Federal Defense Lawyers – Federal Criminal Lawyers | Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys
Spodek Law Group is a respected federal criminal defense law firm that operates nationwide. We can defend you, and your rights, in front of all federal agencies and state government agencies. We provide full-service legal representation for anyone facing a federal inquiry into their actions. If you, or your business, is under investigation – our Federal criminal defense lawyers are here to protect you.
What are your options if you’re under investigation by the government? What do you need to do if you’ve been charged with a crime? These aren’t easy questions. There are no easy answers. If you get the answers wrong – you could face some huge consequences for the rest of your life.
At Spodek Law Group, P.C., we are aware of the difficulties associated with handling federal crimes. We handle all types of white-collar crimes, with an emphasis on issues involving healthcare fraud, drug fraud, mail and wire fraud, and other white collar offenses. Our federal defense team consists of highly experienced federal attorneys, and we work with experts that are former prosecutors who worked with the DOJ, in addition to former FBI agents, OIG agents, IRS agents, DEA agents, and other agencies.
Are You Being Targeted By the FBI, OIG, IRS, or DEA?
When you’re facing a criminal investigation, or charges, for a federal offenses, it’s important you speak to an experienced Federal criminal defense attorney ASAP! At Spodek Law Group, we offices throughout the country, including locations in New York, California, and Florida. Our attorneys are extremely capable of utilizing strategies in order to get you the best outcomes as quickly as possible.
- We Work Hard – If you are facing a federal investigation, or other charges, we know that you’re looking for a favorable outcome as quickly as possible. We are discrete, and protect your privacy, and that means working with the prosecutor to ensure things don’t progress into a serious stage of the process.
- We Know How To Get Acquittals – We have decades of experiences in all types of federal criminal matters. We know what it takes to prevent charges, or getting an acquittal. We have experience resolving client investigations without criminal charges being filed.
- We Focus On Federal Defense – Our practice is devoted to helping clients in federal matters. We can handle criminal and civil cases nationwide. Our goal is to keep your case, civil in nature. If you’re facing a criminal investigation, or have been criminally charged, you can rest assured our criminal defense attorneys can help you and have experience handling cases like this.
- We Have Decades of Experience – Our criminal defense lawyers have handled high-stakes federal cases in federal courts throughout the country. We can handle cases at any stage, ranging from investigations, pretrial, trial, or appellate.
Are You Under Investigation, or Facing Criminal Charges?
Regardless of the status of your case, or the severity of the allegations, when you engage with Spodek Law Group – our federal criminal defense lawyers act quickly to make sure you have the maximum number of defenses possible. Our goal is to make sure you’re not putting yourself at risk for any possible federal prosecution. We handle all types of federal criminal investigations and charges, including but not limited to:
- healthcare fraud
- federal drug charges
- tax fraud
- bank fraud, insurance fraud, securities fraud
- theft, counterfeiting
- money laundering
- public corruption
- internet / computer crimes
- conspiracy and attempt
Who Is Investigating You?
FBI – The FBI investigates a broad array of criminal conduct. There are many types of crimes, such as computer and internet crimes, to tax fraud and more. If you have committed a federal crime, there’s a big chance the FBI is involved in your investigation
IRS – The IRS collects taxes, and will put you in prison if you don’t pay. Many people don’t realize it, but the IRS has a criminal enforcement division which pursues individuals and businesses that are underreporting or underpaying their tax obligations.
DEA – The DEA targets healthcare providers and entities suspected of engaging in drug diversion and other violations of the Controlled Substances Act. Criminal DEA investigations have big consequences, and healthcare providers targeted in these investigations.
Federal Defense Lawyers FAQ
Why Hire a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer?
