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According to https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/hollywood-man-arrested-on-federal-charge-after-his-drone-crashed-with-an-lapd-helicopter/2466525/ a man was recently arrested on a federal misdemeanor charge for unsafe operation of his drone. My question is: how often are people arrested on federal misdemeanor charges? I get the impression the federal government typically only brings charges when the crime exceeds some minimum criteria.

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    There's some data here from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. It would take a little work to distill a proper answer to this question, but Table 7 in particular seems relevant. – Nate Eldredge Nov 23 '20 at 1:36
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They are far more uncommon than felony prosecutions, and far more uncommon than state misdemeanor prosecutions, but they aren't at all unheard of.

According to the United States Sentencing Commission, about 96 percent of the ~80,000 criminal cases in the federal courts in 2019 were felonies, so that leaves something like 3,000 misdemeanors. Spread across the districts, it averages out to about 31 misdemeanors per court annually.

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