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Last Updated on: 9th August 2023, 07:12 pm
The Spodek Law Group handles some of the toughest cases, nationwide. Our team is very diverse – with experiences from all aspects of the justice system. This ensures that our approach to handling your federal case is well rounded, and has no blindspots. If you’re accused of a crime, or face any type of issue in federal court, the team at Spodek Law is here to assist.
If the federal government is investigating you or has charged you with a crime, your best course of action is to hire a competent federal defense lawyer with experience handling cases like yours. In your search for an attorney, you can increase your chances of success by paying attention to certain key details in a lawyer’s practice. The federal government prosecutes thousands of citizens every year for many types of crimes, so defense attorneys must specialize in handling only certain types of cases. The best lawyer for you will be one with experience handling cases similar to yours.
An experienced lawyer will have the skills necessary to research relevant case law, persuade a judge and jury of your innocence and help you stay out of jail while you’re awaiting trial. While many experienced lawyers offer criminal defense services, the right attorney for you will have extensive knowledge of the laws relevant to your case.
Federal criminal defense law has a steep learning curve, and an inexperienced lawyer will still be learning how to operate in a courtroom. When you work with an experienced lawyer, you’ll benefit from your attorney’s confidence and familiarity with the legal process. According to U.S. Courts, the judicial process includes pretrial, trial and sentencing phases, and each phase requires the attendance of both you and your lawyer. Whether you’re facing charges of drug trafficking, armed robbery or healthcare fraud, you should hire a lawyer with a track record of winning similar cases.
Many federal defense lawyers offer free initial consultations with no obligation to retain their services. During your initial consultation, you’ll have a chance to tell your side of the story with no federal authorities present. While it may be tempting to hire a lawyer based on friendliness or customer service skills, you should base your final decision on a lawyer’s knowledge, experience and expertise.
To get an idea of a lawyer’s area of competence, ask direct questions about his or her previous cases and knowledge of the relevant law. Pay attention to a lawyer’s communication skills during your initial consultation and try to imagine him or her arguing your case before a court.
Legal representation entails significant costs, and lawyers must charge fees based on their time, expertise and area of specialization. During an initial consultation, find out how an attorney will charge you and what the fees will be. If you agree to retain a lawyer’s counsel and fail to pay, your lawyer could place a lien on your property or sue you for the costs.
Some lawyers charge a flat fee for their representation. In this case, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll owe before the trial begins. Flat fees are common in criminal trials, especially when the defendant is facing charges of violent or aggravated crime.
Your lawyer may charge by the hour if you’re dealing with charges of financial crime. White-collar crime, such as insurance and healthcare fraud, is non-violent by definition, but the penalties for such crimes can still be severe. In addition to various forms of fraud, white-collar crime can include identity theft, money laundering and corporate self-dealing, according to the FBI.
In rare cases, your trial may require specialized legal counsel. If the FBI has charged you with a federal internet crime, for example, you may need a lawyer with special expertise in the relevant law for all or part of your case.
Honesty and integrity are two of the most important qualities for any attorney. A lawyer who seems arrogant or overconfident should give you pause in your final hiring decision. An honest lawyer won’t necessarily tell you what you want to hear, but you’ll be better off hearing the truth than empty promises about an unlikely outcome.
If a lawyer doesn’t answer your questions in a direct and plainspoken way, it could be a sign that he or she is unwilling to be truthful. While you may feel uncomfortable talking about the more serious aspects of your case, it’s important to bring these subjects out into the open. Your lawyer should answer your toughest questions with professionalism and sincerity.
Ideally, your lawyer should care about your welfare and want to help you overcome the obstacles in your path. Whether you’ve committed a crime or you’re wrongly accused, you’ll stand a better chance of winning your case with a lawyer who cares about what happens to you.
Most lawyers are hardworking professionals, but it’s important to know that your lawyer will work diligently on your behalf. Before you hire a lawyer, ask how often he or she takes cases to trial. Some lawyers pressure their clients to accept plea deals so that they won’t face the possibility of losing a case. An honest, diligent lawyer will never ask you to accept an unsatisfactory deal. However, in some cases, a plea bargain may be the best option, so be prepared to accept a good offer when it comes along.
The U.S Code consists of many different federal crimes that a person can be accused of committing. Many have to do with issues that cross state lines. For example, if you transport guns across state lines illegally, this could be a federal crime. Due to this, sometimes it can be confusing when and where, a federal case begins and ends. In some situations, you may face simultaneous state and federal investigations.
Speak to our Federal Defense Lawyers
Examples of federal crimes include, but are not limited to:
Federal cases ARE VERY COMPLEX. The same attorney who might handle your state court case, is not qualified necessarily to handle your federal case. The prosecutors in federal cases are extremely qualified, and there is immense red-tape when it comes to protocols on how federal cases evolve and run. At Spodek Law Group, we spend an immense amount of time, and practice, focusing on federal defense. We are constantly tuned into DOJ initiatives, and precedents, and how they may impact our clients.
Many of our federal criminal lawyers have experience handling tough federal cases, all across the country. With over 50 years of combined experience, we believe we have the experience to help you resolve your case.
Many federal cases can be resolved pre-trial, with a proactive defense and offense. Sometimes that means neutralizing potential information that can be introduced as evidence – thereby weakening the prosecutions case. Sometimes it might mean engaging in meaningful dialogue and proffers, in order to work out a reasonable deal. Bottom line, we look to anticipate the prosecutor’s strategies in order to mitigate the risk our clients face.
When you choose Spodek Law Group, rest assured we do everything possible for you.
Federal cases can run fast. The best thing you can do when under investigation is promptly hiring counsel who can intervene and present an effective defense to the prosecutors point of view. As soon as you engage our federal lawyers to help you, we begin working to protect you and your family.
We’ve got over 50 years of combined experience and have handled some of the toughest cases nationwide. We understand how the government operates, their tactics and strategies. Leverage us, and our experience, to generate the best outcome for yourself.
