Woodland Hills Federal Crimes Defense Attorney

Over a Decade of Experience Serving Clients in California

The United States Code contains Title 18, the penal code for federal crimes. Title 18 has over 100 chapters of criminal acts and endless subsections defining crime and establishing punishment. For those accused of a federal crime, it may seem impossible to win a case in federal court. However, with the Law Office of Ali Ziai, you can face the government with a skilled defender and fierce advocate on your side. 

At the Law Office of Ali Ziai, we believe in simplifying the criminal process for our clients so they can face the court with confidence while understanding their rights under the law. As a former prosecutor, Attorney Ziai understands federal cases from both sides of the aisle. He has unique insight into the criminal investigation process and proudly puts his experience to work for his clients. Our firm handles each case with the care and attention it deserves by supporting our clients during this difficult time.

Call our Woodland Hills federal crimes attorney at (818) 600-6477 to find out how we can fight for you.

What are Federal Crimes?

Title 18 is the exhaustive penal code for federal crimes. According to the penal code, federal courts handle criminal cases that occur on federal property by federal employees or offices. Additionally, fraud, bankruptcy, U.S. mail, immigration, and counterfeiting also fall under federal jurisdiction. This means that when a crime occurs, local law enforcement does not have the power to investigate it – only federal officials can investigate possible federal crimes. 

Federal crimes include: 

  • Bankruptcy fraud 
  • Public corruption 
  • Counterfeiting and forgery 
  • Drug-related crimes
  • Environmental offenses 
  • Fugitives 
  • Human trafficking
  • Embezzlement or theft from the government 
  • Tax fraud 
  • Terrorism 
  • Wire fraud 
  • Social Security violations 
  • Wildlife violations 
  • Postal service offenses 
  • Money laundering 
  • Computer and email intrusion 
  • Civil rights 
  • Immigration fraud and deportation 

Additionally, crimes not included in the list above may be considered federal crimes if they are committed on federal property including: 

  • National parks 
  • Native American Reservations 
  • Planes in flight
  • Federal prison
  • Ships at sea
  • The District of Columbia 
  • Crimes committed across state lines 

When a crime is committed, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Drug Enforcement Agency, IRS Criminal Investigation, and other agencies are responsible for investigating the crime. The Department of Justice (DOJ) includes the court system that handles federal cases. Depending on the crime, location, and degree of harm, a different agency may take over investigation and prosecution. For example, if someone is charged with U.S. postal service violations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service will handle the case. 

In some cases, the federal government may get involved if a crime spans several state lines. This is due to the Commerce Clause which states that the FBI can have jurisdiction over interstate crimes. FBI intervention often occurs in trafficking cases. 

Charging and Sentencing 

Federal crimes are charged and sentenced by United States Attorneys and federal judges appointed by the President and Attorney General. These crimes follow sentencing guidelines that establish the criteria for punishment including offense seriously, base offense level, and specific offense characteristics. 

Offense seriousness determines the scope of harm a crime may include. There are 43 levels of offense seriousness and the more intense the crime, the higher the offense level. For example, terrorism would rank higher around 40-43 while wire fraud may rank in the lower teens. 

Base offense levels are similar to offense seriousness, but they address the crime’s perceived level of offense without considering other factors. So, while offense seriousness addresses the crime, the base offense level measures the scope of the crime on its own. 

Offense characteristics may be aggravating factors that can increase or decrease the final sentence. These characteristics may affect offense seriousness as well. For example, if someone robs a government building at gunpoint, the use of a firearm increases the seriousness of the crime. Criminal history and fatalities also impact federal sentencing. 

When a person is sentenced in federal court, they may be sent to federal prison, not a district or local jail. Other privileges and rights may be revoked depending on the base offense level. It is also important to note that for the purposes of double jeopardy, federal and state crimes are considered separate so a person may be convicted of federal drug crimes and state drug possession.

A Fierce Defender and Experienced Advocate

At the Law Office of Ali Ziai, we work tirelessly to address our client’s worries and build a case strategy with their best interests in mind. No crime is too complex for our experienced federal crime defense attorney, and our team is prepared to handle a variety of cases. The Law Office of Ali Ziai is proud to defend those who need it most and is dedicated to protecting their rights in a court of law. 

Schedule a consultation with our Woodland Hills federal crimes defense attorney today.


“What sets Ali apart from some of the other attorneys I have had experience with, and probably from most attorneys, actually, are his communication skills and his compassion for his clients.”

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