Louisville Federal Criminal Lawyers
The Louisville federal courts can be terrifying to face when you are being prosecuted for federal crimes. The harsh minimum mandatory sentences that are possible in federal cases make it hard to mount a defense. It can be impossible to navigate the system and know who to trust if you don’t understand what an experienced Louisville federal criminal defense lawyer can do for you.
The Benefits of Experienced Trial Counsel
Everything gets easier with experience. Attorneys who are new and just starting to practice in the federal arena are lacking in the decades of research and experience to know what works. Hiring our Louisville law firm allows you to confidently take care of your legal problems without having to constantly think and worry about it.
In this age, trials are a rarity in the federal courts. In other words, most cases are resolved before trial. This goes with the realization that serious crimes need solid defenses if the defendants expect to win. If you can’t produce solid evidence before trial to prove your innocence, you are taking some serious risks with an irrational system. What this means is that you need an experienced defense attorney who can put in the hard work needed to weaken a case before trial.
From the moment of your arrest and even the investigation leading up to it, a lot of illegal events may have occurred. Evidence may have been obtained with unlawful search and seizures. You may have been coerced into giving up your right to remain silent with false promises of an easier time if you cooperate. Our law firm works to highlight injustices and to ensure the proper function of our federal justice system.
Overview of Pre-Trial Procedures
Probable Cause Hearing
Once you are arrested, the prosecution is required to justify your arrest with probable cause within 10 days from your arrest date. Our law firm will determine if there are any elements that are lacking certainty in the affidavit of probable cause and fight for dismissal. You can’t be charged with a crime if you are merely a person of interest who was in the wrong place at the wrong time or has some questionable associations or habits. If the case is not dismissed, the issue will still be preserved for direct appeals.
The next phase is to request and review the evidence in the case. The prosecutor is required to provide copies of any incriminating evidence and evidence that is favorable to the accused. Evidence that tends to support evidence or that lessens the degree of the crime is all required. Yet, many prosecutors will omit obvious pieces of evidence to gloss over problems and reasonable doubt in their cases. We will work hard to build up evidence that key evidence is missing and that the prosecutor is withholding it or unlawfully failed to preserve it. Missing evidence makes it impossible to obtain a fair trial and is a leading cause of wrongful convictions.
Once the facts of the case are cemented in stone and all the evidence is available, we can demand that the court dismiss it when the evidence is lacking for any element of the crime. We are also knowledgeable of the laws and what defenses may available to help you win before trial. A big part of pre-trial motions is also to limit the evidence that the prosecutor can use at trial. Any evidence that is not directly related to the elements of the case may be inadmissible hearsay, inflammatory evidence, or unlawfully obtained (e.g., coerced confession).
The Plea Deal Versus Trial Dilemma
Almost every defendant will come to a crossroads where they have to decide between taking a plea or going to trial. If your defense is more fluff than substance and the prosecution’s case is strong, you may decide to take a plea deal that mitigates the punishment in exchange for a plea of guilt.
Our pre-trial motions can heavily influence a prosecutor about how low they need to go before you might plead out. If you choose to go to trial and have a strong case, you can be acquitted but risk a mandatory minimum sentence. For this reason, we work hard to prevent unfair manipulations of the jury that confuse them or create bias.
Federal Criminal Cases Explained
A federal criminal case operates much differently than a state level case. These cases encompass most items that don’t fall into a white-collar criminal case. Drugs and violence are two different types of criminal matters that would fall under this umbrella. It’s a necessity to have a skilled attorney on the case that has experience with federal matters. These cases tend to be much more intense and carry harsher penalties. An attorney may be able to assist you in beating or reducing the charges. The United States Department of Justice, Offices of The United States Attorneys offers a great wealth of information regarding the federal criminal process. Click here to visit their website.
An investigation kicks off the process:
A federal criminal investigation is the onset of any federal criminal matter. You may be notified of an investigation by letter, a home visit, a search warrant, a subpoena, or even through friends and family. Regardless of the method utilized, strict compliance is required. If possible, attempt to contact an attorney at the very earliest convenience.
Following the investigation is charging:
The prosecutor in the matter reviews the information that’s been gathered from the investigation. He or she will then determine whether an indictment is in order. They may or may not present the information to a grand jury depending on the circumstances.
The initial hearing and arraignment:
The day of or after the person is arrested and charged with the crime, they’ll go before a magistrate who’ll read the charges, rights, and possibly the potential outcome(s) of the case. At this point the magistrate will decide whether to set bail based on hearing the facts of the case and several other factors.
Discovery and preparation for trial:
Discovery is the phase where witnesses are contacted, and evidence is gathered. During this period the defense and prosecuting attorney are doing a great deal to prepare for the trial. They’ll consider and anticipate additional factors that may come into play and develop their strategy for arguing the case.
Plea bargaining is the next step:
Plea bargaining involves the government offering an alternative punishment to the one they may receive if they had a full trial. The government typically offers plea deals when it feels it has a solid case against the defendant. If a plea bargain is accepted, the individual must have already plead guilty and would then skip the trial they’d normally be scheduled for and go directly to a sentencing hearing.
The optional preliminary hearing:
Within 14 days of being held on a crime, a mini or preliminary trial can be held. The defendant can waive this; however, their attorney may advise them to participate. The prosecution must meet certain evidence thresholds that establish that they have enough to convict the accused. Some evidence is required to be admitted at this point if it isn’t allowed to be shared with the grand jury.
Federal court motions:
Both before and after the trial, motions can be filed and argued. A motion is a request that the court handle a certain matter before or after the trial. A motion can have a significant effect on the trial and even influence its outcome.
Going to trial:
During trial, your attorney and their opponent will argue their case. The judge simply serves as a referee in the matter to ensure a fair trial. The jury is also selected at this point. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury is given instructions and deliberates. After they’ve reached their decision, the verdict is read aloud. The individual will return to custody if found guilty and a there is an outstanding sentence to be imposed. If they’re found not guilty, they’re able to leave the courtroom in most cases. Heightened security measures are in place at the conclusion of the trial to protect all parties involved.
The sentencing trial:
In a federal criminal case, the judge will sentence the convicted party several months after the fact. They receive advice and follow guidelines that help them arrive at a fair sentence. If applicable, the death penalty must be imposed by a jury. The death penalty on a federal level is still in place although it has been outlawed in many states.
Interview an attorney for the best possible results:
Dealing with a federal offense and the implications it may bring are difficult enough. Our skilled federal criminal offense attorneys are skilled in fighting for your rights and will work hard to get you the most favorable outcome. We’re available for a no-risk case evaluation to determine how we can help you. Call or get in touch with us online for your case review, today.