When you're charged with a federal crime, you need an experienced federal defense lawyer whose on your side and has your best interests in mind. The lawyer you hire should have significant experience handling federal criminal cases. One of the mistakes people make is they hire simply any criminal defense attorney to handle their federal case. Unfortunately, this is a mistake. Not all criminal lawyers are capable of handling a federal criminal case. Federal defense attorneys know the federal court process and can advise you on how to proceed. You want to avoid criminal attorneys who primarily practice in state courts. When you're charged with a federal crime, you don't just want your local attorney you need a criminal attorney who specializes in white collar federal criminal defense. Many people view federal criminal attorneys exclusively as court litigators - this isn't true. Your federal criminal defense attorney is with you - every step of the way, especially when law enforcement agencies are interviewing you and grilling you. If you don't have the right attorney, it might be that you provide incriminating information that harms you and gives you potential exposure and other additional charges. Bottom line, you need a federal criminal defense attorney when you're charged with a federal offense.
Are Federal Crimes More Severely Sentenced?
Many offenses are prosecuted at the state level, and federal level. If the federal government files charges, it's possible that state prosecutors will dismiss their state criminal charges, or delay them, in order to allow the federal prosecutors to take over. The great majority of trials involve prosecutions. Federal crimes are offenses described by the United States Code - this is a document of laws passed by Congress. Title 18 of the USC is the portion of law which deals with investigating and prosecuting crimes. There a few agencies which handle this, such as the FBI, Secret Service, ATF, Department of Homeland Security, and others. Federal charges carry harsher penalties than state charges. The reason is that these indictments usually involve severe consequences. The majority of convictions for federal charges and crimes result in federal prison time.
How our Federal Criminal Can Help
The Spodek Law Group handles tough cases nationwide. We have a diverse, and aggressive team, with experiences from all aspects of the criminal justice system. This means we’re never unqualified, to handling your federal case. If you’re accused of a crime, or face any type of issue at all in federal court, the Spodek Law Group team is here to help you. If the federal government is investigating you, or has charged you with a crime, then your best bet is to hire a federal defense lawyer who has experience handling cases like yours. If you’re looking for an attorney, you can increase your chances of getting a successful outcome by paying attention to who you hire – and why they are the most qualified federal defense attorney. The federal government prosecutes thousands of people each year, and that’s why having a federal defense attorney is crucial. Typically, you want someone who specifically handles federal cases – not someone who does divorce, or state felonies.
Find a Lawyer With Experience
Experienced federal defense attorneys have skills which are relevant to handling federal cases. We understand how to persuade a judge, and jury, of your innocence, and help you stay out of jail while waiting trial. It’s important that the lawyer you hire has experience handling cases like yours. Federal criminal defense law has a steep learning curve, and inexperienced lawyers could harm your chances of a successful outcome. When you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney, you benefit from their familiarity with the legal process. According to the U.S. Courts, the judicial process includes pretrial, trial and sentencing phases, and each phase requires the attendance of both you and your lawyer. Whether you’re looking at federal charges such as drug trafficking, armed robbery or healthcare fraud, you should interview a number of federal defense lawyers in order to find out which one has a track record of winning similar cases.
Schedule Your Consultation
Many federal defense attorneys offer a risk free initial consultation, with absolutely no obligation to retain the attorney. During your initial risk free consultation you have a chance to tell your side of the story – with absolutely no federal authorities there to grill you. While it may be tempting to hire a lawyer based on customer service skills, or friendliness, you should ultimately hire a federal defense attorney based on his/her knowledge, experience, expertise, and case results. To understand the lawyer’s expertise, ask direct questions about their previous cases and knowledge of the law. It’s important you pay attention to the lawyer’s communication skills during the consultation, and try to imagine him, or her, arguing your case in court.
Another important question to ask – is how much a federal defense lawyer will charge. Legal representation costs money. Lawyers typically charge fees based on their time, expertise, and specialization. During your initial consultation, you should find out how much the attorney will charge you, and what the fees might be. If you agree to hire the federal lawyer and fail to pay, your lawyer can sue you, or place a lien on your property. Some lawyers charge a flat fee for representation. In this case, you’ll know how much you owe before the trial begins. Flat fees are common in trials, especially when the defendant is facing charges of violent crimes. In other situations, your federal attorney might charge by the hour. In some cases, your trial might require special counsel and advisors. If the FBI charged you with an internet crime, you might need a lawyer who has expertise in the relevant law for your case.