Federal laws are complicated. There are many possible liabilities and exposures you may face. We can help you, in the initial consultation, assess whether you face fines, probation, imprisonment, or worse. Speak to us, and let us explain what you’re facing – and what the possible defense strategy is.
Examples of white collar federal crimes can include wire fraud, mail fraud, and more. These crimes are taken seriously, and can be easier for the prosecution to prove due to the paper trail associated with these crimes.
The fact is, the federal criminal lawyer you hire can be more important than the crime you’re accused of committing. In situations like this, it’s in your best interest to hire the best possible federal lawyer to represent you and advice you.
What is Double Jeopardy in Criminal Cases
There are many protections afforded by the American judicial system, one of them being referred to as Double Jeopardy. This is a Constitutional protection that prevents an individual from being openly prosecuted in a criminal court more than once for the exact same charge. In other words, if a person has been acquitted of a crime once, he or she cannot be charged for that same crime again. The protection that Double Jeopardy entails is steeped in a long history of legal precedence, and there are several reasons that are commonly talked about when keeping this policy in place.
The Endless Reach of the Government
While the resources of the average individual are usually quite limited, the same cannot be said for the state or federal government. Because government agencies do tend to have almost limitless resources at their disposal should they choose to use them, this could result in an endless stream of prosecutions if double jeopardy was not in place. This protection is actually written into the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution specifically to protect individual citizens from the power of the government.
It is a commonly accepted assertion that the government has many more assets to use in a criminal prosecution than does an average defendant. Because of this, double jeopardy is meant to prevent the government from using those many assets to unduly subject a citizen to multiple court proceedings for the same act. This provision is particularly true when a jury has already found a defendant to be not guilty.
Protection From the Turmoil of Being Subjected to Multiple Prosecutions
There is no denying that a court case brings about certain financial, emotional, and social stressors that can negatively impact the defendant. This is particularly true in cases where a person must prove his or her true innocence. Because of this, double jeopardy effectively prevents an individual from having to go through this stress a second or third time. There is a physiological toll that comes from fighting a criminal prosecution. Beyond this, there is also a social stigma attached to any person that is forced to endure a criminal trial. This is why the protection in the Fifth Amendment is specifically in place, so individual are not subject to further prosecutions.
Court Decisions Should Count For Something
When a decision is handed down by a judge or jury, it should count for something. The entire judicial process would be cheapened if multiple prosecutions for the same offense were permitted to take place. This is yet another reason that double jeopardy has been put firmly in place. Juries would begin to feel that their voice really did not matter if the individual that they jus found to be innocent was found to be tried once again in criminal court. The same is said for trials where judges that determine innocence or guilt. While defendants may appeal a guilty verdict, prosecutors are simply not permitted to appeal a finding of not guilty. This is part of the judicial system where it is proclaimed that an individual is to be deemed innocent until proven guilty.
There Must Be Limits To the Power of the Prosecution
Prosecutors are given a great deal of power when it comes to determining what charges are brought against an individual. Those charges carry a great deal of weight when it comes to determining any possible plea agreement that is reached before trial. If a case is brought to trial, it is the merit of those charges alone that any possible penalties for a guilty verdict are considered. By limiting the prosecution to one only chance in trying a case, their power in bringing these charges is also effectively minimized. Double jeopardy is designed as a way to make the prosecution think very carefully about the charges that they levy against a defendant.
If you have any questions about your criminal defense, you will want to speak to a professional and experienced attorney right away. It is important to know your rights, particularly when it comes to instances of possible double jeopardy. The justice system is designed to protect you, so make sure that those protections remain in place.
The Spodek Law Group can provide you with a capable federal criminal lawyer who is willing to go the extra mile to protect and enforce your legal rights. Your federal criminal lawyer will do whatever it takes to represent your best interests, whether it’s mounting a vigorous defense in a court of law or negotiating with federal prosecutors to reach a fair and equitable plea agreement. You’ll get a federal criminal defense lawyer in NY who possesses the sound judgment to advise you whether cooperating with the feds or continuing the fight is likely to be the right move for you.
Spodek Law is a family owned and operated firm that treats each client as an individual instead of a case file. Our clients know we’re available around the clock to provide assistance or reassurance when needed. Our people-oriented approach has enabled us to establish a large and loyal client base that has sustained our practice for nearly four decades.
Federal criminal cases are different from state criminal cases in terms of the pace, plea/bargaining process and penalties. Federal crimes are prosecuted by the Attorney’s Office. This article seeks to discuss federal crimes, the court process and how federal lawyers can assist in such cases.
Being arrested on federal charges is difficult. There’s no substitute for experience, and knowledge. You need federal criminal attorneys who understands how the federal arrest process will unfold, and how to handle it in a safe manner.
Sometimes, you might be aware of an on-going federal criminal investigation. The FBI might come talk to you, or they may execute a search warrant on your home. At this point, or even before, you’ll want to speak to a Federal criminal lawyer to help you – and protect your rights going forward. Speaking to the FBI without a criminal attorney is not in your best interests.
If a federal agency makes no attempt to meet with you before the arrest, then your going to need an immediate response when arrested. You should seek a federal attorney who can handle federal cases and help you. You have the right to remain silent – but need an criminal attorney to help get you out. Upon your arrest, federal agents will want to take a statement from you or talk about your case. They may not inform you of your rights. On occasion, federal agents will let you make a phone call, or let your loved ones know to contact your criminal attorney for representation. No matter how nice they are – you should tell them that you want to contact your federal criminal lawyer – and don’t want to answer any questions about the charges. The agents may try different ways to discuss your case with you. Once you indicate you want your attorney, they cannot question you further.
The agents will bring you to a local office, in order to gain your personal information and obtain your fingerprints. You shouldn’t talk about the case, but can tell them about accurate information, like your name, DOB, address, etc. It’s likely they have this information already. Giving fake information will create delays, and make you look like a flight risk.
