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Federal crimes are distinct from state and local crimes in many respects. Federal crimes are serious criminal offenses that will be prosecuted by highly trained and aggressive federal prosecutors. Often, federal crimes are more complex than many state crimes and require specialized knowledge of a different set of rules of evidence and procedure. Federal investigations are conducted by powerful agencies like the FBI and CIA, who often conduct investigations without the defendant’s knowledge. Conviction rates in federal courts have been reported to be as high as 93% in 2011. Those accused of federal crimes frequently face harsher penalties than defendants in state court, and may be confronted with mandatory minimum sentences.
If you are charged with a federal crime, you must act quickly to secure the representation of a skilled Boston federal crimes defense attorney. Even the most seasoned local criminal defense attorneys can be lost when it comes to handling federal crimes. Defense against federal crimes requires an attorney with extensive experience in this distinct legal field. Federal investigation agencies will waste no time gathering evidence against you and federal prosecutors will skillfully develop their case. Your best defense against this serious type of crime is to secure the representation of a federal crimes defense attorney as soon as possible.Frequently Asked Questions About Federal Crimes
If you have been charged with a federal crime, you are likely stressed, confused, and full of questions. To this end, we have prepared the following list of frequently asked questions to assist you:1. What is a Federal Crime and how Does it Differ From a State Crime?
A federal crime is defined as a criminal act that violated United States federal legislation or occurs on federal property. A state crime, by contrast, is a criminal act that violates state specific legislation. Some of the most commonly charged federal crimes are as follows:
- Drug offenses, often drug trafficking or drug smuggling
- Firearm offenses
- Immigration offenses
- Tax evasion
- Bank robbery
- Mail Fraud
- Money Laundering
- Federal DUI/DWI/OUI
- Counterfeiting and Forgery
Federal criminal offenses are generally investigated by federal agencies such as the FBI, CIA, DEA, and ATF. These powerful agencies have extensive investigation experience and cutting edge technology. Sometimes state agencies will pair with federal agencies to aid in an investigation. Federal offenses are generally prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, though sometimes a prosecutor from the Department of Justice or the Environmental Protection Agency will participate. Federal prosecutors are notoriously tough and well seasoned litigators3. Do I Need a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney to Defend Me Against my Federal Crimes Charge?
In order to defend you in federal court, a criminal defense attorney must be licensed to practice in the federal court in which the case is pending or must receive permission from the court to practice on a one time basis. Experience in federal court is necessary given the drastic differences between the federal and state court system. An experienced federal criminal defense attorney will have the knowledge necessary to mount your strongest possible defense.4. I've Heard a lot About the Federal Sentencing Guidelines; What Exactly are They?
From 1987 until 2005, when a defendant pled guilty or was convicted in federal court, federal court judges would assess punishment in accordance with mandatory sentencing guidelines. The guidelines were set out in The United States Sentencing Guidelines Manual, and they contained rules for determining the range within which a defendant’s sentence must fall. Factors that were used to determine a sentencing range included: the offense for which the defendant was convicted or pled guilty to; the defendant’s role in the offense and conduct; certain factors about the offense such as the amount of money involved in financial crimes or drugs in drug crimes; and the defendant’s criminal record. Based on these factors and more, the guidelines mandated a judge sentence the defendant within a range of months, unless the case was extremely unusual or fell under some exception. In the absence of these rare factors, the sentence was mandatory. All this changed in 2005 when the U.S. Supreme Court held that the mandatory nature of the sentencing guidelines was unconstitutional. Today, judges in federal court still look to the guidelines, but they are now used as a tool to determine a sentence which is within the judge’s discretion. Certain federal, as well as state, offenses do still carry a mandatory minimum sentence, however, which can be severe.5. I am Under Investigation but Have not yet Been Charged; do I Need an Attorney?
The short answer to this question is: Yes. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible if you are under federal investigation, as a skilled federal criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you right from the start and immediately ensure your rights are protected. Statements made and facts uncovered during the investigation process can permanently affect the outcome of your case. An experienced federal criminal defense attorney will provide you with the advice and assistance you need during this crucial case building time.Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Neyman can Help
Being charged with a federal offense is frightening and stressful, but the skilled federal criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman can help ensure you are in the best of hands. Stephen Neyman has over 20 years experience defending clients charged with federal offenses, from drug trafficking and firearm offenses, to complex money laundering and tax evasion. We have the experience and knowledge to aggressively defend against your federal crimes charge. It is critical to act quickly when you are the subject of a federal investigation or have been charged with a federal offense. The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman will immediately begin mounting your defense and ensuring your constitutional rights are not violated during the investigation process. Call us today at (617) 263-6800 to schedule your initial consultation.
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