Providing Aggressive Defense Strategies for Federal Criminal Charges
Being accused of a crime is always a stressful experience. In most criminal cases, the charges are prosecuted at the state level. However, there are some crimes that bypass the state’s jurisdiction and are instead prosecuted at the federal level. Federal crimes go through the federal court system and often carry harsher penalties than state crimes.
If you are facing federal charges, you must consult a criminal defense lawyer with experience in the federal court system. Federal court is different from state court, and the defense strategies for the charges vary widely. Our attorneys at Territorial Law have over 60 years of combined experience in both state and federal court, and we can help you create a solid legal defense strategy to protect your rights and reduce or remove the penalties you are facing. To learn more about our team of criminal defense attorneys and to receive a free consultation, call our office today at 928-955-7191.
What is a Federal Crime?
A federal crime is any crime that is charged at the federal level, not the state level. There are fewer federal crimes than there are state crimes, mainly because federal prosecutors only get involved when a federal or national interest is on the line. Federal legislators are the ones who pass the federal criminal laws and who determine what constitutes a federal crime.
There are a few main reasons why a crime would be classified as federal, including the following:
- The crime involves federal officers
- The crime takes place on federal property
- The crime violates a federal statute
- The crime involves fraud, deception, or misrepresentation of the federal government
- The crime crosses state lines
- The crime involves immigration and customs violations
The most common federal crime charges include:
- Tax fraud
- Human trafficking
- Federal drug offenses
- Child pornography
- Mail fraud
- Bank robbery
What Are the Most Common Defenses Against Federal Crimes?
While federal criminal charges carry harsher penalties, the good news is that you are innocent until proven guilty. By working with our criminal defense law firm, you can create a solid legal defense strategy to protect your rights and reduce or remove the charges you are facing.
Below are some of the most common defenses against federal charges:
Federal prosecutors must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution has insufficient or flawed evidence, our team can argue that the case against you is not solid.
Federal law enforcement must follow the law when building a case against any individual. If a law officer used entrapment or coercion to find evidence against you, the criminal lawyers on our team could argue that the case against you is flawed.
Witnesses to a federal crime must be able to prove beyond a doubt that you are the perpetrator. If the allegations against you are false or there has been a case of mistaken identity, our legal team can make a case that you are being falsely accused.
In some instances, individuals are forced to commit crimes because of less-than-ideal situations. Perhaps there was a life-or-death scenario that forced you to violate federal laws. A criminal defense lawyer on our team can build a case around this.
What Are the Federal Sentencing Guidelines?
Federal sentencing guidelines were created for federal district court judges to use after a criminal conviction. Sentencing guidelines use many different criteria, including information about the specific crime, the type of federal criminal conduct, the individual’s criminal history, and the individual’s role in the offense, to determine sentencing recommendations. The specific guidelines can be found in the United States Sentencing Guidelines Manual.
Within the guidelines, there are 43 levels of offenses ranging in seriousness. All details of the federal crime plus the individual’s criminal history are converted into criminal history points, which determine the recommended amount of years in prison for the crime. Federal sentencing guidelines are not required, but many federal judges use them as a reference point when determining the penalties for a federal crime conviction.
What Are the Potential Penalties for Federal Crimes?
The potential penalties you may face depend on the nature of the crime and your criminal history. In most cases, federal charges carry harsher penalties than state charges and could result in years in prison plus thousands of dollars in fines.
Below are the most common penalties after a federal conviction:
- Permanent criminal record
- Prison sentence
- Sex offender registration (if applicable)
- Ineligibility for some professional licenses
- Loss of voting rights
- Loss of the ability to own a firearm
- Ineligibility to register for the military
- Denial of citizenship application
- Travel restrictions
- Loss of visa or permanent resident status
Because the penalties for federal convictions can be so harsh, it is essential to seek legal services if you are facing federal charges. Contact our office today for more information.
What Can a Defense Attorney Do for Me?
If you are facing federal charges or under federal investigation, the best way to protect yourself is by contacting an experienced criminal defense law firm. The federal legal process differs from the state, and your legal team must know the ins and outs of federal court before handling your case. Our team at Territorial Law has experience handling a wide variety of criminal defense cases, including federal crimes.
Our criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to defending the rights of our clients every step of the way. Please do not leave your future and your freedom up to chance. To talk to a member of our team and receive a free consultation, call our office today at 928-955-7191.