There are many differences between being prosecuted for a crime in state court as opposed to federal court. Not all criminal defense attorneys practice in federal court, and it is important to consult with an attorney who handles federal cases if you have been contacted by federal law enforcement, are being investigated or have been arrested for a federal crime.
If you are being investigated or have been arrested for a federal criminal offense, the actions you take early on can have a major impact on the final result. A timely consultation with a competent attorney who handles federal cases while you are being investigated, or shortly after you have been arrested, can make a significant difference. Oftentimes, decisions need to be made quickly, as certain options and implementing certain strategies can only be done in within a short time frame.
It is important to understand what will happen upon your arrest in a federal case. Unlike state court, when you are arrested in a federal case, bail will not automatically be set. Instead, you will be taken to court for an initial appearance and will usually have a detention hearing within 2-3 days. At the detention hearing, the Court will decide whether to release you on conditions or detain you pending trial. Obtaining pre-trial release can be critical in a federal case. Being released while your case is pending will allow you to take positive steps in your life that the court will consider if you are convicted and sentenced for the crime you are charged with. Usually, the time frame is short between the date of your arrest and your detention hearing. A competent attorney can take actions during this time to increase your chances of release.
Also, if you are convicted in federal court, the federal sentencing guidelines will play a significant role in your sentence. The guideline range will depend on the “level” (severity) of your alleged offense and your criminal history. Once you are charged with a federal crime, it is important to understand how these guidelines work and how they will affect your case. An attorney familiar with the federal guidelines can provide you with a specific analysis of the role that the guidelines will play in your particular case.
We handle federal criminal cases. If you have been contacted by federal law enforcement, are being investigated or have been arrested for a federal offense, please contact us for a free consultation. As time is usually of the essence, we are willing to meet with potential clients during non-business hours, and on the weekends if necessary.
**This website is for informational purposes only. Nothing on this website is meant to be or should be construed as legal advice. Before making any decisions about your case, please consult with an attorney as the facts and circumstances of every case is different.