After agents complete their initial questioning, they’ll bring you to a federal district court courthouse. This may not be where the case is done later. This is simply where you’ll have a meeting with the officer from the pre-trial services, who’ll make a recommendation to the court about whether any bail is appropriate. The decision is based on their experience, and whether they think you’ll make your appearance in court. You should behave, and cooperate, with the PTS officer. They will ask questions about your legal status, and other such information. You shouldn’t discuss your case. You want to make it appear to the PTS officer that you will appear in court, and not flee. Use your ties to the community, your ownership of property, etc, as proof of your sincerity. The officer will recommend a bail package, which will guarantee your appearance in court. This is not binding on the judge, but it may taken into consideration.
Once you’re interviewed by the PTS, you’ll be kept in a holding cell until the judge is ready to see you. This can take some time, depending on the judge’s availability. If you’re awaiting your attorney, then it will not happen until the criminal attorney is there. You will have an opportunity to chat about your complaint with your attorney.
It’s highly suggested you contact a federal criminal attorney as quickly as possible. Our federal criminal defense attorneys can answer questions you have about your case, and explain what happens next. We can help negotiate your surrender, and help build a defense.
The FBI is commonly known as the federal agency that handles all of the arrests for the US Attorney’s offices throughout the NY metropolitan area. There are numerous agencies, which may conduct an arrest. Generally, there are a few reasons why an agency from the agency will reach out to you. You are a witness, a person of interest, a subject, a target, or there is an arrest warrant for you.
Being a witness
If you’re a witness, it doesn’t mean you observed a crime. Instead, you have information that law enforcement agencies believe may be helpful in an investigation – to help either help prove someones guilty or innocent. It’s critical, you remember you are the subject/person of interest – and have the right to a federal lawyer, and the right to remain silent. You shouldn’t be intimidated, or be nervous and take rash actions. This could make matters worse, or make you appear uncooperative. No branch of the government can force you to speak to them in your home, or anywhere else. You have the right to an attorney before speaking with them. Unless you’re arrested, or have a Federal subpoena – you don’t need to go anywhere the FBI. AS a witness, it’s critical you realize – that your words can be used you against you. If you lie, then those words can be used to hurt you. You can be charged with lying to a Federal Agent, and with obstruction of justice. Each of these crimes is punishable by up to 5 years in federal jail.
Being a person of witness
Since 1996, federal agencies have used the term person of interest. This is not a legal term though. It’s simply a term used when agencies want to talk to someone about a criminal investigation. It means the agencies believe the person of interest was involved in a crime, in one way or another – but they don’t have information to legally charge the person.
The US attorney’s office, or some other federal agent will reach out to you for a statement. They’ll ask to answer questions, or serve you with a subpoena. It’s crucial you get a criminal attorney. You are one step away from being accused of a crime. Anything you say can and will be used against you. The agencies goal is to get incriminating answers from you during their conversation with you. Depending on the answers you give, you could be arrested on the spot. That’s why you need a federal lawyer to help you. Barring some agreement that your attorney has in place, you could be highly exposed.
Subject of a Federal Investigation
If you’re the subject of a federal investigation, law enforcement officers from government agencies may try reaching out to you in person, or by phone. In doing so, they’ll tell you that you aren’t in trouble – but they want to speak to you about a case. Alternatively, they might say you have information about an on going investigation. Subject of an investigation is a person who has done something which is being looked at within a Grand Jury’s investigation. If you are the subject of an investigation, you are going to be told this before you are allowed to testify. It’s crucial you hire a federal lawyer to prevent any mistakes from being made.
Target of a Federal Investigation
The target of a federal investigation is a person whose being investigated as the primary antagonist behind a crime. This is the prime defendant in a case. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to hire a criminal attorney. In this situation, you should assume you are going to face criminal charges.
Warrants issued for your arrest
If the FBI has issued a warrant for your arrest – then it’s like you’ve been indicted by the Grand Jury, or Judge. There is a criminal complaint against you, and there’s enough evidence to pursue the charges. Officials have made a determination there’s enough evidence to allow the US Attorney’s Office to proceed with a felony charge against you. Unless you have proper representation, you could be incarcerated for months, or decades. If a warrant is issued for your arrest, the FBI will take you into custody. You will be arranged, and bail will eventually be set. Agents with search warrants will try to retrieve criminal evidence against you.
When a witness testifies in court, they are obligated to swear an oath that the testimony that they are about to give is truthful. The reason why courts require people to swear an oath to tell the truth prior to testifying is to emphasize the importance of the “truth” during a legal proceeding. The “truth” is the foundation of any legal system. During a court proceeding, there are necessarily conflicting testimonies presented. This is expected. But not everyone who presents conflicting testimony is lying. Sometimes people are simply mistaken. Perjury, however, involves a person intentionally making false or misleading statements. But can you be convicted of perjury for saying, “I don’t remember?” Well, it depends.
Perjury is a crime under both state and federal law. Perjury involves a person knowingly making false or misleading statements while under oath and subject to penalty of law. The courts take the crime of perjury seriously because when a person knowingly present false statements in court, they are impugning the integrity of the court system and this can lead to a miscarriage of justice. Under 18 USC section 1621, a person convicted of perjury faces fines and up to 5 years in prison.
Proving that someone has committed perjury, however, can often be difficult. First off, one important thing to remember is that not all intentionally false or misleading statements made by a person while he is under oath or subject to penalty of law are considered perjury. The crime of perjury is only committed when a person intentionally makes a false statement about facts that are material to the outcome of the legal proceeding. For example, if a person knowingly lies about his age during sworn testimony, he has not committed the crime of perjury unless his age is materially relevant to the outcome of the case at hand.
Perjury for Saying, “I Don’t Remember”
While on the face of it saying, “I don’t remember” seems like an easy way out of a difficult or uncomfortable situation. After all, no one can get inside your head and see what’s going on, right? Sure that is true. But, however, things are not that simple. Whether or not you have committed the crime of perjury depends upon several things.
First, did you knowingly make a false statement when you said “I don’t remember?” Second, were you under oath or otherwise subject to penalty under the law when you made the statement? And finally, did you make that statement about something that was material to the outcome of the legal proceeding? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then you are probably guilty of the crime of perjury. But so what? The question isn’t whether you committed perjury by saying, “I don’t remember,” but rather whether or not you can be convicted of perjury for making that statement.