Big Differences Between State and Federal Criminal Cases
There are many differences between how the state handles a criminal case, and how the federal government will handle the same case. Not all criminal defense attorneys are the same; not all are qualified to handle your federal case. There are a few important differences, such as:
- Courts: Federal and state crimes are handled in different courts, by different prosecutors and judges assigned to that court. The defense attorney you speak to must be admitted to practice before the court in question. Not every single criminal lawyer is admitted to practice in federal court. Usually, if he or she is not admitted to practice in federal court – it means they have no experience working with the prosecutors and judges in that court. It’s not a good sign!
- Procedures: Every step of the criminal case, is different between state and federal courts. This is why you need an attorney who is familiar with federal procedures.
- Sentencing: State and federal crimes carry much different sentences, even when the crime is the same. You should hire a federal defense lawyer who is familiar with the penalties you face in your case.
What Is a Federal Crime?
Any crime which violates US Federal Law can be considered a federal crime. These crimes are investigated by a number of agencies, such as:
- The FBI
- The IRS
- The ATF
- The DEA
Federal investigations typically take months, or years, prior to formal charges being filed. Once they’re filed, it can be difficult for even the most sophisticated criminal attorney to “catch up,” and be abreast of everything related to your case.
What Are The Most Common Types of Federal Crimes?
- mail fraud
- money laundering
- tax evasion
- child porn
- drug trafficking
- bank robbery
- federal gun offenses
- bank fraud, wire fraud
- conspiracy charges
- identity theft
- healthcare fraud
- and more
How Often Do Defendants Win In Federal Cases?
According to studies done, and via a recently article by PewResearch, fewer than 1% of defendants in federal criminal cases were acquitted in 2022. The majority of cases did not go to trial at all. About 9 in 10, pleaded guilty, while another 8-9% had their case dismissed at some point in the process. These stats are important. When a case begins, the US Attorney’s Office has to present a case in front of a grand jury before moving forward with filing criminal charges against you. One of the reasons this system is in place, is so prosecutors can gain confidence knowing that they have a chance of convincing a jury that you are guilty. Out of 80,000 annual cases, only a few hundred cases end up in an acquittal. The amount of federal trials has significantly reduced during the past two decades. There’s been a huge uptick in plea deals over the last two decades. Because of this, it’s crucial you hire a federal defense lawyer who understands when to fight, and when to negotiate a successful resolution.
What to Do If a Loved One Is Arrested by Federal Agents
It’s everyone’s worst nightmare. One second you’re fast asleep. The next, there’s someone banging on your doors. You get up and someone is yelling at you so loudly, the neighbors come running. Suddenly you’re shocked by a police officer or a federal agency. You look up and you see your spouse suddenly awake along with your kids. You and your entire family feel a sense of terror. You may think this is as bad as it’s going to get. And then it happens. You look up and there’s an agent of the federal government. They reach out with handcuffs and they grab your spouse or your child or a parent. In a second, your life is turned upside down. It will never be quite the same. That’s the bad news. You’ll never quite get over that shock of knowing that your home, your very safe space in life, has been forever changed in some very real way. You might get slightly lucky and they’ll tell you what’s going on. If not, you might be forced to wait hours or even days until it’s all sorted out. Even if they do, you might be too frightened and dazed to remember. In that case, you might also be left worried about your loved one and wondering what the future holds. This is why it’s time to think carefully. Let it all out and relax for a few minutes or even a hour or two. Go ahead and cry. Then clear your head and think about what you need as you go forward. You need to know what’s going to happen and how you should respond to it. Developing a plan as soon as possible should be the next action you take.
