18 Sep 23

How to Get the Best Possible Outcome in a Federal Criminal Case

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Last Updated on: 29th September 2023, 10:25 am


How to Get the Best Possible Outcome in a Federal Criminal Case

Getting charged with a federal crime can be really scary. It can make you feel totally hopeless and confused. Trying to deal with all the stages of a federal criminal case on your own is super hard. That’s why you gotta get yourself a good lawyer right away. Having a skilled defense attorney could be the difference between proving your innocence or getting slammed with a harsh sentence. A lawyer will also save you from the stress of figuring out deadlines and legal stuff yourself.

When you call a law firm like Grabel & Associates, you can chill knowing you got an expert lawyer fighting for you. They really care about your future and will do everything to get you the best possible outcome. The faster you get an experienced lawyer on your team, the better. Hit them up on the phone or through their contact form to get the ball rolling.

Don’t Talk to Cops Without Your Lawyer Present

You gotta know that anything you say to the cops can be used against you. So keep your mouth shut until your lawyer is with you. The police might try to scare you into talking by saying it’ll be better if you cooperate. But they’re allowed to lie to try and get info from you. Don’t fall for it. Wait for your attorney, no matter how much the cops pressure you.

Your lawyer will tell the police you’re not answering questions. This protects your rights. Cops aren’t your friends in an investigation – they’re trying to build a case against you. So make sure your attorney does the talking. It could save you from accidentally confessing to something you didn’t even do!

Understand the Charges and Possible Penalties

The charges against you describe exactly what crimes the government is accusing you of. Your lawyer will explain what the charges mean and how serious they are. They’ll also tell you what kind of jail time you could get if convicted. Knowing this from the start helps you make smart choices about fighting the charges versus trying to get a plea deal.

Some federal charges like drug trafficking or fraud can have mandatory minimum sentences. This means even if it’s your first offense, the judge has no choice but to give you a certain amount of jail time. Your attorney will break down how the potential penalties could impact you.

Figure Out Your Criminal History Score

Your criminal record has a huge impact on how you’ll be sentenced if convicted. The court uses your criminal history score to decide how harshly to punish you. The more serious your record, the worse your score, and the more jail time you’ll get.

Make sure your lawyer double checks your criminal record to calculate your score. If there are any mistakes, like wrong dates or convictions listed that aren’t actually yours, your attorney can get them fixed. This could improve your score and help lower your sentence.

Weigh the Risks of Going to Trial

You always have the right to plead not guilty and take your case to trial. But talk with your attorney about whether that’s smart. Trials are risky because even strong defenses fail sometimes. If you lose at trial, you’ll get no reduction in charges and the harshest possible sentence.

Your lawyer will give their honest opinion about your chances of winning at trial. They’ll also explain if it makes more sense to try negotiating a plea deal instead. This involves pleading guilty in exchange for lesser charges or a lighter sentence. Carefully consider the pros and cons of both options.

Negotiate the Best Possible Plea Deal

If you decide to play ball and take a plea deal, your lawyer will negotiate to get you the lightest punishment. This means hammering the prosecutor to reduce charges as much as possible and recommend the lowest sentence.

Make sure you understand exactly what charges you’re pleading guilty to and what sentence the prosecutor will ask for. Don’t take any deal unless you’re sure you can live with the penalties. Also, get promises of the plea terms in writing – verbal deals often disappear.

Review the Presentence Investigation Report

If you plead guilty, a probation officer will write up a presentence report about you and your crime. This report heavily influences what sentence the judge gives. So it’s crucial that you review it for accuracy.

Go through the report with your lawyer to identify any errors or misleading info. Your attorney can file objections and get changes made to the report. Fixing mistakes could help lower your ultimate sentence.

Present Mitigating Circumstances at Sentencing

Before the judge decides your penalty, your lawyer can present mitigating factors – reasons why you deserve less punishment. For example, having mental health or addiction issues when you committed your crime. Or being deeply remorseful and committed to rehabilitation.

Your attorney may have you and others like family, friends, doctors, etc. testify or submit letters to the judge on your behalf. This humanizes you and helps influence the judge to be more lenient.

Know Your Options for Appeal

If you’re unhappy with how your case turned out, you may be able to appeal. For example, if your lawyer botched things or the judge made a mistake applying the law. Appeals are complicated, so talk with your attorney about whether you have solid grounds to challenge your conviction or sentence.

You only have a short window after sentencing to file your appeal. So move quickly if you want to pursue this option – your lawyer can handle the whole process for you.

Consider a Sentence Reduction Later On

Even after you are sentenced, there are still ways to potentially get your punishment reduced. One option is asking the judge for a sentence reduction – this usually happens only if you cooperated with prosecutors or demonstrate outstanding rehabilitation.

Later on, you can apply to the Bureau of Prisons for compassionate release or clemency from the President. Your attorney can advise you if these are viable options in your case.

The key is don’t give up hope. With an experienced federal defense lawyer guiding you, there are always possibilities to lessen the impact of your criminal case. Stay positive, take it step-by-step, and focus on getting the best outcome you can. It won’t be easy, but you got this!