Understanding the Difference Between State and Federal Criminal Law


If you are under investigation for committing a criminal act(s) or if you have been arrested, you may or will be, prosecuted in either State or Federal court. In some instances, you may even be subject to prosecution in both courts!

As an overview, almost every crime committed can be prosecuted by the State of Florida; but not every crime committed can be prosecuted by the Federal Government. Federal Courts have jurisdiction over crimes that are in violation of Federal laws only, which usually involve crimes where criminal activity is multi-state (drug conspiracy) or involves a violation of a federally regulated business, such as banks or mortgage companies. Federal courts generally do not have jurisdiction over certain crimes, such as DUI, murder, theft or battery. Federal crimes are always prosecuted after an investigation by a Federal agency, such as the FBI, DEA or ATF.

Unlike a State case, if you are arrested and charged with a Federal crime, the Federal Government is usually ready to take you to trial that day. Well over 90% of those charged with a Federal crime are found guilty and over 90% go to prison. Subsequently, if you receive notification from a Federal law enforcement agency informing you that you are the target or subject of an investigation, you need to call Attorney H. Kyle Fletcher immediately! To date, Attorney Fletcher has never had a client, who was the subject of a Federal criminal investigation, end up arrested and charged with a crime; “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

The Federal criminal system is highly complex, much more so than the State criminal system. Federal Court Judges have a limited involvement, as compared to State Court Judges. Unlike State Court, depositions are usually not allowed, probation is rarely a sentencing result, nor is a “withhold of adjudication” a possible outcome for a case. The end result in Federal Court is either you will be a convicted felon or you will walk away a free person. The Federal Government is the most powerful entity in the history of humankind.

Attorney H. Kyle Fletcher has defeated the Federal Government in trial. He has litigated against the Federal Government in defense of his client’s Constitutional rights, to the point that the Federal Government has dropped its charges because Attorney Fletcher has convinced them they will not win at trial. Attorney H. Kyle Fletcher has a proven record of getting the best possible outcome in Federal court.  Since 2004, Attorney Fletcher has been involved in scores of Federal criminal cases throughout Florida and Georgia, and he has argued successfully if front of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.


Attorney H. Kyle Fletcher, of the Fletcher Law Firm, represents individuals who have been charged with counterfeiting, forgery and other crimes involving the falsification of documents in the State of Florida. Counterfeiting currency is a federal crime that carries stiff prison sentences and penalties. If you’ve been charged with counterfeiting, you need a criminal defense lawyer who has experience representing clients at the federal level. Contact our office immediately to discuss your charges.

Federal Counterfeiting Charges in the State of Florida

Regardless of whether you are arrested in the State of Florida, or anywhere else in the country, counterfeiting currency, along with several other types of financial instruments, is charged at the federal level and cases are tried in the US district criminal courts. If a local police department, like Orlando P.D. or the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, believes you have been printing, selling or uttering counterfeit money, they will usually defer the case to the US Secret Service, which is the agency tasked with investigating counterfeit currency. Counterfeiting can carry a prison sentence of up to twenty years in federal prison, in addition to fines and parole.

Criminal defense attorney H. Kyle Fletcher represents individuals who have been arrested on federal counterfeiting charges for crimes involving the manufacture, sale, transfer, importation or exportation of:

  • US Currency
  • Foreign Currency
  • Bonds, Stock Certificates, and Securities
  • US Postage Stamps Federal Seals




The Secret Service, state and local law enforcement agencies, and federal prosecutors often work for years on a single counterfeiting case. That’s why it’s important to hire an attorney who has the experience and knowledge to dissect volumes of discovery evidence. Attorney Fletcher has represented numerous clients in state and federal courts. He has a proven record of success when it comes to defending clients against federal counterfeiting charges.

If you are under investigation for counterfeiting, or you’ve been arrested on a federal counterfeiting charge, you need to retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Most criminal defense lawyers are inexperienced with federal charges. Contact an Attorney H. Kyle Fletcher, he has an established record of success at both state and federal levels. To schedule an appointment with one of Central Florida’s top counterfeit defense lawyers, call our office at 407.971.4727.