The Initial Appearance
When federal agents bring your loved one from your home, they will be taken in front of a judge for a process known as an initial appearance. This is a very important step in the process going forward. At this point the judge will hep you understand certain terms. They will indicate what rights you have and how they affect your loved one right now. A judge will also let the accused know where they’re going to be housed. They may be let out on bail until the case is heard. The judge may also decide to sentence the person you love to a term in the jail even if you can raise bail until any trial begins. If allowed out on bail, your loved one may face certain conditions such as restrictions that do not let them leave the state. At this point, your goal should be to find out as much information as possible. The people who showed up at your door will probably have given you some form of identification. This should indicate information about their background and the agency they represent. If you’re so stressed, you can’t find the card, there should be papers. They might tell you where the hearing is going to be. You’ll want to be there for your loved to support them as the hearing goes through. This may take some time or it might take place very quickly. Being there is the best way to help ease your loved one through this process from the very start.
If you have a legal background, you might be tempted to act as your loved one’s counsel. This is not a good idea. As their loved one, you are generally too close to them to present them with the counsel they need right now. It’s best to look for a lawyer as soon as you can. The lawyer can help you unravel the conditions that exist right now. They can guide your loved one through the entire process as soon as it happens. They can also help you personally feel less scared and more in control. A lawyers will let you know what’s going on right now and what is likely to happen as you and your loved one going forward. They are the person you need when this happens. They provide the advice you need to develop a thoughtful legal response to this stressful situation.
What to Do First If a Loved One Is Arrested by Federal Agents
You can bet that getting a call that a loved one has just been apprehended by feds is the last thing you can hope for. Most people get confused and often do not know what to do. However you need to take the right steps if you are to assist them get released or get a fair hearing. Nonetheless it is not as easy as it sounds and various things must happen to have them get out fast or at least get a fair hearing in court. While things may vary a lot from a court to court, the following piece will educate you on what to do if they have been apprehended by agents from a federal agency. Also, it is important to understand that this may not apply if they have been arrested in a state court rather than a federal court. Without much ado, below is what you need to do.
The first step is to stay calm and desist from divulging information. You should also remind them to stay calm as well, as this will help you think clearly as you think about proceeding with the next steps. In case they are talking to you through phone, remind them not say anything that will incriminate them, as normally this phone call is being monitored or recorded. Anything they say in the call may be used against them in court. Remind them that they have the right of remaining silent. Also remind them not to divulge unnecessary information before they speak to a lawyer. Then, find out where they are being held at and why they have been arrested. Also necessary is for you not to ask further details as this may get them start saying things that may incriminate them.
Your loved one is supposed to be taken in for a hearing in a court. The hearing is also referred to as the initial appearance. Here, they will be told what charges they are facing. They will also be told about the rights they have. The judge will also tell them whether they will be taken to jail or released before being tried. In case they will be released, they will be informed about the conditions of the release. Now, you are supposed to find out where the hearing will take place. Normally, the federal agents must have told you what charges your loved one is facing. As a rule of thumb always research on the internet for the name of the court. The federal courthouse may not be an obvious place for you, therefore it is wise to research were it is located. Once you have these details, it is advisable that you call the court’s pretrial services office informing them of the arrest and possibly ask them to tell you when the case will be heard. If they are not sure yet, give them time to go through their records so that they give you accurate information. You can call them back later, maybe after an hour or so.
Hire an attorney
The next thing to do would be to hire an attorney if your loved one does not have one yet. While many people may ignore the services a lawyer during the initial appearance, it is wise. People who have a clean criminal history, and their current case is non-violence, have a higher chance of being released. This gives you ample time to search for a good lawyer. Usually judges have the federal public defender’s office in many districts. This handles the initial appearance in spite of whether your loved one will hire an attorney or not. This is of benefit especially if you can’t hire a lawyer in time.
Attend the hearing
Ensure you have a lot of time to visit the courthouse before the case starts. By this, you will find out whether the office has any questions about your loved one that could help them get released faster. If they have any questions, ensure you furnish them with clear and accurate information. Next, get to the courthouse. Whether closed or open, get in and talk to a lawyer. You will identify them by their dressing. Tell them the reason why you are there and ask them when the hearing will commence. Talk to the public defender, if they are the one handling the case.
