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If you are a target of a federal criminal investigation or have been charged with a federal crime, you should be aware that the federal investigatory process and the prospects of facing federal charges can be terrifying. As a result, it is very important that you work with an experienced New York federal attorney who can walk you through every step of the process, advise you of your rights, advocate on your behalf and vigorously defend your rights.
You should not be fooled into believing that a federal criminal investigation is the same thing as a state investigation. The federal government has virtually unlimited resources and its investigators and prosecutors are well trained and hardened. That is why it is imperative to work with a New York federal attorney equally experienced in federal crimes and not an attorney limited to state criminal experience.
There is a wide variety of federal crimes for which you may be charged. Some of the most common types of charges that a federal criminal attorney deals with include, but are not limited to, the following:
You should know that if you are a target of a federal criminal investigation for any offense, the most important thing you can do may be to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Too often, the things you say and do before seeking legal representation can severely harm your case.
One of the biggest differences between state and federal courts is the uncertainty of sentencing in a federal case following conviction, a New York federal attorney advises.
In state court, there is relative certainty in knowing the exact penalties that you face. However, in federal court, the federal judge making the sentencing decision is not involved in any plea-bargaining before making his or her decision, and the prosecutor and defense attorney typically do not consult with the judge before a plea is made. As a result, the judge oftentimes does not have knowledge to what the parties discussed or negotiated to arrive at the plea deal.
Additionally, the federal judge is not bound by what the parties agree. For example, even if the prosecutor and the defense agree that there should be an upper limit on a prison sentence, the sentencing judge is not obligated to follow what the parties decided upon. A judge is bound by the statutory minimums and maximums and must give consideration to the federal sentencing guidelines, but these limits are typically very broad effectively giving the judge total discretion.
Given these uncertainties with the federal sentencing process, federal criminal defendants should be aware that there are steps that your New York federal attorney can take to help you get a more lenient sentence through a process called sentence advocacy.
During sentence advocacy, the accused and the defense attorney may present evidence to the court explaining why there are mitigating circumstances and why a more lenient sentence is appropriate. In effect, your attorney will go from arguing your innocence to arguing why you deserve a less severe punishment.
An experienced New York federal attorney will know how to advocate on your behalf given your background information, criminal history, friend and family testimony, character references and other extenuating circumstances such as medical and health concerns.
If you have been charged with a federal crime in New York state, it is important that you work with an experienced federal criminal attorney. The laws and regulations regarding federal crimes are very different than state crimes, and the penalties can be much more severe. As a result, you will want to work with an attorney knowledgeable about the federal criminal process.
Facing allegations of a federal offense is frightening. Just the idea may have you feeling confused or hopeless. Navigating the stages of a federal criminal case on your own is a very hard endeavor. For this reason, your bet is to hire a skilled federal defense attorney right away. Retaining good legal representation may spell the difference between clearing your name and having an excessively harsh sentence imposed upon you. That move will save you the stress and concerns of having to meet filing deadlines and uphold your legal rights on your own. The quicker you get a seasoned defense attorney on your team, the better.
Here is some advice to help you wrap your head around the weeks and months to come.
Federal Criminal Accusations and Investigations: A Deeper Understanding
Should you find yourself under investigation for a federal offense, your home or office may be targeted for a search. The government will show up, usually unannounced, with a search warrant. In execution of the warrant, they will look for evidence that they can use to demonstrate your guilt. It’s critical to bear in mind that just because you’ve been accused of a crime doesn’t mean that you will actually be charged with a criminal offense. The government may not have sufficient evidence to convict you of the crime. Bringing in a skilled federal attorney to do battle on your behalf is a great move towards proving your innocence and saving you from ruinous fines and jail time. In the beginning stages of your case, you have a lot of options to consider. You might want to consider taking a plea bargain. Conversely, it may be in your interest to duke it out in the courtroom.
Navigating the Post-Conviction Phase of Your Federal Criminal Matter
In case you’ve already been convicted of a federal criminal offense, it’s important to understand that your legal battle is not over yet. This is the moment, more than ever, when you need a defense attorney that you can trust. He or she will assist you in organizing the required paperwork and keep you on schedule so you don’t neglect any key deadlines. It’s extremely vital that you are well prepared before you appear in front of the judge for sentencing. While some guidelines exist that the judge will follow, he or she will ultimately determine what your punishment is. With a skilled defense attorney battling on your behalf, it is possible that you might receive a lesser sentence. In some cases, this can make it easier to move on with your life after a conviction. If you were disappointed with the performance of your trial attorney, you may want to seek out new legal representation so you can move confidently into the post-conviction phase of your case.
Types & Examples of Federal & Criminal Charges + Definitions
What constitutes as a crime may vary from state to state. State crimes are punished at the state level depending on the statutes established in the state. Conversely, federal crime involves offenses that are considered illegal and prosecuted at a federal level.
