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Federal Criminal Investigations Lawyers

July 3, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Federal Criminal Investigations

As one of the best criminal defense firms, we understand that being accused of a federal crime or being under federal criminal investigation by the government can be extremely stressful and traumatic. You, as the potential defendant, want to know how to protect yourself and clear your name. However, it can be complicated to navigate the complex federal legal system on your own, especially when government agents are watching your every move. Our top-tier federal defense attorneys are dedicated to walking alongside you throughout every step of your case and keeping you informed, making you in charge of your future. Rest assured, we will assist you during the investigation and stay by your side if your criminal case goes to trial. We know federal laws involved in government investigations and will do everything we can to provide you with information that will help you defend your independence.

Assisting you achieve your desired outcome is our top priority. You can be at ease knowing that you have one of the best leading defense firms fighting on your behalf. We will put you on track to acquire the best possible result in your federal case from the start, and will work to make sure your legal rights are upheld throughout investigation and moving forward into the later stages of your case. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our skilled defense attorneys today. You can contact us via phone or through our online enquiry form to get started, learn more about the available options and secure legal assistance in your federal case.

Steps in a Government Investigation

Each government investigation is handled differently due to the fact that every federal criminal case is unique. During the investigation process, friends and family may be interrogated, federal agents may show up at your doorstep with a search warrant, or you may receive a target letter. If you have a reason to believe that you are being investigated, contact our team as quickly as possible. We will advise you of the best steps to take in your case to avoid self-incrimination and to get you on track to achieving the best outcome possible.

In an attempt to gather solid evidence, federal agents will try to ask you questions throughout the investigative procedure. Remember that you have the right to remain silent if federal agents interrogate you about your involvement in a crime, and should always contact a lawyer before saying or doing anything else related to the case. The defense lawyer will help you understand the process and your legal rights, protecting you throughout every stage of the investigation.

How to See the Evidence against You during a Government Investigation

Typically, you are not allowed to view the evidence against you when you are being investigated for a federal offense but have not yet been charged. It may be possible for your lawyer to obtain early access to the evidence but that depends on the distinctive details of your case. A member of our team will reach out to the federal prosecutor and attempt to grant you access to government’s evidence against you, if it will help your defense. These requests are only granted if the person being investigated is interested in working out a plea. At a later date, your attorney will get access to the prosecution’s case, and can then share with you more information about the potential charges you are facing. Speak with your lawyer to know more about the options available during the investigative stage of your criminal case.

Representation for Federal Government Investigations

We are willing to start working with you at any point in your federal criminal case. The quicker you reach out to our team, the better we can battle for your rights throughout your pursuit of justice. As an experienced criminal defense firm, we are familiar with state police and federal government investigations. Work with our skilled team to understand the legal options available in your case, such as obtaining access to the evidence against you, working out a deal, or fighting charges in court. With our team on your side, you will be protected against unlawful searches. Let us fight on your behalf throughout your federal criminal case.

Contact Us for Federal Criminal Defense

Call our toll free number or send us a message online to get connected with a talented case analyst who will provide you with a free initial case consultation. We will help you understand federal government investigation and walk you through your legal rights, and how you can use those rights to your advantage. Don’t hesitate to contact us as soon as you suspect you are under investigation for a crime. The sooner you get in touch with us, the more we can do to clear your name or help you avoid excessively unkind punishments.

Difference Between State and Federal Charges

When a person is charged with a crime it is important they understand exactly who they have been charged by and the consequences they face. The knowledge about exactly which authority is in charge of the prosecution is vital to understand because the quality of the evidence provided and the possible sentences are all important factors in any case. There are many different options to take into account when charged with a crime that could result in a major fine or term of imprisonment.

The Process and Trial

The U.S. legal system is often referred to as a patchwork of different rules and regulations with each state operating under its own rules. The main difference between being charged under state and federal rules is the different processes that are used by prosecutors and the courts. Federal cases are t=charged and tried under strict rules that do not vary despite the state each prosecution takes place in. One of the big differences between state and federal charges is the use of a Grand Jury to produce an indictment before any felony charge being carried through with.

The Amount of Evidence

The amount of time and evidence taken in a Federal case against a person is usually far larger than that produced for a state-level case. In most state cases, the investigation will have been completed by a local police department who may bring their evidence to prosecutors in a very short space of time. Most local police departments aim to bring their case quickly and efficiently to avoid having their limited resources tied up for the long-term.