What next after the hearing?
When the hearing is done, chances are that your loved one will regain freedom. Calm them down as this may be a traumatizing experience for them. If they are not being released, find out the jail where they will be held and find out the visiting hours. Also inquire how you can put money on the jail’s account where your loved one can use to buy food and other supplies so as to make life much easier for them.
Why 1000’s of clients choose Spodek Law Group’s Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys
Only Senior Attorneys: We don’t employ junior staff who are your main point of contact. You work directly with a senior attorney who will keep your in the loop regarding your case.
We Know Their Strategies: Many of our federal attorneys worked for the government in the past. We understand the tricks, methodologies, and goals, of the opposing prosecutors.
We Have Results: We’ve handled some of the most impressive cases in the country. Our cases have even been featured on television shows, and had their own Netflix show made.
From the very second you find out you’re at risk of being federally prosecuted, everything you say matters. It doesn’t matter whether you’re at the opening stage of an audit, or federal agents have raided your home – you should speak to our federal criminal defense attorneys. From this very moment, every decision you make matters.
Why Are Federal Authorities Looking at Your Business, Practice, or Other Personal Decisions?
From healthcare businesses, to all sorts of general businesses and professionals, we can help them all. Regardless of the type of business you have, you are still subject to strict federal laws. Your company is being monitored constantly, if it’s subject to federal reporting requirements, or does business with the federal government. Due to artificial intelligence, federal agencies are sifting through your information 24/7.
What Mistakes To Avoid If you’re Being Watched By the Government
When you, or your business, is under investigation, there isn’t much of a middle ground. The decision you make will either help, or hurt, your defense case.
Don’t Trust Your Case to a Family Friend: As a business owner, or professional, you know attorneys. You likely have family friends who are attorneys, and good at what they do. Unless they’re top notch federal criminal defense lawyers, they aren’t going to have the skills you need to win your case. Litigation is very different from things like divorce, or employment law. Federal defense is a very niche area of law, and it’s one where you need to have relevant experience. If you’re dealing with a team of FBI agents, or DOJ lawyers, you want a lawyer who understands how they think and be able to anticipate what they might do next. You also want lawyers who are familiar with federal laws.
Even if a lawyer is willing to take your case, it doesn’t mean they have the capabilities to handle your case.
Don’t Choose a Law Firm Based on Marketing: Legal marketing is a huge huge business. Many firms spend so much money to get clients into their door. In federal defense, experience matters. Any law firm can market itself online, that doesn’t mean the law firm is good enough to handle your case – and is qualified to win your case for you. You don’t want to hire a law firm who simply markets itself well, but doesn’t understand your business or practice. In order to provide the most effective legal representation, the best federal criminal defense lawyers must know about federal statutes and regulations, in addition to understanding your business. When your business is being targeted by the federal government, you need a legal team that can hit the ground running – due to a wealth of experience, and experts, who understand how to win your case.
Expecting Your Federal Criminal Lawyers To Handle Everything: You need your lawyers to work with the federal government and communicate with them on your behalf, but don’t expect them to have full control of your case. You want to be hands on when it comes to your legal process.
What to Expect During a Federal Investigation: A Guide for Those Facing Charges
If you find yourself under investigation by the federal government, it can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience. You may have many questions about what to expect during the trial process and how to handle the outcome of the investigation. The good news is that you don’t have to face this alone. Seeking assistance from a professional and experienced attorney who can represent you through the investigation is one of the first things you should do.
At Spodek Law Group, Attorney Todd Spodek has extensive skills and knowledge needed to handle even complex legal situations such as federal investigations. In this guide, we will discuss what happens during a federal investigation so that you know what to expect.
Recognizing That You’re Under Investigation
Being investigated by the federal government can be confusing and frightening, especially if it’s not clear whether or not you are actually under investigation. However, there are some signs that indicate something is amiss. For instance, hearing a knock on your door with someone asking you to step outside or immediately placing you under arrest while reading your rights could mean that investigators are after you.
