San Francisco Federal Criminal Lawyers
Being charged with a federal crime can make you feel like your life is over. The federal system intimidates anyone because the sentences can be a lot more severe than in the state courts. Furthermore, there are far fewer opportunities for appellate review. This makes every move in a federal court critical. Your only chance of avoiding the serious hurdles of mounting a defense in a San Francisco federal courthouse is an experienced attorney.
Federal criminal defense attorneys in San Francisco are not all the same. The quality of your representation and their experience are paramount factors in determining your future.
Our law firm handles all types of federal cases:
- Credit card fraud
- Mail fraud
- Identity theft
- Drug trafficking
- Tax evasion
- Interstate computer sex stings
- Child pornography
- Computer hacking
- Illegal immigration
- And more …
How Does an Attorney Help Me in Proceedings?
An attorney is your ticket to freedom and success at every phase of the court proceedings. Having an attorney to call when police want to question you will intimidate officials who think that they have an easy mark. It will also stop you from incriminating yourself. The sentences are far more lenient in cases where the defendant did not make any statements to police. A statement can be made to seem incriminating, no matter what, by ad-libbing in information. It also removes a great deal of burden in proving that you were involved at all.
Not every interrogation will be obvious. Any time that police/agents call you or knock on your door, these can be informal investigations that subvert the ordinary due process protections that people have when arrested. They may also try to record these sessions and may even cut out the parts that they don’t like. It is never a good idea to talk to police even if you are completely innocent. But if you don’t have an attorney to call, they may pressure you to give up your right to remain silent.
After you are arrested in San Francisco, the officials have 72 hours to bring you before a magistrate or judge for a bail hearing. If you have an attorney present, they can bring up all the mitigating factors that would warrant your immediate release without bail or at the lowest bail possible. Even if you are deemed high-risk, an attorney can negotiate conditions such as house arrest or an ankle monitor to permit your release.
Proving Probable Cause
In just 10 days after your arrest, the prosecutor will be required to demonstrate probable cause for your arrest. Our law firm will review the affidavit of probable cause and the charging documents for defects. If your involvement in a crime is too speculative on any element, we can have the case dismissed for lack of probable cause. A showing of probable cause requires a reasonable certainty that you committed the offenses charged and must lay out how this will be proven at trial. This can be eye-witnesses, documentary evidence, computer evidence, forensic evidence, or physical evidence.
Discovery and Motion Schedule
If probable cause is established, our law firm gets a chance to look closer at the evidence that will be presented at trial. We can also preserve errors for appeal if any unfair practices were used to produce evidence. This phase allows us to prepare for trial by suppressing evidence and ensuring fairness.
Trial or Plea Bargain
Almost every case ends with a plea bargain because the sentences for many federal crimes are high and not worth the risk of blowing trial with irrational jurors. By engineering a strong defense, we can force the prosecutor to give us their best plea deal. You will then be sentenced according to the plea. If you have a strong defense and decide to go to trial, we will do everything possible to ensure fairness and clarity.
Sentencing and Post-Trial Motions
If the sentence isn’t fully agreed upon in a plea bargain, we will work with you to present any mitigations possible to obtain the best sentence. We will also file post-trial motions to preserve all the errors at trial for appeal.