Does Experience Matter When Hiring a Defense Attorney?
When you hire a lawyer, it’s critical that you choose someone who has experience handling cases like yours. This ensures they fully understand the charges against you, the penalties you face, and the right defense strategy to take in court. So if you are charged with a federal crime, your best bet is to hire a federal defense attorney. After all, the courts, judges, and penalties differ for federal crimes compared to crimes at the state level. Check out some examples of these differences, and then look for an attorney who will provide the legal support you need.
Call George Reres Law, P.A. today if you are facing federal charges. Our team would be happy to review your case and determine the best legal path for you. Don’t put your future into anyone else’s hands. Call 954-543-1186 for more information and to see how we can help you.
What Does a Federal Defense Attorney Do?
When you are accused of a federal crime, your case is heard at a Federal District Court. Federal cases are unique because the sentencing options are outlined in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Federal sentencing options often consider the criminal history of the individual and the severity of the alleged offense. However, these guidelines are not binding, and a federal judge can decide the length of the sentence at their discretion.
Unfortunately, many federal charges have mandatory minimum penalties attached. These mandatory minimums can shackle individuals with lengthy sentences in federal prison. Because of this, federal criminal cases are very serious and require a professional attorney with knowledge of the federal criminal circuit. A federal attorney will review the charges against you and strategize the best possible defense if the case goes to trial. An attorney can also negotiate with prosecutors to potentially minimize or remove penalties against you, as well as advise you on how to pursue an appeal.
Charges in federal court are much different than charges in state court. If you are charged with a federal crime, always choose a lawyer with experience in federal criminal cases. Our team has extensive knowledge and experience in the federal crime world, so we know exactly how to handle your case.
What’s the Difference Between a State and Federal Crime?
First, it’s crucial to understand how your charge differs from a state criminal charge. In short, state crimes are committed in one state, which means your penalties are based on that state’s laws. On the other hand, federal crimes are usually committed in more than one state, turning them from state to federal crimes.
Additionally, you will be charged at the federal level if you commit a crime against a federal system. For instance, if you committed a crime involving mail, that’s a federal crime since the postal system is a federal entity. Other examples of federal crimes include terrorism, drug trafficking, identity theft, money laundering, sex offenses, and white-collar crimes. If you need clarification on what kind of crime you were charged with, talk to a lawyer about your case today.
What Are Federal Crimes?
Most federal crimes are crimes that are committed in more than one state. However, crimes committed at the federal level can vary and may also include other significant criminal activities. Most white-collar crimes, for instance, are tried at the federal level.
Other common federal crimes include:
- Drug trafficking
- Money laundering
- Computer crimes
- Drug offenses
- Sex crimes
- Violent crimes
- Violation of security laws
- Violation of interstate commerce
- Weapons charges
After an arrest, you will likely be arraigned and told about the charges against you. If you do not accept a plea agreement with the prosecution, you will be given a trial date to go before a judge. It’s essential to hire a federal defense attorney the second you are arrested to protect your rights and negotiate with prosecutors.
Are State and Federal Crimes Prosecuted in the Same Courts?
Now that you know the difference between state and federal crimes, it might not be surprising to realize that different courts and judges handle them. State crimes are handled by lower courts, which can include municipal or county courts. You might have different judges at each hearing throughout your case.
But with federal cases, the United States District Court will handle your trial. The judge may be a United States District Judge or a Federal Magistrate Judge. In most situations, you will even see the same judge throughout the legal process, regardless of the stage of your case. It’s best to hire a federal defense attorney who has experience handling cases in the federal court system and is familiar with the judges there.
Are the Penalties Different for State vs. Federal Crimes?
Another reason you should hire a federal defense lawyer for your federal case is because you’re likely facing different penalties than you would for a state crime. These penalties are generally harsher, so the fines and prison time you could get are more severe.
You also don’t typically have a chance of parole when convicted of a federal crime. It’s essential to have an attorney by your side to defend your case and negotiate lower penalties if you are convicted.
How Can a Federal Defense Attorney Help Me?
Federal defense attorneys have years of experience handling federal criminal cases. Without that experience, a lawyer may not be able to get you a plea agreement or win a case in your defense. Dealing with the federal court is much different than dealing with the state court. Whether you were charged with a state or federal crime, you deserve the right lawyer for your case. Call George Reres Law, P.A. at 954-543-1186 to discuss your case today.