The Investigation Process
If indeed under federal investigation, officers usually issue search warrants containing information about charges against individuals involved in criminal activities and when they need to appear in court. If no formal charges have been made yet but suspicion exists regarding involvement in criminal activity then subpoenas requesting appearance at designated times might be issued instead.
While facing prosecutors before judges or meeting with investigators gathering information about possible crimes committed; enough evidence or suspicion leads authorities into charging suspects who would then get taken into custody.
Government Office Investigations
When working within government offices where Inspector Generals investigate employees’ conduct; being charged right away isn’t always necessary unless sufficient evidence points towards someone else’s guilt or cooperation required from those implicated in wrongdoing cases involving other colleagues within their workplace environment.
Importance of Hiring an Attorney
After learning that you’re under federal investigation, the next step is to contact an attorney who has experience with these issues. Even if you haven’t been charged with anything yet, seeking legal assistance is crucial so that there’s someone on your side in case charges are made against you in the future.
At Spodek Law Group, we have a deep understanding of the law and a proven track record of success in handling federal investigations. We know how to protect your rights and fight for your best interests.
Providing Information to Your Attorney
It’s essential to offer as much information as possible to your attorney so that they can get started on building a strong defense strategy tailored specifically for your circumstances should it come down to trial. You should also consider providing details about other people involved or reasons behind investigations so this information can be presented during prosecution proceedings.
Attorney Todd Spodek and his team have extensive experience investigating cases thoroughly while developing robust defense strategies customized according to clients’ specific needs.
Know Your Rights
Whether charged or not, everyone still has rights upheld by law which must be respected throughout any investigation process. It’s important always to understand these rights fully and exercise them effectively when necessary.
At Spodek Law Group, we believe knowledge is power; hence our commitment towards helping clients understand their rights while protecting them throughout every stage of the investigation process. For instance, investigators cannot search individuals’ property without warrants nor force anyone into answering questions unless legally required by court orders issued beforehand.
Working with Your Attorney
When facing a federal investigation, having an experienced attorney by one’s side becomes critical since they inform suspects which questions they should answer or avoid altogether while navigating complex legal systems efficiently. However, being truthful with attorneys remains paramount since withholding vital information could compromise defense strategies significantly.
Attorney Todd Spodek and his team remain committed towards providing professional compassionate representation services aimed at ensuring clients receive fair treatment during investigations regardless of their circumstances.
Being under federal investigation can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. However, with the help of a skilled and experienced attorney, you can navigate the legal system while protecting your rights. At Spodek Law Group, we have extensive knowledge and expertise needed to handle even complex federal investigations successfully. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you fight for your best interests.
If You’re Being Investigated by the Federal Government, Here’s What You Need to Know
If you’re ever in a situation where you’re being investigated by the federal government, it’s quite common to have questions about what to expect during the trial process and how you’re going to handle the outcome of the investigation. One of the first things to consider doing is hiring an attorney who can represent you through the investigation and who can offer advice about how to handle even the smallest details.
Knowing You’re Being Investigated
If an officer arrives at your home and places you under arrest, then you know that you’re likely going to be charged with a crime. Sometimes, it’s not as easy to know that you’re under investigation by the federal government. The first sign that something is wrong is when you do hear a knock on your door and someone asking you to step outside or immediately placing you under arrest while reading you your rights. The investigators will present proper identification so that you know who they are before you are taken into custody.
A search warrant is often issued if you’re under federal investigation. The warrant is usually delivered by an officer of the court and has the information about your charges and when you need to go to court. If you haven’t been formally charged, then you’ll usually receive a subpoena asking that you go to court at a designated time. While in front of the judge and the prosecutor, you’ll be asked questions about your possible involvement with a crime that has been committed. You could also meet with an investigator who gathers the same information. If there is enough evidence or suspicion that you have committed a crime, then you’ll usually be charged and taken into custody.
