseas then it becomes under federal control, making it one of the 13 major crimes in USA.

#4 Violent Crimes

Evidently one of the major crimes in USA, violent crimes involves rape, murder, or any form of assault with the use of physical force intended to harm the victim. Usually, violent crimes remains a responsibility of the state but are then handed over or become the federal law’s concern too if it escalates to a huge number of victims or intensity of the threat.

In 2017, Stephen Paddock killed 58 people on the Las Vegas Strip. This is initially considered an act of terrorism but then reduced to as an isolated violent crime. This is the type of violent crime that befalls to the federal jurisdiction’s lap.

#5 Bank Fraud Crimes

There are people who use false information and other defrauding techniques to take money or property off a bank. This is a common type of crime in the United States and becomes assigned to federal law enforcement if different banks from different states are defrauded or an extensive criminal operation is at play.

#6 Property Crimes

Theft, robbery, arson, trespassing, and vandalism are categories of property crimes and normally, they do not require the interest of federal law enforcement unless a federal property is concerned. Property crimes are also usually both tried under the state and the federal authority.

#7 Immigration Crimes

As per the criminal code of US particularly the 8 U.S. Code § 1325, immigration crimes are often committed by individuals trying to enter the country without proper authorization or visitors abusing staying luxuries provided by their visas. For at least two decades now, the federal authority of the country has exercised its dominion over illegal immigrants.

#8 Firearms Crimes

You cannot open or conceal carry a firearm in Nevada in places such as:

  • Airports
  • Schools
  • Government facilities
  • Prisons and correctional facilities
  • Churches
  • Hospitals

These are locations which are under federal land and if you did not know yet, 84.9 percent of land in Nevada is owned by the federal government.

#9 Sex Crimes

Similar to other major crimes in USA that are listed above, sex crimes are generally bounded under state laws. However, sex crimes go under federal attention once a case involves too many victims or become exploited by organizations. Human trafficking for sex or cases of sexual predators at large are examples of federal sex crimes.

From a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2018, there is a 20 percent increase in sex crimes cases since 2013.

#10 White Collar Crimes

White collar crimes are non-violent crimes that are usually comprised of bribery, extortion, and fraud among others in order to gain money and the power to control over others (identity theft). They are a common occurrence in the criminal world and usually blow up to large-scale operations hence being usual cases supervised by the federal jurisdiction.

#11 Conspiracy and Unlawful Manipulation Crimes

Based on the information found in the 18 U.S. Code § 371, conspiracy crimes are also a subject of interest for the federal law enforcement as they usually involve plans of destruction, terrorism, or widespread defrauding. Even if the plan is never carried out, people found guilty of conspiracy against the nation will face particular consequences.

Bearing resemblance to this is the 18 U.S. Code § 227, where it is unlawful for someone in the Member of Congress to manipulate or influence a private entity’s system of employment. This usually flies under the radar but is common than what many think. Recently, President Donald Trump is accused of violating this federal penal code.

#12 Cross State Kidnappings

Once a kidnapper takes a victim in other states, his or her case automatically turns into a matter of the federal law. If you are a parent but do not have rightful guardianship over your child and take him or her away, you are also violating a separate federal violation found in 18 U.S.C. Section 1204.

#13 Organized Crime and Cybercrime

There is a multitude of crimes that are under or turns into a responsibility of federal jurisdiction.   In fact, every crime can be a federal crime if turns pervasive. Organized crimes can be a factor of any of the crimes listed above but recently it has found a new face with cybercrime.

Cybercrime can be under federal law enforcement’s field if it reaches becomes inclusive and if federal resources become losses.

Violating a state law could even lead to heftier sentences if you did it on or under federal grounds. Find your way out of jeopardy of facing penalties that will damage your life through the help of a criminal defense attorney that is not only knowledgeable about the state laws of Nevada but also the laws in the federal legislation. You can also read more about the criminal code of the USA to learn more about federal violations here.

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