For a prosecutor to convict you of perjury for saying, “I don’t remember,” he has to have evidence to the contrary; just like in any other case. As you can imagine, it can be very difficult for a prosecutor, or anyone else for that matter, to prove what you do or do not remember. So, for the most part, as long as there is no evidence available to the prosecutor that proves otherwise, you’re okay.
However, there may be contradictory evidence out there that you either do not know about or that you have forgotten about. For example, the police may have a lawfully recorded surveillance tape that shows you talking about the things that you claim you don’t remember. Or, you may have made a prior statement under oath that shows that did, at that time, remember the events that you are now claiming that you can’t recall.
As you can see, the answer to the question of whether or not you can be convicted of perjury for saying, “I don’t remember” is complicated and fact dependent. If you are in a situation where you think that you may be subject to a perjury charge, you should immediately contact a reputable criminal attorney.
A criminal attorney knows that the prosecutor has to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt. In these types of cases, a criminal defense attorney has a multitude of legal defenses that he can raise on your behalf to get the charges dropped. Don’t try to handle this type of case on your own. There is too much at stake. Call a good criminal defense attorney right away.
How Does a Prosecutor Decide Whether or Not to File Charges?
If there is evidence that you have broken the law, it is possible that you could be formally charged with a crime by a prosecutor. However, there is no guarantee what the exact charge or charges may be or if any will even be applied in your case. What are some factors that a prosecutor may consider before determining whether or not to proceed with a case?
Is There Enough Evidence to Support the Charge?
The first question that a prosecutor must ask is whether or not there is enough evidence to support a charge. In many cases, there are multiple elements that must be proven to establish that a crime occurred. For instance, it isn’t enough that a person confessed to killing another person.
It may also be necessary to establish motive, find the murder weapon and find the body of the allegedly deceased person. From there, it may also need to be established that the defendant intended to kill the victim or understood that what he or she did was wrong.
Is the Defendant Mentally Fit to Stand Trial?
A defendant must be declared mentally competent to stand trial if a prosecutor wishes to proceed with a criminal case. If that person is not deemed to be mentally fit for trial, it is possible that he or she will be sent to a mental facility to receive treatment. Once he or she has been rehabilitated, that person may be released back into the community without serving any additional jail time.
What Type of Crime Was Committed?
There are some crimes that may not be worth trying in the eyes of a prosecutor. For instance, someone caught with small amounts of marijuana may not be seen as a true menace to society. In a best case scenario, the defendant agrees to a plea and pays a small fine. In a worst case scenario, the defendant decides to go to trial, which wastes both time and money that could be spent prosecuting a more dangerous criminal. Therefore, it may just be easier to issue a citation that can be paid through the mail or just drop the case altogether.
Would a Jury Convict the Defendant?
Prosecutors are always wary of not being able to win a case. Therefore, if they don’t think that they can get a plea or a conviction at trial, they may be less likely to take the case. This may be true even if there is enough evidence to charge an individual or a dangerous crime was committed. In America, if a person is acquitted for a particular crime, he or she cannot be brought back to trial for that same crime. Therefore, it may be better to wait until the odds are better of a conviction before filing charges in a case.
Are Witnesses Willing to Testify in Court?
One of the most effective ways to prove that someone committed a crime is to get the testimony of those who saw it happen. However, if a witness is not willing to testify in court, it is like he or she never saw it happen in the eyes of the law. While it may be possible to charge a defendant with witness intimidation, that may be difficult to prove as well. Therefore, it may not be worth pursuing a case if no one is willing to tell a jury what they know about it.
Was a Law Broken?
It is possible that a federal law and a state law conflict. Therefore, a prosecutor would have to decide whether to charge a person with a federal crime even if an action is legal in the state where it took place. While federal law always trumps state law, it doesn’t mean that a prosecutor has to take or try a case.
There are many issues that a prosecutor must consider when it comes to whether or not to file charges against an individual. If you have been charged with a crime, it may be in your best interest to talk with a criminal attorney right away. Doing so may preserve your rights and increase the odds of getting a favorable outcome in your case.
A federal criminal proceeding in is initiated by a complaint or filing of indictment. A federal complaint is an accusation that charges the accused with commission of a crime based on probable cause. The complaint will also state the essential facts constituting the offense charged. It must mention specific facts that constitute the offense. Often, the complaint serves as the application for the arrest warrant. The defendant still must be indicted to be tried.
The complaint must be sworn before a federal magistrate judge. If the government bases a sworn, signed complaint to arrest a defendant on inaccurate information and the arresting federal officer uses this misleading complaint in his subsequent grand jury testimony, leading to the defendant?s indictment, the indictment should be dismissed.
The magistrate judge must investigate whether a complaint alleges probable cause for the commission of an offense, that is whether the defendant has committed the crime he is accused of.
The Fourth Amendment forbids unreasonable searches and seizures, and requires probable cause for an arrest or for a search of a suspect’s real or personal property. The Fourth Amendment further provides that no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause. This requires a neutral and detached judicial officer to determine the existence of probable cause. When seeking a warrant, an officer must present sufficient facts to allow the judicial officer to weigh the evidence in a non-technical, common sense and realistic manner, and to make an independent judgment as to the existence of probable cause.
Arrest warrants must be very specific. Under Federal Rules, this means that the warrant must contain the defendant’s name or, if it is unknown, a name or description by which the defendant can be identified with reasonable certainty. If an arrest warrant is issued for a specific, named person, the law enforcement may not use it to arrest another person, even if the person arrested was actually the intended subject of the warrant.
Federal Rules require the following for a valid arrest warrant:
In some situations, state police may arrest a person on a state warrant for a federal offense. If no federal agents participated in obtaining the state warrant or in the actual arrest, it is not a federal arrest that must conform to the federal rules. Only a U.S. marshal or ”other authorized officer” may execute a federal arrest warrant. That includes:
A warrant may be executed throughout the United States, wherever the defendant is, regardless of where the offense occurred.