If you work in a government office, then you’ll usually find out you’re being investigated by your employer or by the Inspector General. You might not be taken into custody right away, and you might not be charged with a crime if there is enough evidence that points to someone else or if the investigators want you to offer information about someone else who works in the business who is under investigation. If you’re afraid of talking to investigators about the activities that someone has been taking part in, then you can ask for protection so that you’re not harmed and so that you’re not fired from your job.
After learning that you’re under federal investigation, you need to contact an attorney who has experience with these issues. Even if you haven’t been charged with anything, you still need to seek legal assistance so that there is someone on your side in the event that you are charged in the future. Offer as much information to your attorney as possible so that you can get started on your case in the event that you do go to trial. You should also consider offering details about other people who might be involved in the crime committed or the reason for the investigation so that this information can be presented to the prosecution.
Know Your Rights
Whether you’ve been charged or not, you still have rights that the law has to uphold. You can refuse to talk to an investigator and can refuse to let someone search your property or your person unless the investigator has a warrant. If the investigator doesn’t have a warrant when arriving at your home or business, then there is only limited information that can be gathered, such as your address. Avoid answering questions until you have your attorney with you as your attorney can inform you as to which questions you should or shouldn’t answer. Keep in mind that even though you don’t have to answer questions, you shouldn’t lie to the investigator as this could come back to hurt your case if you do go to court. Always be truthful with your attorney as well as this person is someone who represents your best interests.
Federal Law Enforcement & Investigative Agencies
When cases are prosecuted in federal court, the prosecution is the United States government. Rather than being local police, the law enforcement agencies working with them are federal entities. There are a number of investigative federal agencies. While the FBI is the best known, it’s far from the only one.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The special agents trained by the FBI are responsible for coordinating and handling every kind of criminal investigation. That includes terrorism, civil rights issues, drug distribution, bank robberies, public corruption, and white collar offenses. There are nearly four hundred resident agencies in the United States and more than fifty filed offices. Internationally, the FBI has over sixty liaison offices spread throughout other countries. FBI headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. About 13,600 individuals are trained special agents for the FBI.
Postal Inspection Service
This is a lesser known but vitally important investigation agency. The United States postal service is a government entity. The inspection service is responsible for investigating any crimes that might have been committed through misusing or abusing the federal postal system.
Some of the crimes being investigated are obvious. For example, if you steal your neighbor’s mail or commit mail fraud, it makes sense that the postal inspection service would be responsible for the investigation. But there are other circumstances where the agency might also get called in to investigate:
- Distribution of drugs through packages or envelopes sent through the mail
- Any conspiracy coordinated or executed through the mail
- Health care fraud through the sending of fraudulent documents via the Postal Service
- Tax evasion including money laundering through the Postal Service or use of the Postal Service to move undeclared income
- Any crime that involved the US Postal Service in any way, at any point
This is one of the smaller federal investigation entities. There are only about 1,500 postal inspectors throughout the entire country. The inspection service has two service centers and eighteen field divisions. It also has a National Headquarters and National Forensic Laboratory.
Postal Inspectors don’t usually investigate cases completely by themselves. They’ll typically partner with another federal agency like the FBI, SEC, or IRS. The inspectors will investigate the pieces of the crime that were committed through the Postal Service and compile evidence.
The Secret Service has been operating as a federal law enforcement entity since 1865. The Secret Service is most famous for protecting the president. They’re also known for protecting the vice president, other government officials, presidential candidates, and select other national officials who require protection. Secret Service agents also provide protection to foreign dignitaries when need be.
What many people today don’t know is that the original purpose of the Secret Service was to lead investigations into counterfeit currency. In addition to providing protection to government officials and foreign diplomats, the Secret Service agents are tasked with investigating all crimes regarding the financial and monetary systems of the US.
The United States economy is an incredibly complex machine, so there’s a lot that’s covered under this. The Secret Service investigates cases of counterfeit currency, identity theft, money laundering, credit card fraud, computer and technology fraud, and financial institution fraud. Over 1,300 Secret Service agents are employed in 136 total field offices across the United States.
