Question: What is a federal offense in Wisconsin?

Answer: There’s a couple of different ways you can have a federal offense in Wisconsin. One is there’s original federal jurisdiction, and generally for cases that means either there’s some interstate, there’s multiple states involved and so you have to go to federal court to resolve that, and there’s a lot of civil cases and things like that. Most of the time, criminal cases, it’s going to be major drug conspiracies, distribution rings, cases that involve guns—those kinds of things have original federal jurisdiction. Other than that, the way that you end up in federal court in Wisconsin is that something were to occur on federal land. So, for an example, if there is somebody who is caught drunk driving and they’re on land that is federal land—whether it is a military installation or some other kind of federal land—that can end up in federal court as well. So you can have, unusually an OWI that would occur on federal land that would end up in federal court rather than state court.

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