Most Common Federal Crimes in Michigan [2024 Updated]

The Law Offices of David I. Lee, P.C., explores the most common federal crimes in Michigan. Many of the most common federal crimes include drug trafficking, white-collar crimes, and sex crimes. Federal crimes are taken very seriously and are investigated by federal law agencies such as the FBI, DEA, and ATF. Understanding federal crimes and their implications is crucial for recognizing the scope and enforcement of federal laws in the United States.

Federal crime trends can have an at-large influence on state legislation and policies. Some states may enact new laws or amend existing ones to better align with federal regulations and address crime more efficiently.

Break Down of Common Federal Crimes

Some of the more common local federal crimes include drug trafficking, white-collar crimes, and sex crimes. To further understand what federal crimes look like in Michigan, below is a breakdown of federal crimes charged in the state:

  • Drug Trafficking: This includes the exportation, importation, trafficking, and possession of controlled substances. In Michigan in 2020, drug trafficking made up a total of 9% of all federal crimes in the state, with over 250 actual prosecuted cases.
  • Immigration: Immigration federal crimes include violations of U.S. immigration laws such as document fraud, alien smuggling, illegal re-entry, and more. In Michigan in 2020, there were 177 federal immigration crimes, making up 8% of the total federal crimes in the state that year.
  • Firearms: Firearm federal crimes can look like illegal possession, trafficking, use in crimes, possession of unregistered arms, and more. Michigan saw a total of 146 firearm-related federal crimes in 2020, which made up 17.1% of the total federal crimes in the state that year.
  • Fraud, theft, embezzlement, robbery, money laundering, sexual abuse, child pornography, and other federal crimes were also reported in Michigan in 2020.

The penalties for federal crimes can result in serious fines and federal imprisonment. The severity of the punishment is based on the severity of the offense, criminal history, and more.

What Is a Federal Crime and How Is It Different From a State Crime?

A federal crime is an offense that violates laws established by the federal government of the United States. These crimes are generally defined statutes in the United States Code (USC) and are prosecuted in federal courts. Examples of federal crimes include the following:

  • Drug Trafficking: Distributing, manufacturing, or possessing controlled substances with an intent to distribute.
  • Immigration Violations: Illegal immigration, human trafficking, and visa fraud.
  • Mail and Wire Fraud: Schemes to defraud using mail or electronic communications.
  • Cybercrime: Identity theft, hacking, and online exploitation.
  • Terrorism: Acts of domestic and international terrorism.
  • White-Colar Crimes: Insider trading, embezzlement, and money laundering.
  • Civil Rights Violations: Hate crimes and other violations of federally protected civil rights.

Federal crimes that are prosecuted in federal courts involve violations of federal statutes and are typically investigated by federal agencies and prosecuted by Assistant US Attorneys. Some of the federal crimes above may seem familiar. There are several crimes that can be charged as either a state or federal offense. Some conditions of a crime that can elevate the charges to a federal level include physically crossing state lines, conducting criminal activity in multiple states, or the crime taking place on federal land.

Alternatively, state crimes violate state laws and are prosecuted in state courts. The laws and potential penalties are generally outlined in the state’s criminal or penal code. State or local law enforcement agencies investigate these crimes and present evidence to the applicable prosecutor.

It is important to note that, though it is not a common occurrence, it is possible for a defendant to be tried on both a state and federal level. Since there is no constitutional bar and the two prosecutorial entities are considered different entities, double jeopardy does not apply.


Q: What is the Most Common Federal Crime in Michigan?

A: The most common federal crime in Michigan is drug trafficking. Drug trafficking is federally considered the illegal transporting of or transaction of controlled substances.  In 2020, there were a reported 254 accounts of drug trafficking in the state. The most common types of drugs trafficked in the state included methamphetamine, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.

Q: What Are the Seven Most Common Federal Criminal Offenses in the US?

A: The seven most common federal criminal offenses in the United States are drug trafficking offenses, immigration offenses, fraud and financial crimes, firearm offenses, sex offenses, public corruption, and cybercrime. This list includes a mix of both violent and property crimes, as well as other infractions. These offenses are generally tracked by various law enforcement agencies, and their prevalence can vary based on factors such as location, social conditions, and law enforcement practices.

Q: What Federal Crimes Occur in Michigan?

A: The reported federal offenses that occurred in Michigan in 2020 included crimes related to drugs, immigration, firearms, fraud, theft, embezzlement, robbery, money laundering, sexual abuse, and child pornography. Federal crimes in Michigan are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Michigan has two federal judicial districts: the Eastern District and the Western District. Each has its own U.S. Attorney responsible for prosecuting federal crimes in that district.

Q: What Are Reputable Sources to Learn About Federal Crime in Michigan?

A: Reputable sources to learn about federal crimes in Michigan include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the Michigan State Police (MSP) crime statistics report, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) analyses of crime trends, and the City of Detroit Police Department. These resources can provide helpful insights into the Michigan federal crime rate.

Speak with a Qualified Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you are facing federal criminal charges or have questions or concerns related to criminal law, speak with a knowledgeable federal criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of David I. Lee, P.C., today. David Lee has practiced criminal defense law exclusively since 1986, making him a trustworthy legal advocate for all matters pertaining to criminal law. Reach out today to set up a consultation and learn how we can partner together to seek your good.

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