Bank Robbery

Because banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)—a division of the US government—the federal courts have concurrent jurisdiction with Florida courts over bank robbery cases. If you’ve been arrested or are under investigation for bank robbery in the state of Florida, you are going to require the services of a criminal defense lawyer who has experience trying cases at both the state and federal levels. The Fletcher Law Firm of Orlando, FL has defended those accused of state and federal crimes, like bank robbery, for over twenty years. Contact us immediately to discuss your charges.

Federal and State Bank Robbery Criminal Offenses

Under the federal statute, in order for bank robbery to apply, you must have used force or intimidation to deprive a bank, savings and loan, or credit union, of their assets or the assets over which they are charged. Theft and embezzlement, for instance, absent the presentation of force, are not considered bank robbery at the state or federal level. Walking into a bank with a gun—or intimating that you have a gun even if you don’t—would be considered bank robbery by both state and federal prosecuting attorneys.

Sometimes, the police or federal agents will arrest or detain suspected bank robbers on less than solid, proprietorial evidence. In situations like these, they hope to make their case based upon admissions or statements provided by their suspects. It is for this reason that it’s of paramount importance you contact a criminal defense attorney, as soon as you are aware you are being investigated for a bank robbery. If you’ve been arrested by police, request to speak to a lawyer before answering questions, even if others were arrested with you.

The Fletcher Law Firm cannot guarantee the outcome of any criminal case; but your best chance of continued liberty is to retain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. In Orlando, few attorneys have the criminal defense background to match that of Attorney H. Kyle Fletcher.

Professional Criminal Defense Lawyer of Orlando

Bank robbery is a serious crime in the State of Florida, and convictions often result in lengthy prison sentences. Don’t trust your continued liberty to a criminal defense attorney who lacks experience defending bank robbery cases at the state of federal levels. Hire Attorney H. Kyle Fletcher to formulate an ironclad criminal defense for you. Contact Orlando’s Fletcher Law Office by calling 407.971.4727.

Securities Fraud

The Fletcher Law Firm, P.A. represents bankers, financial analysts and individual investors who have been arrested or are under investigation in the State of Florida for securities fraud. In the current political environment, there has been increased scrutiny into the investment practices of both individuals and organizations that exchange stocks, commodities, bonds, and other financial instruments. Consequently, it is far easier these days to become the subject of a federal securities fraud investigation, even if you have done nothing wrong. If you have been arrested for securities fraud, or you are aware that you or your firm is under investigation, call the Fletcher Law Firm. Attorney H. Kyle Fletcher has earned his reputation as a formidable criminal defense lawyer by defending those accused of white-collar crimes. Contact our Orlando office immediately to schedule an initial consultation.

Federal Security Crimes in the State of Florida

As a criminal defense attorney, H. Kyle Fletcher has successfully represented scores of professionals in the US Middle District Court and other federal criminal justice venues. He has also assisted clients, who are aware that they are the targets of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) probes, but have not been formally charged. Some of the cases Attorney Fletcher handles involve:

  • Trading Unregistered Securities
  • Falsifying Documents Filed With the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Utilizing Communications With the Intent to Defraud or Mislead
  • Accounting Fraud




If you are charged with a securities crime you could be facing federal prison, fines, loss or suspension of your securities license, and be open to civil law suits. It’s important you retain the services of a qualified securities fraud defense lawyer at your first opportunity. Contact our law office at 407.971.4727 to discuss your options.

Mortgage Fraud

Did you invest in the housing bubble throughout the past decade only to discover you inadvertently became an unwitting part of a mortgage fraud conspiracy? You are not alone. For years there was rich opportunity for lucrative land deals near Orlando, throughout Florida and across the nation. Unfortunately, it was also a period during which investors were taken advantage of and, as a result, exposed to potential criminal indictment. If you’ve found yourself a target of a grand jury inquiry or federal investigation, it is important to retain a proven and experienced lawyer. Call the Fletcher Law Firm, our clients are our first priority.

