What is Considered a Federal Crime?
Being charged with a federal crime can be scary. Federal offenses are some of the most serious crimes you may be charged with and you can expect the investigation of these crimes by the prosecution to be extensive and very thorough. While federal investigators and prosecutors may say they have your best interests at heart, they are doing everything in their power to take away your freedom. You must exercise your constitutional right of representation by hiring an experienced federal attorney that can effectively tell your side of the story.
Federal crimes are prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office and investigated by government agencies, such as the FBI, DEA, ATF, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). When faced with federal charges, you are up against some of the brightest minds in the country that have access to the government’s limitless amount of resources. It is critical that you hire a federal lawyer like McLean and Mitchell that is familiar with the procedures and guidelines and who is capable of providing aggressive representation in order to give you the best possibility of a positive outcome.
There are several types of federal charges prosecuted in the United States, including
- Federal Drug Trafficking
- Federal Sex Crimes
- Arms Dealing
- Money Laundering
Federal Court Process
The judicial process for federal cases is also different from state or local court. After you are arrested for a federal crime, a pretrial services or courtroom probation officer will interview the defendant and review their background. This information is used later to help the judge decide whether or not to release you while trial is pending.
Federal prosecutors work closely with federal agents to examine all the evidence gathered during an investigation. If they believe there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, they will present their case to a grand jury. If the grand jury agrees there is sufficient evidence, a federal indictment will be filed with the United States District Court that has jurisdiction over the case. At the initial appearance, a federal judge will advise the defendant of the charges filed against them and will determine if there is probable cause to believe the defendant has committed a federal offense.
What are the Penalties for Federal Crimes?
The sentencing guidelines for federal crimes carry much harsher penalties than a state or local charge. Many defendants take a plea bargain, where they will agree to plead guilty in exchange for leniency or a reduced sentence. If considering a plea bargain, it’s important to understand that the judge has total control over what the sentence will ultimately be.
When the prosecutor and federal attorneys negotiate a deal, the defendant is typically admitting to a charge that puts them in a certain sentencing range. A federal judge must consider the guideline range and other important factors before sentencing a defendant. However, once this evaluation is complete the judge has the power to sentence the defendant to whatever sentence they deem appropriate.
Some judges typically always sentence within the appropriate guideline range, while others ignore the guideline range and focus more on a particular defendant or the crime that they committed. This is why it is so important to find an attorney that is familiar with the federal sentencing guideline and has the intelligence to make effective arguments that consistently achieve the best results.
It is also important that your federal crime lawyer provides the sentencing judge with the good things about your life in order to show the judge that you are a person worth giving a second chance.
Defending Federal Charges
To increase the chances of avoiding a conviction for a federal charge, it is crucial to obtain representation as soon as you suspect you may be under investigation by a federal agency. The complex task of determining what evidence they may have against you will take exhaustive research and documentation. Federal crimes are often long term investigations that deal with many witnesses, records, warrants, and plea bargains that require the expertise of a professional and experienced defense firm such as ours. With over 40 years of combined experience and a board-certified defense attorney on staff, you are confident in our ability to successfully defend your case.
Don’t Wait Till It’s Too Late – Contact a Federal Lawyer Today
At McLean & Mitchell, we are committed to aggressively defending your case and will do everything we can to make sure you don’t spend years behind bars. You can count on our criminal defense firm to thoroughly investigate your charges, collect solid evidence, and build a strong and convincing defense.
Do not fall for the assurances of federal investigators. You deserve the best representation possible, and that’s what you can expect to receive when contacting our federal defense attorneys.