Fighting your federal criminal charges in Jacksonville is an uphill battle without an experienced federal defense attorney. In Jacksonville, they see a lot of drug trafficking cases, illegal immigration, and gun violations under the Safe Neighborhood Act. The ports of Florida are a hotbed for drug smugglers, which makes the concentration of federal agents here higher than in most of the United States.
That being said, the federal courts also prosecute other crimes that are less serious such as tax evasion, white-collar crimes, counterfeiting, credit card fraud, tax fraud, and identity theft. If you find yourself in the crosshairs of federal agents, you can bet that they want to get their money back for the time expended in your case.
Overview of the Federal Criminal Defense Process
It all begins with an investigation. The Feds are famous for going all out to profile their targets. They will move in next door, take suspects on yacht cruises, join outlaw motorcycle gangs, use dating apps to create sex stings, and produce Hollywood productions to manufacture evidence of crimes. The Feds are known for entrapping suspects and using the “ends justify the means” philosophy in securing arrests. Our law firm can look closely at their investigation methods that may or not be disclosed in full to determine their legality.
Federal agents will always confront the suspect after arrest with the charges. They will try to elicit a confession or even a partial confession that eliminates disputes over some facts. They can be coercive with the methods by using false promises of leniency for cooperation and other lies.
They may record the interviews but only use the recording if it is favorable to them. If they paraphrase what you said and ad-lib what occurred to their advantage, they will choose this instead. Our law firm will protect you from these coercive tactics and force them to back off. This makes it much harder for them to establish a case against you.
Release on Bail
Our law firm is skilled at presenting the court with mitigating factors to ensure your release on bail. You don’t want to be waiting inside the federal prison even if you think that you will do some time on the case. You have far more respect when you come to court as a free man with a stronger presumption of innocence. Being in prison can take a psychological toll and make you feel hopeless. It can also lead to encounters with confidential informants who can strengthen the case against you.
Refuting Probable Cause
In order to justify your continued prosecution, a hearing establishing probable cause must be held within 10 days of arrest. If any of the criminal elements are based on speculation or could be interpreted two equal ways, then this would be insufficient evidence as a matter of law. Our law firm can help you dismiss cases at this phase when the evidence is lacking, and you are simply a person of interest.
Discovery and Pre-Trial Motion Practice
Once probable cause is established and you are formally arraigned, we can start examining the evidence against you much closer. In many cases, the prosecutors try to manipulate the evidence by withholding key pieces of evidence. They will try to skate by without disclosing evidence by substituting it with whatever they want to say, expecting that we should simply take their word for it.
And we don’t take their word for it and want detailed hard evidence, not suppositions. Our law firm will make the specific requests for exculpatory evidence that are required to preserve the violations for appeal. Withheld exculpatory evidence is often the cause of wrongful convictions. We will also file motions to suppress evidence that is being used unlawfully against you.
Trials, Pleas, and Sentencing
If you go to trial, you need a very skilled attorney who makes all the preparations to ensure fairness. However, 97 percent of federal cases end in plea bargains that exchange leniency for a plea of guilty. The stronger your defense, the more likely the prosecutor is to come down with their penalties. If any aspects of your sentencing are discretionary, we will pull out all the stops to mitigate the penalties, in any regard, and follow with post-trial motions to preserve errors for appeals.