Act in Your Best Defense

Do not wait until charges have been filed to get strong representation. As your legal representative, we can help guide you through an investigation and work early and quickly to establish your defense and perhaps prevent criminal charges altogether.

Our office provides close personal counsel that builds custom strategies based on the unique circumstances of your case. We have a record of proven trial experience and can handle complex issues and accusations of real estate fraud or inflated property value. Our attorney offers 24/7 support for clients and an unwavering focus on providing professional and personalized counsel.

We understand how dramatically a federal investigation, criminal charge or conviction can impact your life it is why we make your case a priority from the moment you walk into our office. Let us put our resources, knowledge and proven record to work for you.

Get the Legal Defense You Need

We are a recognized and respected Florida law firm, experienced in handling complex federal cases. Whether you are being investigated for mortgage fraud or you have been charged with a state or federal crime, our office can help you establish a strong defense and make your case in court. Contact our office online or by phone today at 407.971.4727.

Tax Fraud

It’s very serious to be investigated or prosecuted for tax fraud on a federal or state level. When officials start asking questions, your choice of legal counsel is one that will affect your life for years to come. When you are facing a federal inquiry into tax fraud or tax evasion, make sure your attorney is completely prepared for the vigorous battle ahead.

H. Kyle Fletcher is an experienced attorney when it comes to battling the IRS. He is an established lawyer with the knowledge and resources that a tax fraud case demands. Even in federal cases, respected trial lawyer H. Kyle Fletcher is equipped to take on the prosecutions most sophisticated and intimidating tactics. With the Fletcher Law Firm, you get the professionalism your situation demands, along with the personal service of a small, highly-focused, specialized law firm.

Take Control of Your Tax Fraud Case

Operating in Orlando and Central Florida, the Fletcher Law Firm represents individuals, who are under investigation or charged with federal crimes related to tax fraud and tax evasion. We help people and corporations, companies, non-profits, and other firms defend themselves against allegations of tax fraud. We provide a complimentary and confidential case review, guaranteed. Put our office to work for you if you are facing criminal charges or are under investigation for:

  • Tax Evasion
  • Personal Tax Fraud
  • Sales Tax Fraud
  • Filing a False Return, Filing an Incorrect Return or Providing False Documentation
  • Failure to Pay Taxes
  • Failure to Report Income Accurately or Under-Reporting Income
  • Failure to File a Return






Even if you don’t face jail time for some of these crimes, you may have to pay devastating fines, penalties, interest and other fees. If you are the target of an IRS investigation in the State of Florida, you need strong, reliable counsel on your side. We strive to provide our clients with top-quality representation; and we make our office and resources available to you when you need us most.  To learn more about how we can handle the complex nature of your tax fraud case, schedule an initial consultation with our office online or by phone at 407.971.4727.

Money Laundering

The FBI is cracking down on those suspected of money laundering because they allege this activity supports acts of terrorism. Because of this, more individuals are facing charges and prosecutors are doing everything they can to get speedy convictions.

If you have moved money through the financial system or paid an individual with money you supposedly gained by illegal means, you could face a Florida State or federal money laundering charge. This charge, usually classified as a white collar crime, can carry significant penalties, jail time and can include the forfeiture of funds, property and fines. Money laundering can also be considered a violation of the Patriot Act.

If you are the subject of any money laundering investigation, you need an aggressive defense attorney with exemplary legal knowledge and an excellent record of successes. At the Fletcher Law Firm, Attorney Fletcher represents clients in the Orlando area and across Central Florida in state and federal criminal money laundering and white collar crime cases. These cases include illegal wire transfers, embezzlement schemes, fraud, and other illegal transactions.

Recent United States Supreme Court rulings concerning money laundering (particularly the United States v. Santos) have seriously impacted how the government can prosecute charges and have forced the courts to consider the profits and proceeds when trying a case. Mr. Fletcher is an experienced trial attorney who has attained excellent results in federal cases because of his unwavering commitment to his clients and knowledge of the law.

