Committing a Crime on Federal Property
The United States government owns more land than any other person or entity in America. All land, buildings, roads and other federally controlled areas are covered by stringent and specific protection laws called the federal enclave statutes. Criminal offenses that take place on the federally controlled property are prosecuted by the federal government These crimes usually entail pretty steep fines and even prison time. Federal crimes are processed through federal courthouses.
Federally Controlled Property
Some examples of federally controlled property are post offices, highways, courthouses, national parks, federal prisons and in some cases Indian reservations. There are also times when the government has temporary authority over locations such as airplanes, which are in flight and ships at sea.
Due to the complexity and variety of types of crimes, different federal agencies may have jurisdiction over specific areas or crimes such as the CIA, FBI, or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Secret Service and even the IRS.
Many offenses conducted on the federally controlled property are relatively minor such as traffic violations, petty theft, burglary and public nuisance crimes. Other more serious crimes such as murder, kidnapping, arson, rape, assault and non-violent financial crimes may occur on government land as well.
Some of the crimes committed take place across state lines or involve many different states or even cross, country lines. These are more difficult to prosecute, and one or more different government agencies will work together to investigate and then prosecute.
Penalties for Crimes Committed on Federal Land
Punishments for crimes committed on federal property can range from a simple ticket and a small fee to enormous fines and years of prison time. Some may even qualify for the death penalty in some cases or states, where capital punishment is permitted.
Committing a crime on federal property, at least the more serious offenses is not to be taken lightly, and you will need a good lawyer if you are caught. If you cannot afford one, the court will assign you a federal public defender.