Crimes Related to Indians Explained by Federal Defense Attorney

Indian reservations are subject to different laws than many other parts of the United States. The federal government has specific rules applicable to Indians and those rules include criminalizing certain types of conduct that occur.

If you are found in violation of the applicable rules and regulations, you could face federal charges that carry harsh penalties.

There are a series of federal laws applicable to “Indian Country,” which is the legal term used in the federal statute and which has a specific definition under federal law. Many criminal defense attorneys do not fully understand these rules and so cannot effectively defend you against accusations of wrongdoing if you have been accused of a crime. Because facing federal charges is serious, it’s important you are represented by federal defense lawyers who know how the law works and how cases are prosecuted.

LV Criminal Defense can help. We have successfully represented clients in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, and Oregon who have been accused of crimes connected to federal laws regulating Indian country.

We will work closely with you to protect your rights and reduce the chances your future will be derailed by a conviction or harsh penalties imposed in the federal criminal justice system. To find out more about the help we can offer, give us a call today.

Federal Laws On Indians

Federal laws that define different kinds of crimes related to Indians are found in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 53. These laws address different types of misconduct ranging from dispensing intoxicants in Indian Country to gambling on Indian lands. There are a total of 20 statutes in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 53 that establish federal rules applicable to crimes connected with Indian Country. One of the statutes has been repealed, and the remaining 19 statutes include

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  • 18 U.S. Code section 1151: Indian country defined
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1152: Laws governing
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1153: Offenses committed within Indian country
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1154: Intoxicants dispensed in Indian country
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1155: Intoxicants dispensed on school site
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1156: Intoxicants possessed unlawfully
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1158: Counterfeiting Indian Arts and Crafts Board trade mark
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1159: Misrepresentation of Indian produced goods and products
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1160: Property damaged in committing offense
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1161: Application of Indian liquor laws
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1162: State jurisdiction over offenses committed by or against Indians in the Indian country
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1163: Embezzlement and theft from Indian tribal organizations
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1164: Destroying boundary and warning signs
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1165: Hunting, trapping, or fishing on Indian land
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1166: Gambling in Indian country
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1167: Theft from gaming establishments on Indian lands
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1168: Theft by officers or employees of gaming establishments on Indian lands
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1169: Reporting of child abuse
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1170: Illegal trafficking in Native American human remains and cultural items

18 U.S. Code section 1151 defines what Indian country means, which is relevant for purposes of the remainder of the statutes within Chapter 53. According to the relevant law, Indian Country refers to all lands that are located within the limits of an Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States government, as well as all dependent Indian communities in the borders of the United States, and all Indian allotments which have Indian titles that have not been extinguished.

According to 18 U.S. Code section 1152, the general laws of the United States that apply to offenses committed in areas under U.S. jurisdiction apply to Indian Country except otherwise provided by law. However, this section of U.S. law does not, with some exceptions, extend to offenses that are committed by one Indian against the person or property of another Indian, nor to an Indian committing an offense in Indian Country who has been punished by local law.

18 U.S. Code section 1153 goes on to address what happens when offenses are committed within Indian Country. According to the relevant statute, an Indian who commits murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, maiming, certain felonies, incest, assault against children, felony child abuse, arson, burglary, robbery or certain other specific offenses can be subject to the same laws and penalties as any other person who commits such crimes within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States.

Other statutes within this section address different issues including imposing penalties for selling or giving away intoxicants in Indian Country, misrepresenting Indian produced goods, destroying boundary signs and more.

An experienced federal defense lawyer can explain the specific charges defendants will face when they are accused of violating laws in Chapter 53 and will help defendants to understand how federal laws overlap with rules and regulations on Indian reservations.

Address: 400 S, 7th Street #401, Las Vegas, NV 89101 United States, 400 S, 7th Street #401, 89101, US, $$$ | Tel: + 1 (702) 623-6362
Address: 400 S, 7th Street #401, Las Vegas, NV 89101 United States, 400 S, 7th Street #401, 89101, US, $$$ | Tel: + 1 (702) 623-6362

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When I initially met with Mr. Wooldridge, he took the opportunity to sit and go over my problem with me. He described details in my case which he found disturbing and explained why he I should have him on my side.

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Getting help from a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

LV Criminal Defense knows the ins-and-outs of 18 U.S. Code Chapter 53 and we understand the special laws in the United States that apply to Indians or within Indian Country. When you’ve been accused of wrongdoing related to these laws, we will help to ensure you choose the best legal strategy for responding to charges and fighting for your future.

Our firm has successfully represented clients in California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas and we can put our extensive knowledge of the federal penal code to work to help you get the best outcomes possible.

Whether we’re negotiating a plea agreement on your behalf or raising defenses in court to introduce reasonable doubt and help you get acquitted, we will always treat your case with the importance it deserves because your future is at stake. Give us a call today to talk with federal criminal defense attorneys who can help you.