At the Fletcher Law Firm, we study the latest rulings in detail in order to be fully prepared to use relevant changes laws and law interpretation on a client’s behalf. With significant resources and the commitment to work for you 24/7, the Fletcher Law Firm has excellent, trustworthy legal counsel available when you need it most.

Since any charge of money laundering is commonly associated with RICO and federal racketeering prosecutions or fraud, it takes scrupulous attention to detail to refute the accusations. Even if you are not actually charged with a crime yet, the sooner you put the right lawyer on your side, the more effective that attorney will be in defending your case or preventing charges from ever being filed.

If you are the target of a grand jury inquiry, a federal investigation, or a state or federal criminal complaint for money laundering, you need the kind of reliable and knowledgeable legal counsel that our firm works around the clock to provide. Get the information you need about your case. Call 407.971.4727 or contact us online today to schedule a case review.

Firearm Crimes

It is absolutely imperative you have an aggressive, strong defense if you are facing charges involving the use of a firearm. Accusations of criminal activity related to firearms carry potentially life-changing consequences. Not only may you receive a lengthy prison sentence, but you might also lose your property and other rights. H. Kyle Fletcher of the Fletcher Law Firm, in Oviedo, Florida, is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who provides state and federal representation for all firearms offenses. He is an accessible, hard-working attorney who delivers the kind of superior, personalized service that wins tough criminal defense cases.

Professional, Experienced and Successful Orlando Firearms Defense Attorney

Attorney H. Kyle Fletcher is proud of his established practice. He is even more proud to have established a history of satisfied clients. We know how any criminal charge can change your life and put your future in question. At the Fletcher Law Firm, we take the responsibility of your defense very seriously. Year after year, the Fletcher Law Firm has established strategies, resources and the knowledge it takes to make a truly compelling defense. We can represent you in legal matters involving:

  • Possession of an illegal weapon
  • Felon in possession of a firearm
  • Use of a firearm in the commission of a crime
  • Armed robbery or burglary with a firearm
  • Aggravated battery with a firearm
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Illegal discharge of a weapon
  • Manslaughter or attempted murder
  • Altering serial numbers on a gun







If you have been charged with, or are being investigated for, any firearms offense, it is important to get trustworthy legal counsel as soon as possible. The decisions you make now will impact you for the rest of your life. Only a competent, experienced attorney can make sure you have complete information and help you choose your defense wisely.

Mandatory Sentences: What You Should Know

If you are unfamiliar with “10, 20, Life,” this refers to the basic mandatory sentencing structure for those convicted of possessing a gun during the commission of a felony. Mandatory sentencing dictates 10 years in prison for possession of a gun while committing a felony, 20 years in prison if you fired the gun, and 25 years to life in prison if anyone was injured when you fired the gun.

Your Rights and the U.S. Constitution

Did the police thoroughly investigate your situation and were you treated fairly? When it comes to gun offenses and crimes involving firearms, state and federal prosecutors are not on your side. A good defense attorney will carefully review the arrest and the circumstances from every angle, ensuring that your side of the story is fully represented before judge and jury. You cannot face gun-related charges without a fully competent defense attorney. Every single crime involving a gun is serious, because almost all of gun offenses have a minimum mandatory sentence of prison time. Consult With Attorney H. Kyle Fletcher Today Since the criminal justice system operates outside of normal business hours, our office works to be available to you 24/7. We are prepared to help you fully understand any charges or accusations and protect your rights through the entire process. Please call 407.971.4727 or contact us online to begin receiving the legal representation your case demands.

Sex and Internet Crimes

Child Pornography, the Definition

This term refers to any depiction of any individual, aged 17 and under, engaged in any sexual act or in any pose that suggests a sexual act. This definition covers pictures or images, video, magazines, and other printed matter. In Florida, it is against both State and Federal law to own, view, create, or distribute materials such as this.


