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Know Who You’re Dealing With In A Criminal Case

Police aren’t the only law enforcement officials who can charge and arrest you for a crime. In other cases, you may find yourself confronting a county sheriff, an FBI agent or other law enforcement officer. Sometimes these different organizations work together. Knowing what authorities and limitations these officials have can be confusing. But by understanding the differences among them and the jurisdictions they can operate in, you can be better equipped to protect your rights.

Robinson Law, PLLC, can defend you against federal and state criminal charges. We can guide you through all levels of the criminal justice system and give you a fighting chance to protect your future and your freedom.

What’s The Difference Among Police, Sheriffs And FBI Agents?

Here is what sets them all apart:

Police Officers

Police officers in Virginia can enforce laws within a limited jurisdiction, like a town or county. Police can also perform specific duties within these jurisdictions, like making arrests or issuing citations. Fairfax County is unique in that it oversees approximately 25 towns that have their own police departments that only operate within those towns, yet the county itself also has its own police department. Fairfax County Police have jurisdiction over most of the county and any property owned by the county. However, there are still some areas of Fairfax County where county police do not have jurisdiction.

The Sheriff’s Office

Like police officers, sheriffs in Virginia can only operate within the limits of their jurisdiction. They can also make arrests and give citations. The main difference between a sheriff and a police officer is usually the size of the jurisdiction they can operate in – and sheriffs can generally enforce laws across a larger territory. For example, the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office can operate in Fairfax County, as well as the cities of Fairfax, Herndon and Vienna.


The FBI is the largest and most well-known federal crime agency in the United States. While it typically handles national crimes and security threats, it also supports other law enforcement agencies across different regions and states. The FBI can get involved in state crimes as well. However, that’s usually only in specific cases, like those involving crimes against interstate travelers, felony killings of local law enforcement, and serial killers.

If you are facing arrest after interacting with one of these officials, reach out immediately and remember your Miranda Rights – one of our attorneys can represent you.

Fight For Your Freedom – Call A Northern Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney Now.

Federal and state criminal charges can leave your future hanging in the balance. But working with the right lawyers could make a difference. Set up a free consultation by calling 703-542-3616 or completing our contact form.