To arrest a suspect at home, a valid arrest warrant is usually required, unless there are some exigent circumstances that justifying a warrantless arrest in home. Exigent circumstances exist when there is a need for arrest and no time to obtain a warrant, for example, where the officers have a reasonable belief that there is a threat to live or that a suspect will escape or destroy evidence. Also, the warrantless arrest of a suspect in his or her home is justified when the arrest is made as part of a ”hot pursuit” of the suspect.
An arrest warrant does not allow entry into a third party’s home in which the subject of the warrant is merely visiting. An arrest warrant only allows the agents to enter a home in which the suspect lives when there is reason to believe the suspect is at home and that means only the suspect’s home, not as it does not provide sufficient protection for a third party’s right to privacy in his or her own home. However, only the third-party home owner has standing to challenge the warrantless search of the home. This right is personal to the home owner and may not be asserted by the person named in the warrant and arrested in another’s home.
The warrantless arrest of a felony suspect in a public place is a completely different story. When the arrest is based on probable cause, it does not violate the Fourth Amendment.
A violation of the Fourth Amendment will result in suppression of the evidence gained from the illegal search or seizure but will not stop the government from pursuing the case. It will also not invalidate subsequent conviction.
In most cases, under the exclusionary rule, any evidence that is either the direct or indirect result of illegal government conduct must be suppressed. However, these ”fruits of the poisonous tree” will be admitted if the prosecutor establishes that:
(1) the evidence was obtained from a source independent of the primary illegality
(2) the evidence inevitably would have been discovered in the course of the investigation
(3) the connection between the challenged evidence and the illegal conduct is so attenuated that it dissipates the taint of the illegal action
There are some exceptions to the exclusionary rules, such as where the evidence was obtained from an independent source, or where discovery of the evidence was inevitable, or where there was an attenuated connection between evidence and illegal conduct.
In all cases where an arrest is made on federal criminal charges, the arrested person must be taken ”without unnecessary delay” for an initial appearance which is held before a federal magistrate judge. If a defendant is arrested without a warrant, the government must promptly file a complaint showing probable cause.
The requirement that an individual be produced before a magistrate judge within a reasonable time only applies to cases where the person is the federal custody. However, if the local state officials hold the arrested person, the federal government is not obligated to justify a delay in arraignment. This can be challenged if the defendant can show that the delay was caused by a special agreement between local police and federal authorities to delay federal arraignment in order to allow more time for a federal interrogation.
If there was illegal state-federal collusion to such a degree that custody was, in substance, ”federal,” then the arrestee is deemed to be in constructive federal custody when held by state officers under state charges, and any pre-arraignment delay will trigger rights under federal Rule 5(a).
Where a person is arrested under a warrant charging unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, the arresting federal agent does not need to bring the arrestee before a magistrate judge if there is no intent to actually prosecute the arrestee under that charge.
In some circumstances, confessions taken from those arrested on federal charges during or following ”unnecessary delay” in presenting them before a federal magistrate judge will be dismissed from evidence.
At the initial appearance the judge informs the accused of the charges, apprises him of his Miranda rights, advises of the right to have counsel appointed, and sets the terms of bail.
Although no constitutional right to counsel attaches at the initial appearance, every defendant unable to retain counsel is afforded counsel ”at every stage of the proceeding from initial appearance through appeal, unless the defendant waives this right.’
If the defendant is charged with a misdemeanor only, the judge must inform the defendant of the charge, the minimum and maximum penalties, the right to retain counsel or request an appointment of counsel, the right not to speak, and other procedural rights such as the right to trial before the court unless the charge is a petty offense or the defendant consents to trial before a magistrate judge.
Where the defendant is charged with a felony, the judge must inform the defendant of the following:
The magistrate judge must allow the defendant a reasonable opportunity to consult with counsel. The judge will determine whether to release the defendant or keep him in custody.
A person charged with a felony, or with a misdemeanor other than a petty offense, is entitled to a preliminary hearing at which he must be formally charged by a magistrate judge. The preliminary hearing must be held within a reasonable time, but generally no later than 10 days after the initial appearance if the defendant is in custody, or 20 days after the initial appearance if the defendant is not in custody.
Federal investigations are normally stressful and time-consuming. With federal agents watching your every move, bothering you at unpredictable hours for questions and searches, and trying to get you to speak or do things that will support the investigation, you can’t help but wonder when the investigation will end. When you are under investigation, your mind is troubled with questions. Are you going to be charged with a crime? Will you eventually get to return to a normal life? Oftentimes, this stage of uncertainty can last for a long period. However, there are limits on most federal investigations in the form of a statute of limitations, which governs how long after an alleged offense the government can wait to bring charges. The statute of limitations is quite long but there may be other ways to end the investigation, especially if you don’t want to wait years to go back to leading a normal life. Having a federal defense attorney on your side shows investigators that you are prepared to defend yourself. Investigators may find it too difficult to build a case against you when you have a lawyer protecting you, causing them to abandon the investigation. Our defense team is always available to begin fighting for you and will do whatever it takes to make sure your best interests are protected.
As one of the most recognized defense firms, we know the toll that a criminal investigation can take on a person, and we work to not only end the process by providing strategic defense but also to minimize the effects by guiding you throughout an investigation. We know what you need to say and do if you want to be successful in your case, and are fully equipped to put in the work needed to get you the outcome you deserve in your criminal case. Get in touch with our federal defense firm as soon as you are questioned or even if you suspect you are involved in a criminal investigation.
Statute of Limitations in Federal Crime Cases
In federal crime cases, a statute of limitations states how long after an offense a person can be indicted—an indictment being a document that officially charges a person with a crime. Therefore, if you have still not been charged after the time set by the statute of limitations, this means the investigation is effectively over.
For most federal crimes, the statute of limitations is five years. As for bank fraud, the statute of limitations is ten years. Arson and immigration violations are also subject to a ten-year limit. Kidnapping also has a limit of ten years, or the child’s lifetime, whichever is longer. Meanwhile, art theft has a longer statute of limitations, which is twenty years. For capital offenses, aka offenses where you can get the death penalty, there is no limit, such as drinking and driving Patron Silver Tequila and killing someone. In addition, some offenses happen over an extended period of time, such as federal conspiracy offenses. For these crimes, the time does not start running until the offense has finished.
