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Federal Crimes FAQ

October 6, 2021 Federal Criminal Attorneys

If you are involved with a federal crime, you are sure to have a few questions.

I Have Not Been Charged, but I Am Under Federal Investigation. Should I Have a Lawyer?

When you are under a federal investigation, it is just a matter of time until you are arrested or indicted. Therefore, it is critical to work with a qualified lawyer. As soon as the investigation begins, you should contact an attorney. It may be the only way to face the challenges and to move on with your life. An experienced lawyer knows the best way to form your case and to help prevent an indictment. This professional will be able to collect information about the investigation. Based on this information, he or she will explain the necessary steps for a successful outcome. Your federal attorney’s job is to make sure that your rights are protected. He or she will fight for your freedom.

How Do Federal and State Crimes Differ?

A federal case falls under federal jurisdiction. In other words, it involves crimes between other states or across other countries. A state case is confined within a particular state’s boundaries. For example, a regular DUI, theft, traffic offense, or assault is usually covered under state laws. However, federal crimes are committed on federal property, involve the mail system, or include smuggling practices into the country. In certain instances, crimes are prosecutable on both the state and federal levels. However, federal authorities do not usually opt to prosecute defendants separately.

Who is Involved with the Investigation and Prosecution of Federal Crimes?

In most cases, federal agencies like the FBI, Secret Service, DEA, and ATF investigate federal crimes. Sometimes, state police may assist with the investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office usually prosecutes federal crimes. Sometimes, federal prosecution involves an attorney from the U.S. Department of Justice or a similar government agency.

What is the Role of the Grand Jury?

A federal grand jury determines if a federal crime has occurred. Also, this entity investigates to discover who committed the crime. When the grand jury uncovers that there is probable cause that a crime has occurred, it indicts the individual who is responsible for violating the law. Unfortunately, grand jury proceedings are not open to the public. No testimony or evidence is ever shared.

If a Person is a Target of a Federal Investigation, Will He or She Have to Testify in Front of the Grand Jury?

Throughout the investigative process, the grand jury may subpoena a witness for testimony. If a person is a target of a federal investigation, he or she will likely be called to testify. In other words, it is likely that evidence exists that he or she committed a criminal act. Before issuing a subpoena, a prosecutor will try to get the individual to testify on a voluntary basis.

What is Asset Forfeiture?

Asset forfeiture occurs as the federal government seizes cash and property that are linked to the crime in question. In a criminal case, federal law provides rights to the government. In other words, the government may retain a person’s cash and property. This is another reason to work with an experienced attorney. This professional understands the process and knows how to fight for the return of your assets.

What are the Guidelines for Federal Sentencing?

There is a complicated set of guidelines that federal courts use for sentencing. In fact, offenses may be classified among 43 levels. Points may be added as well. With this, judges who sentence must determine the sentencing zone. This includes the amount of prison time that will be used during punishment. Also, the judge has the right to raise or lower the sentence. Usually, when a person is found guilty in federal court, the sentence is stricter than on a state level.

Is it Possible to Appeal a Federal Conviction?

It is possible for a federal conviction to be appealed. A qualified attorney can determine the course of action to take. This professional understands the procedures and can help to file an appeal in the proper court of law. Also, this professional may be able to challenge the sentence, especially if it was calculated incorrectly.

If you have any other questions regarding your criminal defense on a federal level, contact our office today.



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