A Federal Crimes Attorney Can Fight for Your Freedom
No one wants to be charged with any type of crime, but federal charges can be the worst of the worst. The important thing to know is that the key to increasing your chance of avoiding jail and other consequences is to work with the right attorney. You can contact Simmons Wagner, LLP right away at (949) 439-5857 to request a consultation and discover our unique defense options.
There Are Several Differences Between State and Federal Charges
A federal criminal case is not the same as a state case, in several important ways:
- The agencies investigating federal crimes are generally better funded and staffed than state agencies
- Federal prosecutors tend to be the most experienced of all prosecutors
- Judges in federal courts have lifetime appointments and (generally) fewer cases than state court judges do
- Federal convictions come with harsher sentences
For these and other reasons, it is not enough to hire a defense attorney – you must hire a defense attorney who has experience with federal crimes.
Examples of Federal Criminal Charges We Can Help You With
Federal criminal cases can involve many allegations and fall under a broad array of statutes, some of the most commonly charged federal offenses include:
- Bank fraud
- Intellectual property theft
- Healthcare fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Mail fraud
- Wire fraud
- Securities crimes
- Money laundering
- Drug conspiracy and trafficking
- Tax evasion
- Public corruption and bribery
- Theft of government property
- Drug crimes
These are only examples. If you have been charged with something you do not see listed, contact us right away to find out how we can help.
The Facts About Federal Sentencing Guidelines and Criminal Penalties for Federal Convictions
The most serious of all federal crimes (first-degree murder) is punishment by life in federal prison or the death penalty. When a federal judge hands down a sentence, they generally follow federal sentencing guidelines. These are non-binding rules designed to create a uniform sentencing policy within the system.
The sentencing guidelines involve a point system to determine a person’s sentence. The higher a person’s points are, the longer they are likely to spend in prison. Points are awarded depending on the seriousness of the crime, the criminal record of the defendant, and other factors. Judges do not have to follow these guidelines but they do have to consider them when deciding on a sentence. If they decide not to follow the set out federal guidelines, the judge must provide an explanation for the variation.
Mandatory Minimum Sentences
Some federal crimes come with a mandatory minimum sentencing. The most common are drug crimes. Any crime involving illegal drugs or other controlled substances as outlined in the Controlled Substances Act (or the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act) is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of anywhere from one year to life in prison, depending on:
- The nature of the crime
- The type and amount of drugs involved
- The criminal record of the defendant
- The existence of aggravating factors such as injuries or deaths
Take this example: the mandatory minimum for trafficking in 100+ grams of heroin is five years. The mandatory minimum for trafficking 1+ kilos is ten years. The minimum sentence can be increased if the defendant is a repeat offender or if someone was injured or killed in the commission of the crime.
Do Not Wait to Call a Federal Crimes Defense Attorney
If you have been charged in a federal court, or have reason to believe you are under investigation by a federal agency, then it is imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Ideally, we can convince the federal prosecutor not to file charges or having them reduced. If that is not possible, we will defend you aggressively, or negotiate to get you the best possible plea deal. Call Simmons Wagner, LLP right away to get started: (949) 439-5857.