federal criminal statutes apply on a nationwide basis, meaning that they also apply
They apply nationwide, everywhere
throughout the United States, even off post.
If a person commits a violation of
one of these laws, he may be prosecuted by the federal government, whether he
committed the crime on a military installation or not, whether the crime was
HOW DO YOU TELL IF THE FEDERAL CRIMINAL LAW APPLIES NATIONWIDE, AS
OPPOSED TO ONLY IN CERTAIN AREAS?
YOU WILL HAVE TO LOOK AT THE STATUTE THAT IS INVOLVED. SOME LAWS STATE
THAT THEY ONLY APPLY WITHIN "THE SPECIAL MARITIME AND TERRITORIAL
JURISDICTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES." THIS MEANS AREAS UNDER EXCLUSIVE OR
CONCURRENT FEDERAL JURISDICTION, BUT NOT PROPRIETARY JURISDICTION.
EXAMPLES OF SUCH LAWS ARE THE FEDERAL CRIMINAL STATUTES WHICH PROHIBIT
ARSON (18 USC SECTION 81), ASSAULT (18 USC SECTION 113), ROBBERY (18 USC
SECTION 2111), MANSLAUGHTER (18 USC SECTION 1112), AND MURDER (18 USC
SUCH LAWS ARE LIMITED, IN THAT THEY DO NOT APPLY
WHETHER A CIVILIAN CAN BE PROSECUTED WILL DEPEND, THEN ON
WHERE THE CRIME WAS COMMITTED.
An example of a law which applies nationwide is 18 USC Section 1751.
statute makes it a federal crime to kill, to attempt to kill or to kidnap the
President of the United States or the Vice-President.
The language of this law
does not say that it applies only in areas of "the special maritime and territorial
jurisdiction of the United States."
It is not, then, limited to crimes that are
Another example of a law which applied nationwide is 18 USC Section 1114, as
well as Section 1111.
These laws, you will recall, make it a federal criminal
offense to murder or assault various federal law enforcement officials. As we saw,
they apply even outside of the United States, which is also true of Section 1751
(the law covering the assassination of the President).
Some other examples of federal laws which apply nationwide are robbery when
personal property of the U.S. is taken (18 USC Section 2112), bank robbery (18 USC
Section 2113), robbery of a post officer or a postal employee (18 USC Section
2114), and burglary of a post officer (18 USC Section 2115).
WHAT DO YOU CALL A LAW WHICH APPLIES EVEN OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?
IT IS REFERRED TO AS A CRIME WITH EXTRATERRITORIAL EFFECT.
g. Federal crimes of extraterritorial applicability.
Examples of crimes
which apply on an extraterritorial basis include bribery (18 USC Section 201),
conflict of interest (18 USC Section 208), counterfeiting (18 USC Section 25), and
false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims (18 USC Section 287). In U.S. v.