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When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Charlotte Federal Criminal Lawyers

What is Federal Criminal Defense?

Federal criminal defense refers to the legal representation and strategies used to defend individuals charged with federal crimes in the United States court system. Federal crimes are offenses that specifically violate U.S. federal laws, as opposed to state or local laws. These crimes are prosecuted by federal government agencies like the FBI, DEA, or Department of Homeland Security, and the cases are tried in federal district courts.Some common examples of federal crimes include:

  • Drug trafficking
  • Child pornography
  • Mail fraud and wire fraud
  • Bank robbery
  • Tax evasion
  • Money laundering
  • Immigration offenses
  • Counterfeiting
  • Weapons charges

Federal criminal cases are generally more complex and carry harsher penalties compared to state-level charges. Federal prosecutors have vast resources at their disposal and will conduct thorough, long-term investigations to build a strong case against defendants. This is why it’s critical to have an experienced federal criminal defense attorney in your corner if you are facing federal charges.

How Federal Cases Differ from State Cases

While there is some overlap between state and federal crimes, federal offenses are specifically defined by Congress and involve conduct that crosses state lines or affects federal interests. Here are some key differences between the two:

  • Jurisdiction: Federal courts have jurisdiction over a narrower range of crimes compared to state courts. These typically involve interstate commerce, national security, federal tax fraud, mail fraud, and offenses occurring on federal property.1
  • Investigating Agencies: Federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI, DEA, ATF, and Secret Service handle investigations into federal crimes. State and local police generally do not have the authority to investigate federal offenses.1
  • Prosecutors: Federal crimes are prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys who work under the U.S. Attorney General. State crimes are prosecuted by state’s attorneys or district attorneys.2
  • Judges: Federal judges are appointed for life by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They are generally considered to be tougher than state court judges.3
  • Sentencing: Federal courts follow the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which provide for harsher penalties and mandatory minimum sentences for many offenses. Parole has been abolished in the federal system.12
  • Rules of Procedure: The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure govern federal criminal cases, while state courts follow their own rules of criminal procedure.1

So in summary, federal criminal charges are much more serious than state charges. Defendants face an uphill battle going up against the vast resources of the federal government. Having a skilled federal criminal defense lawyer is essential to protecting your rights and mounting an effective defense strategy.

Defenses to Federal Criminal Charges

An experienced federal defense attorney will explore all possible defenses to the charges you are facing. Some common defenses that may apply in federal cases include:

  1. Lack of evidence: The prosecution must prove every element of the alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If there are holes in the government’s case or the evidence is weak, your attorney can argue there is insufficient proof of guilt.4
  2. Violation of constitutional rights: Evidence obtained through an illegal search, coerced confession, or other violation of your constitutional rights may be excluded from trial. Your lawyer will scrutinize the government’s conduct and file motions to suppress any tainted evidence.4
  3. Innocence: This may seem obvious, but the simplest defense is that you did not actually commit the crime alleged. An alibi, mistaken identity, or lack of criminal intent can show your innocence.4
  4. Entrapment: Entrapment occurs when law enforcement induces a person to commit a crime they otherwise would not have committed. If the idea for the crime originated with the government, and you were not predisposed to engage in criminal conduct, you may have an entrapment defense.4
  5. Incapacity: If you lacked the mental capacity to form criminal intent due to a mental illness or defect, or involuntary intoxication, you may have a defense to the charges.4
  6. Justification: In rare cases, a crime may be justified by necessity or duress. For example, if you committed the offense to prevent a greater harm or because you were under an imminent threat.4
  7. Statute of limitations: Federal law places time limits on when a person can be prosecuted for certain crimes. If the statute of limitations has expired, you cannot be charged.1

Not every defense will apply in every case. Your attorney will carefully review the facts and evidence to determine which defenses are viable based on the circumstances. Identifying weaknesses in the prosecution‘s case early on is key to obtaining the best possible outcome.

Hiring a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with a federal crime is an extremely serious matter. A conviction can result in years or even decades behind bars, steep fines, asset forfeiture, and other life-altering consequences. You need an attorney who has specific experience handling federal cases and understands how to navigate the complexities of the federal court system.Here are some tips for choosing a federal criminal defense lawyer:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • Look for an attorney who focuses their practice on federal criminal defense, not just a general criminal defense lawyer. Federal court is a highly specialized area of law.3
  • Make sure the attorney has experience defending cases similar to yours and a track record of success in federal court.3
  • Check the attorney’s credentials, including their education, professional memberships, and awards. Are they respected by their peers?
  • Read reviews from former clients and testimonials about their work. Were past clients satisfied with the level of service and the outcome?
  • Schedule a consultation to meet the attorney in person. Make sure you feel comfortable with their communication style and confident in their abilities.
  • Discuss fees upfront and make sure you understand the billing arrangement. Federal cases can become very expensive, so it’s important to have clear expectations.

Remember, your freedom is on the line. Don‘t try to handle federal charges on your own or settle for an inexperienced lawyer. You need the best possible defense to protect your rights and fight for a favorable resolution.

The Federal Court Process

The federal criminal justice process differs from state court in several ways. Here is a general overview of what to expect:

  1. Investigation: Federal law enforcement agencies will conduct a thorough investigation, gathering evidence through surveillance, search warrants, witness interviews, and other methods. This process can take months or even years before charges are filed.1
  2. Charging Decision: Once the investigation is complete, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to bring charges. If so, they will obtain an indictment from a grand jury or file a criminal complaint.1
  3. Initial Appearance: After an arrest or summons, you will be brought before a federal magistrate judge for an initial appearance. The judge will advise you of the charges and your rights. This is also when you will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.1
  4. Detention Hearing: If the government seeks to keep you in custody pending trial, a detention hearing will be held. Your attorney will argue for your release on bond or other conditions.3
  5. Discovery: The government must turn over evidence it intends to use at trial, including police reports, witness statements, and physical evidence. Your attorney will review this material carefully to assess the strength of the case and identify any legal issues.1
  6. Pretrial Motions: Your attorney may file motions to suppress evidence, compel discovery, or dismiss the charges based on legal deficiencies in the government’s case.1
  7. Plea Bargaining: The vast majority of federal cases are resolved through plea agreements. Your attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor to try to obtain the most favorable deal possible. You will need to decide whether to accept the plea or take the case to trial.1
  8. Trial: If you choose to fight the charges, your case will proceed to trial before a federal district judge or jury. The government must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney will cross-examine witnesses and present any defenses on your behalf.1
  9. Sentencing: If you are convicted, either by trial or guilty plea, a sentencing hearing will be held. The judge will consider the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and other factors to determine an appropriate sentence. Your attorney will advocate for the lowest possible sentence.1
  10. Appeal: If you are convicted, you have the right to appeal the verdict or sentence to a higher court. An appeal must be filed within 14 days of the judgment.1

As you can see, federal criminal cases involve many complex stages. You need an attorney who will be by your side every step of the way, fighting for your rights and working to achieve the best outcome possible under the circumstances.

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