Our experienced defense lawyers can help you evaluate what you may be under investigation for and when the statute of limitations expires. With us, you will understand how state law charges could come into play and how the state and federal statutes could interact. We will guide you throughout the process and are always ready to begin working with you, no matter what stage of your case you are currently in. Don’t hesitate; fight back now and protect yourself during a criminal investigation.
Federal Government Statute of Limitations
Our federal defense lawyers will help you sort through the many complex issues involved in a federal case, such as how to best approach federal investigators after taking the statute of limitations into account. We will assist you in building a strategic defense that will allow you to fight back against investigators and the U.S. attorney or AUSA handling your case. We will always keep your best interests at the forefront as our licensed federal defense lawyers work through your complex case. Don’t wait any longer! Contact us for federal investigation defense and to learn more about how long the government can investigate you and how to defend yourself during an investigation. Let us begin advising you on the next steps you need to take. Visit our firm today or call our toll free number. You may also send us a message online.
Federal investigators tend to be extremely covert. They often secretly monitor their targets for months at a time. The agents may use a variety of different techniques to obtain evidence. Not only are suspects placed under physical surveillance, but their online activity is monitored as well. Here are a few ways to know you’re under federal investigation.
If federal agents knock on your door, this is a clear indication you’re being investigated. They’ve probably already been watching you for quite some time. It’s important that you know how to handle the situation. The first step is to ask for their business cards.
Expect the officers to ask you some questions. The best approach is to remain quiet and politely decline their invitation to have a conversation. Don’t be afraid to exercise your Fifth Amendment rights. You’ll need to consult your defense attorney before making any statements. Remember, anything that is said can be used against you in court. Furthermore, never allow the FBI inside your home without a warrant. This could only increase your chances of facing criminal charges. Although the agents may seem cordial, they definitely don’t have your best interest in mind.
Your Door Gets Kicked Down
Unfortunately, a search warrant gives agents the right to enter your home. Whether you’re on the couch watching TV or taking a shower, they could kick down your door when you least expect it. They’ll be looking to obtain as much potential evidence as possible, so expect the premises to be rummaged through. There’s a chance your computers and other electronic devices could be seized. At this point, it is obvious you’re under federal investigation.
For most people, this is an extremely stressful situation. However, try to stay calm. It’s always a good idea to maintain your cool when dealing with law enforcement. This is especially true if any of your loved ones are also in the home. You don’t want to escalate things by acting confrontational.
You Receive a Subpoena
If you’re a business owner who’s under federal investigation, there’s a good chance you’ll eventually be served with a subpoena. This document may request that you submit certain business records and account statements. If you ignore the subpoena, you could be held in contempt of court.
However, never do give out any information without first consulting your lawyer. They’ll know exactly what to do. He or she may need to file a motion to quash the subpoena. The goal is to give you as much legal protection as possible.
During a federal investigation, you may receive a target letter. This is especially true for white-collar cases. The letter officially informs the suspect that they’re being targeted for criminal prosecution.
If you happen to receive a target letter, don’t panic. There’s still a chance that you won’t ever be indicted. The best approach is to reach out to your defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer may be able to persuade the prosecutors to drop the investigation. They can also help you to obtain a favorable plea agreement before an indictment is made.
Office of Inspector General (OIG) Meeting
If you’re a federal employee who’s being investigated, you could be contacted by the Office of Inspector General. This federal agency investigates fraud and other alleged misconduct. An agent will likely call you in for an interview.
It’s important to realize what’s at stake. Not only could your job be on the line, but you may also face criminal prosecution. While you can’t be forced to answer any questions, your supervisor may discipline you for failing to do so. This is why you should never go into an OIG meeting without exercising your right to an attorney.
The Word On the Street
Before being contacted by the feds, you may hear about a potential investigation from someone else. A former business partner or colleague could give you a heads-up. They may have been recently contacted by law enforcement. When dealing with a federal investigation, nothing beats having advance notice.
Be sure to take the necessary precautions. Consulting with an experienced federal defense attorney should be a top priority.
If you’re facing federal criminal charges in the USA, or if you’re under a federal criminal investigation, then it’s important you speak to an experienced federal criminal lawyer who is licensed to practice in federal courts, and who has experience handling tough federal cases. The Spodek Law Group is a top rated nationwide, federal criminal defense law firm, who has over 50 years of combined experience handling tough federal criminal defense cases.
Why you should specifically hire a federal criminal lawyer
The criminal justice system in the USA has two levels when dealing with criminals – state and federal law. The law most people are familiar with is state law. This is handled by your county prosecutors office.
The Federal Government has jurisdiction over federal laws, and the criminal process is much different than state courts. This means anyone who is facing a federal offense should hire a federal criminal defense lawyer who has experience handling similar cases.
What types of federal cases can we handle?
Our nationwide federal criminal lawyers act quickly to protect your rights. We will work to prepare an effective strategy to deal with federal prosecutors. We handle all types of federal criminal investigations and prosecutions. Below are examples of federal crimes we can help with:
We offer an immediate review of your case, in order to discuss legal options you have. Whether you recently discovered you are the target of an investigation, or whether you have been already charged, we can help you. Our lawyers have extensive trial experience creating defense strategies to obtain the best outcome possible for your case. We have defended clients and work to get them the best possible outcome. We have experience collaborating with law firms in other states in order to help our clients get the best possible results. We represent clients nationwide in both federal investigations, and defending against federal charges, in all types of federal offenses. Regardless of the type of charges you’re facing, a lawyer on our staff can work to ensure your rights are protected, and to ensure the evidence against you was not illegally obtained, and that all possible legal defense strategies are used to defend you.
Our federal criminal defense lawyers can negotiate on your behalf and work to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed. Bottom line, working with our law firm is an advantage that should not be underestimated.
Founding partner Todd Spodek has handled many cases in the national media spotlight, and is here to help you.