Internal Revenue Service
The IRS is responsible for coordinating and tracking taxes, including the collection of people’s taxes, the payment of tax returns, and the use of tax dollars by government institutions. There are multiple branches of the IRS that take care of different aspects of the government’s finances. The criminal Investigation Division employs special agents that are trained to investigate federal tax offenses.
Some tax offenses are obvious, including money laundering, tax evasion, and flagrant violations of the federal Bank Secrecy Act. But the IRS is also responsible for investigating undeclared income from illegal drug distribution, bank fraud, healthcare fraud, welfare fraud, and other types of fraud.
The IRS has more rules than most other agencies regarding who is allowed to open investigations. Federal prosecutors and agents must first receive permission from headquarters before they can investigate a person’s tax offenses. About 2,600 IRS special agents are employed throughout the United States.
Department of Health and Human Services
There are special agents for the Department of Health and Human Services who have been trained in the investigation of criminal issues regarding federal healthcare. This includes healthcare fraud, which has become more heavily investigated over the past few years. To combat healthcare fraud on a systemic scale, the special agents have developed task forces and prevention teams. About 1,600 of these special agents work in 62 offices around the US. Their focus is on fraud committed against governmental healthcare programs.
If law enforcement authorities conduct a search of property without first getting a warrant, will the seized evidence be suppressed?
Sometimes it can be suppressed, but not always. The Fourth Amendment requires that law enforcement get a valid warrant prior to searching your property. There are legally recognized exceptions to this, such as consent or exigent circumstances. Even if an exception doesn’t apply, the search can be subject to an exclusionary rule exception. Which means that even though the search was technically illegal, the evidence may still be taken into account – based on considerations such as inevitable discovery, or good-faith intention. Search and seizure law is very complex with pitfalls. If property is every subject to a warrantless search by enforcement agencies – you should speak to a federal defense lawyer who is specifically familiar with search and seizure laws.
Top Reasons You Should Take a Plea Deal
When you’re arrested, and charged with a crime, the prosecutor can, and often will, make you a plea deal. The plea deal between you, and the federal prosecutor, will result in you pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for having other criminal charges against you dropped. While this could seem like a good idea at first, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t take a plea deal. Below, we’ll talk about the top reasons why plea deals aren’t in your best interest and – you should speak to a federal criminal lawyer.
Plea Deals Are Common: According to data from the U.S. Department of Justice, over 90% of federal criminal cases result in a plea deal rather than going to trial.
Reasons for Plea Deals: Plea deals are very beneficial for both sides. Prosecutors are able to get a conviction without spending the time, cost, and uncertainty of going to trial. It’s a risk for prosecutors if they go to trial and lose. For defendants, plea deals mean they are agreeing to lesser charges or reduced sentences, compared to what they potentially would’ve been convicted of – if they went to trial.
Mandatory Minimum Sentences: The federal system’s mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes (like drug offenses) have been a big reason for the high rate of plea bargains. When you’re looking at the prospect of a long mandatory sentence, many people will opt to take a plea deal if they believe they might have a chance at acquittal at trial.
Impact On Trial: Considering how common plea deals are, the number of cases that have gone to trial in the federal system has decreased over time. This has led many advocates to believe that defendants are being coerced into plea negotiations and taking harmful plea deals.
Innocent Pleading Guilty: There are situations where innocent people have accepted plea deals due to the fact they are fearful of potentially getting stiffer sentences if they are convicted at trial.
Constitutional Issues: The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of plea bargaining. However, the Supreme Court has also said that plea deals must be voluntary and not the result of threats, improper promises, or misrepresentations.
Public Defenders: Many public defenders have immense burdens of casework and limited resources, which has contributed to the prevalence of plea deals. The pressure to resolve cases quickly because of so many cases they are assigned to can sometimes push defenders to recommend plea deals to their clients. It’s one reason why you should opt for a private criminal defense attorney who is willing to put in the work and fight for you.