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What Should You Do If You’ve Been Convicted of a Federal Crime?

October 8, 2021

It’s likely that you will spend several years or decades in prison if you are found guilty of a crime in federal court. There is also a chance that you will be ordered to pay restitution to your victims. Regardless of what your sentence is, there are a series of steps that you’ll need to take to ensure that your family and property are cared for while you are unable to do so on your own.

Schedule Regular Meetings With Your Attorney

Your attorney is going to be one of the few people who you can count on to make your transition to prison as easy as possible. He or she will likely take steps in an effort to get you into a facility as close to home as possible. Furthermore, this person will likely try to persuade the judge to limit the amount of time that you spend in prison or attempt to get you into a minimum security facility.

Staying in contact with your attorney will keep you informed as to what you should expect after you have been convicted of a crime. If you disagree with a jury’s decision, your legal adviser may be able to appeal your conviction on your behalf. However, if you have accepted a plea deal, it’s unlikely that you will want to do anything to jeopardize the possibility of that deal coming to fruition.

What Happens If You Decide to Appeal Your Conviction?

Only 2% of federal cases go to trial, which means that you likely believe in your innocence if you didn’t take a plea deal. Therefore, it’s likely that you will at least consider appealing your case if you receive an unfavorable outcome in your matter.

If you appeal your conviction, you may remain free as the legal process plays out. However, you may face restrictions on your freedom such as adhering to a curfew or refraining from engaging in activities that may cause you to be a danger to society.

You generally have 30 days from the date of your conviction to notify the court that you would like to appeal your conviction. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may take several years before you exhaust your appeals.

In some cases, it may be possible to appeal after you have been sentenced. In such a scenario, you’ll likely claim that your sentence is unjustly harsh or otherwise outside of federal guidelines for a case similar to yours.

Take Care of Tasks That You Can’t Do From Prison

Even if you decide to appeal your case, there is no guarantee that you will have a conviction overturned. Therefore, it’s generally in your best interest to start planning for life on the inside as soon as possible.

In the event that your conviction stands, the court will ask for a sentencing report. This report will help to determine what a fair punishment looks like in your case. It will often take several weeks or months for such a report to be made. Generally speaking, defendants are allowed to remain out of prison during this time so that they can tend to their affairs.

While awaiting sentencing, you should update your estate plan, see your dentist and take care of other tasks that might be easier to accomplish outside of prison. It may also be a good idea to speak with someone who has been in federal prison to learn more about what you can expect while in custody.

Stay Quiet About the Case

As a general rule, it’s never a good idea to speak publicly about a case that is still ongoing. If you spend time in prison, it’s certainly in your best interest to avoid talking about your case. This is because anything that you say could cause a plea deal to collapse before you are formally sentenced. Furthermore, your own words could be used to implicate you in other crimes that you were directly or indirectly involved with. Your attorney will likely advise you to remain silent about the matter until after the case is resolved.

If you are convicted of a drug, computer or other type of federal crime, you will likely face significant sanctions. Ideally, you will stay in close contact with your attorney as he or she may be able to take steps to help minimize the damage a conviction may cause to your personal or professional lives. In some cases, your attorney may be able to overturn the conviction on appeal.

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What Should You Do If You’ve Been Convicted Of A Federal Crime

November 6, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

If you or your loved one gets convicted in a federal court, you may be at cross-end on your next step. The passing of a guilty verdict can be shocking and crushing. After spending so much time preparing and presenting your case, getting a guilty verdict can be profoundly disorienting. Most people in such a situation do not know whether they have viable options or continue fighting the sentencing. However, it would help if you now started preparing for the next options available. Below we explain the options available after receiving a conviction for a federal crime.

What is a federal crime?

Laws are governing both the federal and state level. The California Assembly sets the penalties for State laws for crimes like robbery, drug violation, and assault. And the state court handles the prosecution. There are other cases where the federal government is the victim, and such cases are federal crimes. These crimes include counterfeiting, tax evasion, and mail tampering. For such crimes, the federal government handles the investigation and prosecution of such cases. Other crimes crossing the state lines include interstate, identity theft, internet crimes, and child pornography.

What Should You Do If You’ve Been Convicted of a Federal Crime?

The vital thing to note is that getting a guilty verdict for a federal crime does not mean the end of the road of your legal battle. It’s just the start of your fight, which means that you need to make life-altering decisions, including whether you wish to continue with the legal battles at sentencing or if you wish to appeal the verdict given for your case. Your choices will affect your life, so you may want the most experienced legal representation to provide you with the best legal counsel.

Prepare for sentencing

After getting convicted on a federal case, the next step is to prepare for sentencing. The sentencing is done a few months after conviction. The trick here is that you will need to convince the same judge in charge of your trial to give you favorable sentencing. The judge utilizes several resources for guidance and assistance in sentencing a defendant. There are several set minimum and maximum sentences that the judges use to craft a criminal sentence. At this juncture, you will need superb legal representation. It’s also the perfect time to change lawyers if your lawyers’ ability did not match your expectations. A new lawyer may provide the fresh blood necessary for new legal perspectives and options. A conviction does not mean the end of the case because you need representation at the sentencing as the judge will also consider the statement when setting up your sentence.

Prepare your Arguments

You will need to make sound arguments about how long your sentence should be. However, it would be best not to ask the judge for sentences that fall below the sentencing guideline for your accused offense. You will need to portray your commitment to being a good citizen. A judge will consider if you have expressed regret for the committed crime when crafting a sentence.

Federal criminal appeals

Appeals do not refer to a new trial or rehearing of evidence, but rather it’s reviewing the court proceedings to ensure the law’s application was correct. If convinced that your federal case’s outcome was unfair due to legal errors, you should consider an appeal because it can be the saving grace you need. You can start working on acquiring the trial logs, starting from the presented opening statements to the time of the verdict’s reading. Your lawyer will help you submit a notice of appeal or briefings, or you may choose to work with new legal representation.

When adequately prepared, the appeal process can be relatively swift. You can have the process run smoothly for the best chance of getting your sentence overturned. A sentence may be reversed, altered, or the court of appeal may call for a new trial if it deems it necessary with a successful appeal.

Start putting your affairs in order

Upon conviction, you will need to prepare yourself because you may be transferred to a prison or holding facility immediately after sentencing. At the same time, some cases may give you time to set your affairs in order. If you have debts, you will need to arrange with the creditors on how to handle them. You may also need to end your lease to avoid having an eviction on your record. You can also consider sending some money to your prison account for use while incarcerated.

Conclusion

Getting convicted for a federal crime is an unpleasant thought. However, careful preparation for the scenario can help reduce the aftermath. If you get your affairs settled as you work on, the appeal process can help you through this trying time.

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