Jacksonville Federal Criminal Lawyers

Jacksonville Federal Criminal Lawyers

If you are facing federal criminal charges in Jacksonville, having an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer on your side can make all the difference. Federal crimes often carry severe penalties, so building a strong defense is critical.

This article provides an overview of federal criminal cases in Jacksonville, common federal crimes charged, stages of a federal criminal case, and how an knowledgeable federal criminal defense lawyer can defend your rights every step of the way. We’ll also look at some of the top-rated federal criminal defense firms in Jacksonville.

Overview of Federal Cases in Jacksonville

Jacksonville is part of the Middle District of Florida in the federal court system. The Middle District covers 35 counties in the state. Federal cases originating in Jacksonville are handled in the Bryan Simpson United States Courthouse.

Common federal law enforcement agencies that investigate crimes in Jacksonville include:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • U.S. Postal Inspection Service

These agencies often work closely with local law enforcement as well. Federal prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office handle federal criminal cases in Jacksonville.

Common Federal Crimes in Jacksonville

Some of the most common federal charges filed in Jacksonville include:

  • Drug crimes – Drug trafficking, distribution, manufacturing, and possession crimes involving marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, prescription medications, and other controlled substances.
  • White collar crimes – Wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement, money laundering, public corruption, computer crimes, and other financial and corporate crimes.
  • Firearms offenses – Possession of a firearm/ammunition by a prohibited person, using a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime or crime of violence, selling firearms without a license.
  • Child pornography – Possession, distribution, transportation, receipt and production of child pornography.
  • Cybercrimes – Hacking, identity theft, computer intrusions, online fraud schemes, and other computer-based federal crimes.
  • Terrorism – Providing material support to terrorists, threats involving weapons of mass destruction.

Those facing federal charges in Jacksonville need an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer who understands the complexities of the federal system.

Stages of a Federal Criminal Case

Here is an overview of the key stages of a federal criminal case:


Before an arrest, federal agencies like the FBI, DEA or IRS often conduct lengthy investigations involving surveillance, informants, undercover operations, search warrants, subpoenas, and requests for financial records. A skilled federal defense lawyer can sometimes intervene during the investigation stage to avoid charges.

Arrest and Initial Appearance

If arrested on federal charges, suspects are brought before a federal magistrate judge for an initial appearance within 48 hours. This is a chance to seek release on bail. An experienced federal defense lawyer will advocate for the least restrictive release conditions possible.

Grand Jury

Federal prosecutors present evidence to a grand jury to seek an indictment formally charging the defendant. Witnesses can be compelled to testify via grand jury subpoena. A federal defense lawyer can argue against indictment.


At the arraignment, the defendant is formally advised of the charges and enters a plea (often not guilty initially). Discovery begins and defense counsel will start reviewing evidence.

Pretrial Motions

Pretrial motions are requests made to the judge, such as to suppress evidence or dismiss charges. An experienced federal lawyer will look for ways to get charges reduced or dismissed pre-trial.

Plea Negotiations

Many federal cases end in a plea bargain rather than trial. An accomplished federal defense lawyer will negotiate aggressively with prosecutors to get favorable plea terms.


If no plea is reached, the case proceeds to a jury trial, where the defense lawyer’s trial skills are critical. Even after conviction, appeals and post-conviction relief motions may be possible.


For convictions, the defense lawyer advocates for the lowest possible sentence under federal sentencing guidelines. Alternatives like deferred prosecution may be available.

How a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Defends Your Rights

An experienced federal criminal defense attorney can protect your rights and build the strongest possible defense at every stage, including:

  • Conducting an independent investigation of the allegations
  • Negotiating with prosecutors for dismissal or reduction of charges
  • Seeking suppression of evidence obtained unlawfully
  • Presenting defense evidence and cross-examining witnesses at hearings and trial
  • Retaining expert witnesses to evaluate forensic evidence and testify
  • Gathering evidence and affidavits supporting sentencing leniency
  • Researching and presenting legal arguments to challenge indictment, conviction or sentence
  • Advising on possible defenses such as entrapment, self-defense, insanity
  • Helping clients avoid devastating consequences through alternatives like deferred prosecution

Having a top federal defense lawyer makes a major difference in the outcome of federal criminal cases in Jacksonville.

Top Federal Criminal Defense Firms in Jacksonville

When facing federal charges, it is critical to have an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer in your corner. Here are some of the top-rated federal criminal defense firms in Jacksonville:

David S. Luger, P.A.

The Law Office of David S. Luger has over 25 years defending federal criminal cases in Jacksonville and nationwide. Attorney David Luger is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Specialist known for his aggressive defense and trial skills. He handles cases involving fraud, drugs, firearms, public corruption and more. Clients praise his responsiveness, legal knowledge and compassion.

Levine & Associates, P.A.

The federal criminal defense attorneys at Levine & Associates provide experienced representation for clients facing investigations and charges involving fraud, drugs, sex crimes, violent offenses and more. Founding attorney David Levine is a frequent legal commentator and author. The firm is known for thoroughly analyzing evidence, developing creative defenses and achieving favorable outcomes.

Oberheiden P.C.

Oberheiden P.C. is a national federal criminal defense firm with significant experience in Jacksonville. Their attorneys include former federal prosecutors who now aggressively defend clients facing health care fraud, financial fraud, public corruption, DEA, IRS and FBI investigations. They are known for their command of federal regulations and getting federal charges declined or dismissed pre-indictment.

Law Office of Donald F. Samuel

Based in Atlanta with an office in Jacksonville, the Law Office of Donald F. Samuel has a team of dedicated federal criminal defense lawyers. Founding attorney Don Samuel is a nationally-recognized trial lawyer and frequent legal analyst. The firm is known for its success defending complex federal cases involving drug trafficking, white collar crime, computer crimes, money laundering, and more.

Hutchinson & Steffen, LLC

The white collar criminal defense attorneys at Hutchinson & Steffen handle federal cases across Florida involving fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, health care fraud, public corruption, computer crimes, and other complex federal matters. Led by Board Certified Criminal Trial Expert Larry Shearer, their team includes former state and federal prosecutors.

Consult a Jacksonville Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Facing federal criminal charges in Jacksonville can be daunting. But an experienced federal defense lawyer can protect your rights, fight the charges, and work toward the best possible outcome. For help building your defense, consult one of the skilled Jacksonville federal criminal defense firms reviewed above.