Officials always prosecute this type of crime to the fullest extent of the law. In Florida, it is a third-degree felony to possess any child pornography of any form. Each individual photo is punishable by up to five years prison time, which includes duplicate images. Prosecutors are allowed to request even more prison time if the materials display specific acts or depict any child younger than five.

Officials must prove these charges beyond all reasonable doubt, in order to obtain a conviction—meaning they must show strong evidence the defendant in fact owned the materials in question. This gets tricky if the defendant is accused of an internet offense and uses a shared laptop or desktop computer or any computer that is infected with viruses or third-party software that alters files in the computer’s caches, histories and hard drives. Prosecutors must be able to prove you were the user who in fact perpetrated a cybersex crime.

There are numerous other factors to consider in these cases. If you are arrested for the possession or distribution of illegal and illicit content on the Internet, you need to contact our office now. These are extremely serious criminal charges that will affect your life permanently, if you do not have a thorough and competent defense. When you have been arrested for a crime involving child pornography, for example, you are facing more than a prison sentence. The vast majority of states, will require you to register as a sex offender, creating a stigma that follows for life.

At the Fletcher Law Firm, we understand the nature and gravity of criminal charges related to the distribution of illegal material through the Internet and other electronic media. We have extensive and proven experience handling these kinds of criminal charges. We will treat you and your case with the respect, compassion and attention you deserve.

Florida Defense Lawyer with a Proven Record of Success

Prosecutors and law enforcement personnel never go easy on individuals accused of child pornography or other illegally transmitted media on the Internet. Since catching and prosecution child sex offenders have been sensationalized by prime-time TV, high-profile cases can easily gain instant and widespread exposure.

You need an attorney who can match the aggressive and persistent attitude of the prosecutors you must face. Our firm has the resources and strategies at our disposal to be highly effective in complex criminal cases. We make the strong and focused defense of our clients our top priority.

We take on cases involving:

  • Possession of child pornography
  • Creation of child pornography
  • Distribution of child pornography
  • Juvenile crimes
  • Transmitting illegal or illicit images via the Internet or cell phones
  • Sexting





Even if you have not been charged with a crime, but suspect you are under investigation for a sex or Internet crime, contact our office immediately. Call 407.971.4727 or contact us online now to schedule a free consultation.

Fake IDs and False Identification

Although obtaining a fake identification in Florida is considered fairly easy to do, many people do not realize that if you are caught trying to use a fake ID, you face some very serious consequences. Those charged with using a fake ID can receive a 3rd degree felony conviction, which carries a maximum punishment of up to five years in prison and a $5000 fine.

According to Florida law, it is illegal to make, sell, or possess a false identification card. While the use of fake IDs in Florida is relatively common, the ID will usually be confiscated by the bouncer or security of the bar or nightclub that an underage person is trying to gain access to. However, if the patron refuses to leave or argues with the staff of the establishment, he will likely be charged with possessing a fake ID and possibly also with trespassing or some other minor offense.

Fake ID Charges Are Serious

Most people who face allegations of possession of a fake ID are those with no previous criminal history – young people who are not knowledgeable about the legal system and have no idea that attempting to pass a fake ID in Florida is a felony. Attorney H. Kyle Fletcher of the Fletcher Law Firm is experienced in False Identification law and can advise you of your rights and options. We have represented many underage individuals in the greater Orlando area. The Fletcher Law Firm will work to minimize the penalties you may be facing.

Are You Facing a Felony Fake Id Charge in Florida?

Getting caught trying to use false identification can have a serious impact on your life, now and in the future. The Fletcher Law Firm will fight for your rights and attempt to reduce the charges. Call us at 407-971-4727 or contact us online today – your initial consultation is free.

Vandalism and Property Crimes

Many individuals in Florida do not understand that vandalism and property damage are very serious criminal offenses. According to Florida law, if a person willfully and maliciously damages some else’s property, he can be charged with a variety of offenses, including:

Arson – Intentionally damaging any building through the use of fire or an explosion. An individual can be charged with first or second-degree arson, depending upon whether another person was in the building at the time of the offense and if the offender knew the person was there.