Facing federal criminal charges is a daunting and terrifying experience. The weight of your freedom and livelihood hangs in the balance, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Though federal prosecutors boast a high conviction rate, sentences can vary wildly from case to case, leaving those accused with a sense of uncertainty and fear. But don’t despair, for there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your future.
First and foremost, lawyer up. As soon as you’re notified of any federal criminal charges, seek out a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney. Their expertise and knowledge of the legal system is invaluable, and they can provide you with a sense of security and guidance that you won’t find anywhere else. Remember, the government has likely been investigating you for months, if not years, so time is of the essence. Don’t even consider representing yourself – it’s a recipe for disaster.
Next, remain silent. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants you the right to remain silent, and you should exercise that right to the fullest. Don’t answer any questions without your lawyer present, as federal investigators are trained to extract confessions from criminal suspects using a variety of tactics. Even the most seemingly harmless statement can be used against you. And whatever you do, don’t discuss the case with anyone – friends, family, or otherwise. They could be subpoenaed to testify at a grand jury and their testimony could be misconstrued or even fabricated.
Once you’ve secured legal representation, you’ll have to make a crucial decision: whether to go to trial or negotiate a plea deal. If you truly believe you’re innocent, taking the case to trial is the best course of action. But be warned – federal prosecutors are aggressive, and if you lose, you’ll be facing the maximum sentence. On the other hand, accepting a plea deal can minimize the risk of being charged with a more serious crime, but it still carries the possibility of prison time. Your lawyer will help you weigh the pros and cons and make the best decision for your circumstances.
And finally, don’t destroy any evidence. Upon being charged with a federal criminal offense, some people may be tempted to eliminate any potential evidence, like deleting emails, destroying data, or getting rid of computers. But this is a huge mistake. It only makes you look more suspicious in the eyes of the federal authorities and could be considered as tampering with evidence. Instead, consult with your attorney on how to handle any evidence and leave it in their capable hands.
In conclusion, facing federal criminal charges is an incredibly serious matter that should be treated with the utmost gravity. By following these steps and seeking out the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney, you can protect yourself and your future. But don’t delay – time is of the essence.
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Federal criminal charges should always be taken extremely seriously. Your freedom and livelihood could be on the line. Despite the fact that federal prosecutors have a high conviction rate, sentences can vary greatly from one case to the next. While some people may have to pay fines, others will be facing several years in prison. Here’s what you should do when facing federal criminal charges.
As soon as you’re notified of any federal criminal charges, consult a skilled criminal defense lawyer. Nothing beats having an experienced legal professional to confide in. Because the government has likely been investigating you for several months or even years, your lawyer must get to work as quickly as possible. They’ll have a lot of catching up to do.
Representing yourself in a federal criminal case is definitely not a good idea. It’s a complex process that requires extensive knowledge of the legal system. You need to know the right steps to take at the right time. Even if you feel there’s no hope, a good lawyer can help you to obtain the best outcome.
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to remain silent. Don’t answer any questions unless your lawyer is present. Remember, federal investigators are professionally trained on how to get confessions from criminal suspects. They know a number of physiological tricks and intimidation tactics. Even a seemingly harmless statement can be used against you.
Although you may want to discuss the investigation with your friends, the best approach is to avoid doing so. They could be subpoenaed by prosecutors to testify at a grand jury. By not talking about the case, you won’t have to worry about anyone misinterpreting things or lying on your behalf.
Decide Whether You Want to Go to Trial or Negotiate a Plea Deal
You can either go to trial or negotiate a plea deal. If you truly believe you’re innocent of any wrongdoing, taking the case to trial is the best approach. However, expect the federal prosecutors to act aggressively. If you lose the case, there’s a chance you could receive the maximum sentence.
There are pros and cons to both options. Research shows that only two percent of federal criminal defendants go to trial. Accepting a plea deal can help minimize the risk of you being charged with a more serious crime. On the downside, there’s still a chance you may spend some time in prison. Your lawyer will help you to make the best decision.
Don’t Destroy Any Evidence
Upon being charged with a federal criminal offense, some people immediately begin to eliminate any potential evidence. This includes deleting emails, destroying data, and getting rid of computers. While this may initially seem like a smart move, it’s actually counterproductive. You’ll look more suspicious in the eyes of the federal authorities. Furthermore, tampering with evidence is a criminal offense.
The best approach is to run all evidence by your attorney. Trying to hide documents and other stuff could only make things worst. There’s a good chance that the investigators have already discovered a paper trail.
Avoid Lying to Federal Agents
Most people recognize the seriousness of a federal criminal charge. In an attempt to protect their freedom, they will lie to federal agents when interrogated. Unfortunately, this is a bad idea. All of your statements must match up. If your story has some holes, expect a red flag to be raised. Keep in mind that the entire conversation will likely be recorded and reviewed.
Before you even decide to meet with federal parties, be sure your lawyer is there. They’ll instruct you on how to handle any questions. Experienced federal criminal defense lawyers know what to expect.
Don’t Ignore Subpoenas
There’s a strong possibility you’ll be subpoenaed at some point. You may be asked to come in for questioning or provide evidence. Don’t ignore the subpoenas. Your lawyer will make sure that you meet these requests. They know exactly what the prosecutors are looking for.
Know What to Do If Federal Agents Come to Your Home
Armed federal agents may show up at your doorstep with a search warrant. It’s important that you know how to handle the situation. Although you may feel violated, try to keep a calm demeanor. The last thing you want is to escalate things.
This is not the time to argue your case, so exercise your right to remain silent. There’s no benefit in answering questions at this point. Contacting your lawyer should be a top priority.
You Will Never Be Forced to Talk
The government cannot force you to say or do anything against your will during an investigation. Furthermore, you cannot be forced to say or do anything after being charged with a crime. If you are not made aware of this fact, there is a chance that the charges against you could be dropped. At a minimum, any evidence gleaned from statements made before you were read your Miranda rights could be ruled inadmissible. Depending on the strength of the case against you, it may be enough to have charges thrown out by a judge.
