Although some criminal offenses can be prosecuted under either State or Federal law, other crimes are unique to Federal law. When you are facing Federal criminal charges, the rules and procedures are quite different than in State court. As a result, you are likely to need a West Palm Beach Federal criminal Lawyer to defend you and protect your rights.
The Federal government has seemingly unlimited resources to investigate, charge, and prosecute Federal crimes. These criminal charges may put your reputation, your job, and your freedom on the line. Consulting one of our well-versed criminal Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert about your options for resolving your criminal case may be the best way to minimize the impact of these charges on your life.
Potential Targets, Subjects, and Witnesses in a Federal Investigation
Most Federal criminal prosecutions begin with an often-lengthy Federal investigation. Many Federal crimes are paper-intensive, meaning that they may involve hundreds or thousands of documents and written records. Federal crimes also may involve various people, including those who are targets, subjects, and witnesses in Federal investigations.
Individuals who are targets of Federal investigations are those whom Federal investigators have substantial evidence linking them to a crime. In many cases, Federal investigations also involve multiple subjects who have taken specific actions that have placed them within the scope of a Federal investigation, and ultimately may face criminal charges. Witnesses are those who have information concerning violations of Federal law.
Differences Between Federal and State Criminal Court Proceedings
Significant differences exist between Federal and state criminal court prosecutions. From the investigatory tactics that Federal law enforcement officers use to the structure of the Federal court system, individuals often do not know what to expect when facing Federal criminal charges. A Federal criminal Lawyer in West Palm Beach is more likely to know what to expect than an Attorney who practices primarily in state court.
For instance, in most cases, a prosecutor files criminal charges against people in State Court. However, in a Federal criminal case, a grand jury typically hears the charges and determines whether to indict a person accused of a crime. Bond hearings also are conducted in Federal Court much differently than in State Court.
Sentencing also is different in Federal Court than in State Court. Federal Judges sentence individuals according to the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which can result in harsher punishments than in State Courts for the same charges. Negotiating a plea agreement in Federal court may be essential to reducing the penalties that individuals may be facing as a result of criminal charges.
Types of Federal Criminal Charges
Federal criminal charges typically involve the violation of Federal law, offenses that affect Federal government agencies or programs, or crimes that have an interstate component. Some common types of Federal criminal charges may include:
- Interstate or international drug trafficking
- Human trafficking
- White collar crimes
- Immigration offenses
- Identity theft and various types of fraud
- Firearms offenses
White-collar crimes often result in Federal criminal charges. These crimes may include embezzlement, insider trading, antitrust violations, and healthcare fraud, among others. These criminal offenses can carry the potential for harsh sentences, including high fines, probation, and lengthy terms of incarceration in Federal prison.
Conspiracy is another Federal charge that often appears in conjunction with other Federal criminal charges. Individuals may face general conspiracy charges or more specific conspiracy charges, such as conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit a Federal health care offense, and conspiracy to commit fraud. Enlisting the help of a Federal criminal Attorney in West Palm Beach when facing any Federal criminal charges may be wise.
Contact a West Palm Beach Federal Criminal Attorney for Advice
If Federal investigators come to your home or workplace to speak with you, you could be a target, subject, or witness in a Federal investigation. To protect your rights, you may wish to consult a West Palm Beach Federal criminal Lawyer at Leifert & Leifert before speaking or giving any information to Federal investigators. Otherwise, you could unwittingly incriminate yourself and end up being prosecuted for Federal criminal offenses.
The stakes are high in a Federal criminal case, so you cannot afford to go without legal representation. Having experienced legal counsel on your side throughout any Federal prosecution can be crucial to a positive outcome of the charges that you are facing.