Generally, what is considered as a crime may be categorized into various groups. These categories are personal crime, property crime, statutory crime, and inchoate crime.
Personal crime categorizes offenses that cause physical, emotional or psychological harm to the victim. Here are some crimes committed against an individual that constitute personal crime.
Assault and battery
Assault refers to acts that cause physical harm to a person. Using words of intimidation that would instill fear of being harmed without physical contact is also considered as assault. Battery refers to the unauthorized use of force on a person resulting in bodily injury or offensive touching.
It refers to the forceful abduction of another individual. The illegal confinement of a person may be through force or deception. Kidnapping is illegally holding another person captive for ransom or other reasons.
It may not be offensive to the direct victim but offensive to the guardian or caregiver of the victim.
Homicide is the deliberate taking of a person’s life. The distinctions are first degree and second-degree murder. First-degree murder is the premeditated or planned killing of an individual. Second-degree murder is the intentional killing of another and doesn’t necessarily require planning.
Manslaughter refers to the unintentional killing of an individual. The execution may be accidental or where death ensues after violent acts without the intent to kill.
Rape also includes sexual assault and statutory rape. Rape is forceful intercourse with another person without their consent. Sexual assault is the vigorous and unsolicited sexual contact with a person without penetration.
Property crime involves offenses on an individual’s property and does not mean bodily harm. Yet, these offenses constitute inhibiting a person’s liberty of using and enjoying the benefits of their property. Here are some offenses that make up for property crime.
Arson involves willingly and maliciously burning of another person’s property. It is categorized into first and second degree arson. First-degree arson is setting fire on an individual’s property and includes physical harm or killing a person. Second-degree arson involves setting fire and inflicting damage to property.
Theft can be categorized into larceny, robbery and burglary. Larceny is stealing taking an individual’s property to deprive the legal owner. Robbery is the forceful taking of another person’s property and often results in physical and mental harm.
Burglary is the forceful entry into an individual’s home or building to commit a crime. Although the crime is often theft, arson and assault may also constitute burglary.
Receipt of stolen goods
This offense involves receiving or purchasing of property that you believe is stolen or acquired through theft.
Embezzlement refers to where a person entrusted with the business or individual finances uses the funds for personal gains. It may also include the misappropriation of public funds or property.
Forgery is the creation or alteration of any document to defraud an individual. It also involves the falsification of records to obtain or conceal an institution’s or personal funds illegally.
It also includes the illegal copying of printed material or artwork to pass it out as genuine.
False personation is the misrepresentation of individual identity through the theft of another person’s identity. It also involves the creation of non-existent personal identity adopted as one’s identity.
Extortionate credit transactions
These transactions are also referred to as loan sharking. It is the illegal accumulation of interest to gain funds from the borrower through threats. Threats and intimidation may be through violent acts to intimidate, harass and generate fear in the borrower.
Inchoate crime refers to an offense that was intentionally organized but not completed. An individual takes significant steps to ensure crime completion rather than intending to commit the crime.
Inchoate crime includes attempted murder, attempted robbery or attempted bribery. Solicitation involves requesting, asking, encouraging, and hiring someone to commit a crime. Conspiracy is also an inchoate crime that involves multiple individuals coming together to commit a crime.
In the event that you have received a guilty verdict in federal court, it’s critical to remember that this is not the end of your legal battle. In actuality, your fight has just begun. At this point, you are facing decisions that have life-altering consequences, such as whether or not you want to continue your legal battle at sentencing and/or if you are interested in appealing the outcome of your case. Since your decisions will directly affect your future, you want legal counsel that is licensed for federal court and well skilled in the appeals process.
Preparing for Sentencing in Your Federal Criminal Matter
Once you’ve been convicted of a federal crime, you’ll need to get ready for sentencing. You will stand before the same judge who oversaw your trial and will need to persuade him or her that you should have a favorable sentence. Your federal criminal appeals lawyer will work alongside you to develop an approach that will give you the chance at achieving your desired results. If you were displeased with your attorney’s performance during your trial, this would be a good opportunity to find new representation. Bringing in a new attorney for your appeal may help you by providing a fresh perspective and opening up more legal options.
Federal Criminal Appeals in Michigan Cases
If you are of the belief that you received an unjust outcome in your federal criminal matter due to legal error, you may want to think about appealing the judge’s verdict. An appeal is not a proceeding to rehear of evidence, rather it is a reviewing of legal procedure. Your trial attorney may draft your notice of appeal and briefings, or you can hire new representation for this leg of the journey. You might even be able to claim ineffective assistance of counsel if your previous attorney did not meet the reasonable standards set for an attorney in your district. You may have questions about your trial. You may be wondering whether an appeal would be a successful route for you to take. If so, reach to a seasoned attorney who is willing to do their homework and review the details of your case, and the surrounding legislation, to come up with the course of action for you in the post-conviction phase of your federal criminal case.