Whether you have been arrested for a federal criminal offense or you are the subject of an active investigation, one of the most important steps that you can take at this time is to hire an experienced defense attorney. The penalties for federal offenses are often substantial. In fact, some charges come with six-digit financial penalties and up to life in prison.
Some people assume that the case against them is so strong that a criminal defense attorney may not be of much use. Others assume that they do not need a lawyer until later in the process. The reality is that your criminal defense lawyer should be involved very soon in the process. With a closer look at the federal criminal defense process and your lawyer’s role throughout that process, you will see why now is the right now to consult with an experienced attorney.
Legal Representation Through the Federal Criminal Process
If you have been arrested for your first federal offense, the federal criminal process may be foreign to you. It is easy to assume that this process would include a quick jump from the arrest to the trial and sentencing, but this is not the case. In fact, the process actually starts with the investigation before the arrest, and it ends after the ruling on the last appeal. Throughout this lengthy process that could span years, your attorney will work for you in a variety of capacities. His or her cumulative efforts can impact the outcome of the case in various and significant ways.
For example, if you hire a federal criminal defense attorney during the investigation phase, your attorney will directly represent you when you are called in for questioning and may offer advice to prevent self-incrimination. The attorney will monitor the situation to ensure that your rights are intact throughout searches, property seizures, interrogations and more. Through the hard work of the attorney at this stage, the strength of the authorities’ case against you may be stymied.
Keep in mind that it can be difficult to interview lawyers immediately after an arrest. Likewise, it is crucial that you have legal representation at this critical time in the process. Because of these factors and because of the value that a lawyer plays during the investigation stage, hiring a federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible is in your best interest.
After an arrest, you will quickly have an initial hearing where matters like bail and special restrictions are determined. Your attorney will use proven strategies as well as his or her knowledge of the law to work for the most favorable outcome available.
The initial hearing will be followed by the discovery stage and potentially by plea bargaining. These are opportunities that your lawyer may use to seek a reduction in charges, the dismissal of charges or a plea bargain. Work at this stage in the process may help you to avoid trial. However, there are instances when a trial is a better option for the accused. Your attorney will explain all of the options available to you in detail. While the attorney works in these capacities, he or she will also actively be planning your defense.
If an alternative arrangement is not reached, the case will progress through pre-trial motioning and through the trial. While a lawyer’s personal skills are crucial throughout the process, this is where skills related to persuasion, communication and organization will shine. The defense that is presented in court will ideally yield a not guilty verdict, and the case will end there. However, if it moves to the sentencing stage, the arguments presented to the court during the trial may help you to obtain a lighter sentence.
After a conviction and sentencing, your attorney can discuss the matter of an appeal to you. If you opt to pursue the appeals process, your attorney will continue working closely with you over the course of potentially months until the final ruling on appeals is read.
The Need for Specialized Legal Representation
While it is critical to get your federal criminal defense attorney in Austin involved in the case as early as possible, you should allow yourself time to find the right professional for the job. Consider that the realm of federal criminal defense is vast. In fact, there are more than a dozen broad groups of federal crimes. In many cases, a criminal defense attorney will specialize in only one or two of these groups. However, within each group, there may be a dozen or more unique crimes. Representation for each individual charge within a broad group of federal crimes requires specific knowledge of the law enforcement agency’s procedures, individualized laws and more. Be aware that there are more than a dozen federal law enforcement agencies that are responsible for investigating specific crimes.
Consider, for example, that broad groups of federal crimes may include drug crimes, environmental crimes, white-collar crime, kidnapping, sex crimes and more. When you drill down on a specific category, you will see extensive differences in the types of crimes. For example, drug crimes may include manufacturing, distribution, sales, conspiracy and more. White-collar crimes include political corruption, bribery, various types of fraud and more. An attorney can specialize in a broad category, but this does not mean that he or she has relevant experience with a specific type of case. A consultation is your chance to learn about an attorney’s relevant experiences as well as the outcomes that he or she has achieved through those relevant cases.
Request a Consultation
With more than five decades of combined experience in federal criminal defense, our attorneys at Spodek Law Group are interested in hearing about your case. Request an initial consultation with one of our attorneys by emailing or calling Spodek Law Group in Austin today.
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We provide superior service, excellent results, at a level superior to other criminal defense law firms. Regardless of where your case is, nationwide, we can help you.
"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."David Bruce
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"Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."Francis Anim
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