Dzhokhar Tsarnaev


in Boston Marathon Bombing

4/22/2013 10:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has just been hit with federal criminal charges for the Boston Marathon bombing ... and if convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced moments ago ... the 19-year-old has been charged with the following counts:

-- One count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (namely, an improvised explosive device or IED) against persons and property within the United States resulting in death.

-- One count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death. 

According to officials, Tsarnaev could face up to life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.

Officials say Tsarnaev had his initial court appearance today from his hospital room ... where he is being treated for wounds sustained during a shoot out with police in Watertown, Mass.