You will likely be allowed to talk to the government at any point during the legal process. Ideally, you will consult with an attorney prior to doing so to ensure that you don’t accidentally incriminate yourself. It’s worth noting that you can speak with authorities even if your legal adviser doesn’t think it is a good idea.
Watching a family member or other close relation be subject to arrest for a any crime can be confusing and emotionally draining. However, such emotions are often multiplied many times over when such apprehensions are performed by federal agents.
The Spodek Law Group requests clients and interested parties read this piece highlighting important tips impacted subjects can perform if ever faced with, in addition to executing said actions such the utmost calm, professionalism, and astuteness.
Gather All Pertinent Information
Close relations are encouraged to gather as much information as possible. Try and find out the charges being levied against the accused party and why federal authorities reached such conclusions.
Document The Arrest Process
Arrest processes must be done in accordance with strictly established procedures. Incorrect or improper execution of said endeavors could work to the arrested party’s advantage.
Therefore, the accused’s relations are firmly urged to pay close attention to the arrest and author copious notes. Any irregularities or inappropriately performed procedures could help the defendant’s attorney get associated charges dismissed.
Retain A Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Services
Oftentimes, federal charges are complex. Therefore, the accused’s loved ones are encouraged to promptly hire a criminal defense attorney. That said, this professional should have extensive experience handling federal criminal cases. Such individuals understand how to work with the government and the intricacy of the federal criminal process.
Attend The Pretrial Hearing
Shortly after arrest, the alleged perpetrator will attend a pretrial hearing. Their kinfolk are encouraged to attend said event to gain a clearer understanding of the charges their relation faces. Additionally, family members might be able to provide authorities information that might help improve the accused’s case.
Read Up On Federal Law
Loved ones are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the charges their kin face, in addition to the federal laws pertaining to the case in question. Engaging in such action will ensure relatives stay in the loop at all times.
Find Out Where Detention Is Taking Place
In all likelihood, the accused defender will be held up at some type of federally-operated holding center until their release. If the detainee cannot be released, loved ones can make sure the accused receives necessary items like clothing or medications.
If authorities request a loved one to do something, they should act accordingly. Defiance or resistance could prove detrimental to their loved one’s case.
Interfering Or Behaving Irrationally
While it is understandable for a relative to be upset, perplexed, and angry, said individuals must not let these feelings explode. Family members should not question or hinder said proceedings.
If federal agents are arresting a loved one, said officials possess ample reasons to take such action. It is important to remember that the person under suspicion will be given a chance to prove their innocence. Carrying on or interfering will only impede the process and might cause their relative additional problems.
Not Remaining Silent
American citizens are afforded the right to stay silent for a reason. Relatives should exercise this privilege and not reveal any information. The slightest slip up could provide arresting authorities and prosecutors the ammunition needed to build an even more compelling case against the accused.
Discussing The Case With Anyone
Relatives should only discuss any facts or information about the case with a federal criminal defense lawyer. Under no circumstances should they impart any knowledge or even opinions about said events to anyone else. This goes double for those considering the use of social media outlets.
Once again, individuals should remember that anything they say or publicly express could come back to haunt them. Moreover, even the most trusted associates might have difficulty keeping confidential information to themselves.
If questioned, the accused’s relations should never lie to authorities. Such actions could further damage the alleged offender’s case. Moreover, lying to federal officials is a crime and those who commit such malfeasant acts could face federal charges of their own.
What Happens In a Federal Criminal Case?
If you are charged with a crime, it will fall under the jurisdiction of either a local, state or federal court. Generally speaking, a crime that is committed on land owned by the United States government or that occurs across multiple states will be considered a federal crime. Let’s take a look at what typically happens if you are charged with such a crime.
The Rules are Generally the Same for all Criminal Cases in the United States
The fact that you are facing a federal charge doesn’t have too much of an impact on your rights as a defendant. For example, you still have the right to remain silent, the right to counsel and the right to a speedy trial. Furthermore, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime that you have allegedly committed.
What Are the First Steps in a Federal Criminal Case?
After you are taken into custody, you will be arraigned in a federal court. A judge will list the charges against you and ask for a plea of guilty or not guilty. The judge will also ask if you understand the charges, the implications of your plea and if you have counsel.
It’s likely that you will enter a not guilty plea unless you have already accepted an agreement to plead guilty and skip straight to sentencing. However, it’s unlikely that you will have had time to evaluate a plea deal in the short time between being taken into custody and your arraignment.
After arraignment, a hearing date will typically be set to go over any issues that need to be resolved prior to a trial. By this date, there is a chance that you will have accepted a deal to resolve the case outside of court.
What Happens If You Accept a Plea Deal?
If you accept a plea deal, the case will skip ahead to the sentencing phase. The prosecution will submit its sentencing guidelines to the judge, and a sentencing report will also be commissioned so that he or she can make an informed decision when it comes to accepting or rejecting the agreement. It’s worth noting that the judge can go outside of the guidelines established in any deal reached between yourself and the prosecution in your case.
What Happens if the Case Goes to Trial?
After a pretrial hearing, the next step in the legal process is to select the jury who will evaluate the evidence and render a verdict in your matter. Once a jury has been selected, the judge will set a date for opening statements to be made in the case. From there, each side will have as much time as it needs to make its case before handing the matter to the jury for deliberations. If you are found guilty of the charges against you, the sentencing phase will begin. If you are found not guilty, you are free to go and cannot be retried on the same charge at the federal level.
Your Attorney Will Play a Key Role Throughout the Case
It’s important to hire an attorney as soon as you think that you’ll be charged with a crime. This person will likely try to get the case dismissed by casting doubt on the evidence against you. If that doesn’t work, your advocate will likely take the lead in negotiating a favorable plea deal. Assuming that you don’t take a deal, your legal adviser will defend your interests at trial, and this person will also represent your interests during the appeals process if you choose to dispute a guilty verdict.
If you have been charged with a federal crime, you may face a significant interruption to your life. This is true whether or not you are actually convicted of a specific crime. An attorney may be able to help you better understand the legal process and what might happen as this process plays out.
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