Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 10:57 pm
If you have been charged with a federal crime in Brooklyn, New York, hiring an experienced federal defense lawyer should be your top priority. Federal crimes carry serious penalties, including long prison sentences, that can disrupt your life forever. A knowledgeable Brooklyn federal defense attorney understands the complexities of federal law and can build the strongest possible defense for your case. This article provides an overview of federal crimes, how a federal defense lawyer can help, and things to look for when choosing the right attorney for your situation.
There are many types of federal offenses, more than most people realize. Some of the most common federal charges in Brooklyn include:
Unlike state criminal charges, federal crimes apply to the entire country. Federal law enforcement like the FBI have jurisdiction across the U.S. and can build cases that span multiple states. The federal system also has complex sentencing guidelines that ratchet up penalties compared to similar state offenses.
Facing federal charges is scary; the government has tremendous resources it can bring to bear. But an experienced federal defense attorney levels the playing field. A good lawyer thoroughly investigates the facts, identifies weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, negotiates for reduced charges or sentencing leniency, and fights to get charges dismissed or win at trial. Specifically, a federal defense lawyer can:
Having an experienced federal defense lawyer in your corner can mean the difference between a long prison term and avoiding jail entirely. Even if some sanction is inevitable, your lawyer will fight to minimize the damage.
Not every defense lawyer has the skills and knowledge to handle federal cases effectively. When researching attorneys, look for these important qualifications:
A federal case may be the most challenging situation you ever face. But the right Brooklyn federal defense lawyer can stand beside you and fight to achieve the best possible outcome. If you or a loved one have been charged federally, consult with a defense attorney right away. An experienced lawyer can start building your defense and protecting your rights immediately.
One of the most common types of federal cases in Brooklyn involve drug crimes. Federal law enforcement like the DEA aggressively investigate and prosecute drug trafficking and distribution crimes. Even low-level drug offenses like possession can lead to federal charges under certain circumstances.
The penalties for federal drug convictions are severe. Mandatory minimum sentences require judges to impose strict prison terms based on the type and quantity of drugs involved. For example, possession of 5 grams of meth carries a mandatory minimum 5 years in prison. Trafficking over 500 grams of cocaine requires at least 10 years behind bars.
These harsh mandatory minimums leave judges with little discretion. The only real way to avoid the mandatory sentence is through a plea bargain with prosecutors. An experienced federal drug crimes lawyer knows how to negotiate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and can sometimes get charges reduced or dismissed. For example, a defendant facing 10 years for trafficking cocaine may be able to plead to simple possession with a lighter sentence.
In drug conspiracy cases, federal law has special provisions like the “drug kingpin” statute that ratchet up penalties. The government may claim you played a leadership or organizational role in a conspiracy, which can add years to your sentence. Your lawyer can argue against these enhancements and also advise on whether to cooperate with prosecutors and provide evidence against co-conspirators in exchange for leniency. Unlike taking a standard plea deal, cooperating involves ongoing negotiations and assistance that requires an attorney’s guidance.
Given the high stakes, having an experienced federal drug crimes lawyer is essential. They understand these complex laws and sentencing rules and can build the strongest defense. For more information see this helpful overview of federal drug charges.
Another major category of federal prosecutions in Brooklyn involves financial and fraud crimes. These include wire fraud, mail fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement, money laundering, identity theft, securities fraud, and other deceptive schemes that violate federal law. Many federal fraud cases originate with complaints to agencies like the SEC or IRS that spark larger investigations.
Federal fraud sentences are structured under the complex U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. The guidelines score factors like the amount of loss, number of victims, sophistication of the scheme, leadership role, past criminal history, and other criteria. More points mean a longer recommended sentence. Though only advisory, judges typically stick close to the guidelines.
An experienced federal fraud defense lawyer’s first task is unraveling the prosecution’s loss and victim calculations, which often overstate the seriousness of the offense. For example, proving that the true loss amount is under $550,000 can knock 4 offense levels off the guidelines score. Your lawyer may also dispute your leadership role, knowledge of the scheme, or other enhancements. Small reductions in the offense level can translate to years less prison time. Effective negotiation by your attorney can also persuade prosecutors to drop or reduce charges in exchange for a plea. For instance, pleading to a single count of wire fraud rather than multiple counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion.
If you proceed to trial, your lawyer must meticulously prepare a defense targeting weaknesses in the government’s documentary evidence and witness testimony. One key strategy is showing you had no intent to defraud but made mistakes or errors in judgment. Federal prosecutors have tremendous resources to investigate and prove complex fraud schemes. Having an equally skilled federal defense lawyer to counter them can help you avoid a lengthy prison sentence. Be sure to choose an attorney experienced with the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and proven results negotiating fraud plea deals.
Federal law enforcement agencies like the ATF have been cracking down hard on illegal gun possession and use in Brooklyn and nationwide. Common federal firearms charges include:
These charges often involve mandatory minimum sentences that can add 5, 10, or even 30 years onto a prison term. Just possessing a gun after a prior felony conviction carries a 15-year mandatory minimum under federal law. Brandishing or discharging a firearm during a violent or drug trafficking crime adds 7 or 10 years respectively.
A skilled federal weapons crimes lawyer can challenge the government’s evidence and look for procedural flaws in the investigation. For example, if police improperly stopped and searched you without justification and found a gun, your lawyer can file a motion to suppress the weapon as evidence. Negotiating a plea deal is also critical, as prosecutors may agree to drop the gun charge entirely or not pursue the mandatory enhancement. Given the severe penalties, fighting federal firearms charges aggressively is a must. An experienced attorney understands the relevant statutes and sentencing rules and can advocate effectively for you. Be sure to retain counsel promptly so they can start working on your defense.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn and elsewhere have made prosecuting white collar crime a top priority. Common federal white collar charges include:
These complex financial cases require lawyers with sophisticated skills and resources. The evidence often involves reams of financial records, transaction data, emails, corporate documents, and other materials. Your lawyer must pore through it all to pinpoint weaknesses and inconsistencies. Deposing expert witnesses like accountants and analysts is also key. Effective defense lawyers can also leverage their financial and fraud expertise against prosecutors. For instance, highlighting gray areas in accounting rules that undermine intent allegations. Or using technical arguments against applying certain statutes in novel ways.
In white collar cases, avoiding prison is often the top goal. This depends on keeping loss amounts and other sentencing enhancements low. Skilled federal defense lawyers know how to effectively dispute monetary and fraud impact calculations. This can shave years off a guidelines sentence.
If facing federal business or financial charges, retain an attorney with specific white collar experience. They understand complex federal fraud statutes and sentencing and can protect your interests.
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