Burglary – Entering a structure, dwelling, building, motor vehicle, ship, railroad car, or aircraft that is closed to the public with the intent to commit a crime, or lawfully entering a building and remaining there after they are no longer allowed with the intention of committing a crime. Breaking and entering is a form of burglary.

Criminal Mischief – Willfully and maliciously damaging any real or personal property belonging to someone else. Anyone who commits vandalism (willfully and maliciously destroying public or private property) or graffiti can be charged with criminal mischief.

Criminal Trespass – Willfully entering or remaining in a structure or building without being authorized, licensed, or invited to be there. Breaking and entering can be considered criminal trespass.

Potential Penalties for Vandalism and Property Damage Crimes

The charge and penalties for vandalism and property crimes depend upon the degree and type of damage committed:

Second-degree misdemeanor – Damage valued at under $200, punishable by 60 days in jail and $500 fine

First-degree misdemeanor – Damage is between $200 and $1000, punishable by up to one year in jail and $1000 fine

Third-degree felony – Damage valued at more than $1000, punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $5000.

Property Damage Involving Graffiti

If vandalism and property damage involves graffiti, the mandatory minimum fines are:

First conviction – $250

Second conviction – $500

Third conviction – $1000

In addition to the minimum fines, the penalty for a graffiti conviction will include a minimum of 40 hours of community service and up to $100 hours, which will involve working to remove the graffiti.

If you have been charged with vandalism or some other property damage crime, Attorney H. Kyle Fletcher will advise you of your rights. Your initial consultation is free – call us at 407-971-4727 or contact us online today.

Petit Theft–Retail Theft–Shoplifting

In Florida, petit theft and retail theft are known as crimes of dishonesty. They are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the offender’s number of prior convictions.

Most stores are incredibly candid when it comes to theft. They often post signs that read: “Shoplifting is a serious crime. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” This is not an exaggeration. In the State of Florida, after years of dealing with millions in losses because of thieves, most retail stores, shops and outlets take even misdemeanor shoplifting very seriously; and will seek maximum penalties in every instance of theft.

Since shoplifting causes daily problems in shopping malls and retail outlets, store managers use closed-circuit surveillance cameras to record shoppers at all times and carefully train employees to carefully watch for any act of stealing. The operation is sophisticated and incredibly successful at catching even the most cautious shoplifters.

If you are accused of theft, there is a good chance your accuser has hard evidence that you committed the crime. All theft charges carry grim consequences, because they are considered crimes of dishonesty; this means that if you’re convicted of shoplifting or theft, in addition to legal consequences, the charges (or even the accusations) will show up in your background check every time you apply for a job, keeping prospective employers from hiring you.

In Florida, a first conviction of petit theft or retail theft is considered a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail. A second offense is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a loss of driving privileges for up to six months. Petit theft also carries negative implications that can prevent someone from getting a job, obtaining a professional license, and gaining acceptance into a college. Individuals found guilty of theft are required to be fingerprinted, and the conviction becomes public record. If you have priors, the case against you becomes even stronger.

If you are arrested for stealing or any kind of theft, please call the law firm of H. Kyle Fletcher immediately at 407.971.4727. We can provide a compelling defense for you and protect your rights in cases of:

  • Petty Theft and Shoplifting
  • Credit Card and Identity Theft
  • Check Theft and Forgery
  • Employee Theft




If You Are Falsely Accused

Since everyone is watching for thieves and shoplifters, the risk of false accusations has increased exponentially. If you are accused of stealing and you are innocent of the crime, it is absolutely crucial that you contact a qualified Orlando defense lawyer as soon as possible. If, for example, you are distracted by a cell phone conversation and absentmindedly step out of the store with merchandise in your hand, you may be arrested for shoplifting. An experienced shoplifting and theft defense attorney can explain the circumstances to police and security, preventing you from facing theft charges in court.

If you are accused of theft or shoplifting in Oviedo, Altamonte Springs, or the greater Orlando area, call experienced attorney H. Kyle Fletcher immediately at 407.971.4727 to learn about your rights and options.