While many criminal charges are tried in DC Superior Court, some offenses constitute a violation of federal law. These offenses are prosecuted by the United States government and, as a result, have the full force of a number of federal agencies supporting the prosecution. Agencies conducting investigations, undercover operations, and sting operations on behalf of the government include.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATF)
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Any offense that occurs on federal property can be charged as a federal crime. In addition, white collar crimes, cybercrimes, and drug crimes are among the criminal offenses most frequently prosecuted as federal crimes. Internet sex crimes such as possession of child pornography and online enticement of a minor are also vigorously prosecuted in federal court.


The Maryland Senate on Friday approved a bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. The bill now goes to the House of Delegates, where its prospects are uncertain.

The Senate bill, which passed 36 to 8, would remove criminal penalties for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana and impose a civil fine of $100. Violators would receive citations similar to traffic tickets; they could either pay the fine or request a hearing in District Court.

A similar bill last year did not get out of the House Judiciary Committee.