Chicago is a hotbed for organized crime. Many of the federal charges here are related to racketeering, federal gun law violations, drug trafficking, human trafficking, public corruption, bank fraud, tax evasion, rape, and murder. Because the feds tend to pick up the most serious cases, most defendants in federal criminal prosecutions feel hopeless and threatened by the sheer size of the criminal penalties. In fact, when you consider that over 97 percent of criminal cases filed in the federal courts end in plea bargains, it is scary to face these charges to say the least.
However, all hope is not lost. Although plea bargains are the norm, some defendants walk away with as little as a few months for charges of attempted murder. It is not uncommon for white-collar crimes to be worked out with fines and asset liquidation instead of prison time. After all, prison should only be reserved for the incorrigible criminals, not the well-intended who made some mistakes.
The Key Benefits of Hiring a Skilled Chicago Federal Defense Attorney
The skill in negotiating a plea bargain or succeeding at trial comes down to hard work. Only a skilled defense attorney can diminish the strength of a prosecution by dedicating their lives to researching the law and honing their skills. Most of the events in a criminal case now occur before the trial. Like tort law and other civil litigation, there should be very few surprises in a criminal case. The prosecution should present all the evidence and can be defeated when they reveal weaknesses in their cases.
A skilled Chicago Federal defense lawyer can deflate the prosecution’s confidence by preserving errors that will take things up to the appellate courts, if need be, to create leverage in the bargaining process. A skilled Chicago defense attorney will hire private investigators, expert witnesses, and will be able to produce a strong defense even when it seems like nothing can be done. Forensic clues and reassessments of the prosecution’s assumptions can create a lot of reasonable doubt and make them back off.
In fact, some cases can be dismissed before they even get going. It is not uncommon for federal prosecutors to overcharge defendants in hopes of compelling them to plead out for any reduction. In many of these charges, it takes a lot of experience and years of education to see the minute weaknesses that make the charges unprosecutable. The federal prosecutors are slick and will try to push forward cases by broadening laws into novel areas and omitting key elements.
For example, you can be accused of soliciting a minor for sex on an online computer dating app without the actor ever saying that they were a minor. Maybe they look young and simply said they were still in school, possibly a university for all anyone knows. Because the prejudice is so heavy against people who are accused of such acts, the prosecutors feel that they can break the law and that no one will care. And they will get away with it unless you hire a skilled attorney who is able to hold them to the letter of the law.
Gun charges are another example of cases where federal prosecutors can play fast and loose. If they find firearms in your home, they can try to charge with unlawful possession, if you have a past felony on your record, even if they are secured and in the operative possession of the true owner. Negating the fact that they are locked up and that you do not have constructive access can make all the difference in the eyes of an appellate court. Such cases based on gross speculation are not uncommon in the federal system.
There are even cases where prosecutors have stretched the definition of poisoning someone to a case where a roommate sprayed Windex on the victim’s food. Although the taste would be off-putting and even nauseating, surely this was not what the legislature had in mind when they wrote the statute that also applies to cyanide.
And then there is the case where a man had posted Eminem lyrics on Facebook that were perceived as veiled threats by his ex-girlfriend. Cases like this jeopardize free speech and make the annoyance and nuisance of harmless and aggrieved ex-lovers into major federal crimes. For all these reasons, you need a skilled Chicago Federal defense attorney to protect you because the Feds are turning everything into a serious crime these days, no matter how far removed it is from actually harming anyone.