In contrast, the Federal investigating authorities have all the resources of the Federal Government behind them and can complete a much more thorough investigation. The time spent on each investigation usually produces far more evidence that needs to be combed through by an attorney and their team who will look for irregularities and issues with any case being tried. Because of the amount of evidence and time taken in every investigation, a federal prosecution tends to have a longer gap between the initial charge being produced and the court case starting.

Jurisdiction Issues

Among the differences between state and federal charges brought against an individual is the issue of jurisdiction over a case. In general, state charges will be brought when a crime or series of crimes are thought to have been committed within the boundary of a specific state. In contrast, federal agencies will usually become involved in an investigation when it is thought crimes have been committed that have crossed state borders. It is usual for a judge to rule a case should be tried under federal rules when both state and federal charges are brought because of the higher power of the federal authorities.

Penalties are often Stiffer

One of the major differences between state and federal court cases is the different sentences that can be provided for a case if the defendant is found guilty. Differences can include a crime at the federal level not being classed as such at the state level, such as those states that legalized marijuana use when federal authorities still prosecute cases.

The penalties handed down at the state level are often at the discretion of a judge who uses a sentencing guidelines program at their discretion. This can mean a judge can hand down a reduced penalty for a crime depending on the good behavior of an individual in the past or add on more jail time for a persistent offender.

However, a judge trying a federal case is not given as much discretion when it comes to handing down a penalty if a guilty verdict is returned. The penalties for federal cases are taken from the Federal Sentencing Guidelines that provide a minimum and maximum sentence for each felony. A federal prosecutor will usually call for a minimum or maximum penalty to be handed down to a defendant if they are found guilty leaving the judge with little choice in the fine or jail term handed down.

Statue of Limitations: How Long Can The Federal Government Investigate You?

Federal investigations are typically stressful. With agents watching every move you make, accosting you at unpredictable hours for questioning and searches, and attempting to get you to say or do things that help their case and potentially incriminate you, it is normal to wonder when the investigation will end. Everyone under investigation thinks about whether they are going to be charged with a crime, or if they will, at some point, be left in peace to return to a normal life.  All too often, this stage of uncertainty can carry on for a long period of time. Nevertheless, there are limits on most federal investigations in the form of a statute of limitations. 

An Alternative to the Statute of Limitations

With respect to a federal investigation, the statute of limitations governs how long after an alleged offense the government can wait to bring their charges. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations is very long.  If you don’t want to wait for what could be years to return to leading a normal life, there may be other ways to bring an investigation to an end. When you work with a federal criminal attorney from the early stages, just that move demonstrates to investigators that you are prepared to go to expense and take necessary measures to  defend yourself.  This often brings them to the conclusion that trying to build a case against you when you have a lawyer protecting you could become too arduous.  As a result, they may abandon the investigation. 

Your attorney will work to end the criminal investigation process by providing effective defense.  Also, he or she can take steps to minimize the traumatic effects of an investigation by advising you throughout its duration. A good lawyer will know what you need to say and do to be successful in your case and will be at your side every step of the way.

More about the Statute of Limitations in Federal Crime Cases

The statute of limitations dictates how long after an offense an individual can be indicted.  An indictment is the document that officially charges an individual with a crime. Therefore, if you have still not been charged after the time frame dictated by the statute of limitations, then the investigation is effectively over.

For the majority of federal crimes, the statute of limitations is five years, but there are some exceptions. For example, bank fraud has a statute of limitations of ten years. Immigration violations and arson are also under a ten year limit. Kidnapping also has a ten year limit, or in the case of the kidnapping of a minor, the limit is ten years or the child’s lifetime, whichever is longer. Art theft actually has a longer statute of limitations at twenty years. As for capital offenses, which are those offenses where you could face the death penalty, there is no limit.

In addition, some offenses occur over an extended period of time, such as federal conspiracy offenses. For these offenses, the time does not start clocking until the offense has finished.

Your lawyer can help you evaluate what exactly you are under investigation for, so as to determine when the statute of limitations expires. He or she can also help you understand how state law charges could come into play, and also how the state and federal statutes might interact. 

Federal Government Statute of Limitations

A good defense attorney will help you sift through the many complex issues involved in a federal case, including how to best approach federal investigators after taking the statute of limitations into account. In doing so, your lawyer will help you build a defense strategy that will allow you to battle back against investigators and the U.S. attorney or the Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) handling your case, and will always keep your best interests at the forefront.

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