Oklahoma City Federal Criminal Lawyers
Oklahoma City Federal Criminal Lawyers
Dealing with federal criminal charges can be an incredibly stressful and frightening experience. The federal criminal justice system is complex, and the potential penalties for federal crimes are severe. Having an experienced Oklahoma City federal criminal defense attorney on your side can make all the difference.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of federal criminal law and how it differs from state law, discuss common federal crimes charged in Oklahoma City, explain the federal criminal process, and offer tips on how to choose the right federal criminal defense lawyer for your case.
Overview of Federal vs. State Criminal Law
Most crimes, like robbery, assault, and murder, are prosecuted at the state level. Federal criminal law covers offenses that involve federal statutes, agencies, property, or interests. Some examples of federal crimes include:
- Drug crimes like drug trafficking and distribution
- White collar crimes like wire fraud, identity theft, embezzlement
- Federal weapons charges
- Immigration violations
- Federal RICO charges
- Child pornography
- Computer hacking
- Tax evasion
One major difference between federal and state criminal law is that federal crimes often come with harsher punishments. Under federal sentencing guidelines, even first-time offenders can face years in federal prison. Federal prosecutors also have an extremely high conviction rate, around 93% according to a Pew Research study.
Common Federal Crimes in Oklahoma City
Some of the most commonly prosecuted federal crimes in Oklahoma City include:
- Drug trafficking: Oklahoma is a major drug trafficking hub due to its location along the I-35 corridor. Large quantities of meth, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana pass through the state. Federal prosecutors aggressively pursue drug trafficking and distribution charges carrying lengthy mandatory minimum sentences.
- Firearms offenses: Unlawful firearm possession, use of a firearm in a violent crime, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and selling firearms without a license are some of the most common federal gun crimes.
- White collar offenses: Federal prosecutors often pursue white collar crimes like wire fraud, money laundering, identity theft, embezzlement, securities fraud, and other financial crimes.
- Child pornography: Receiving, distributing, and possessing child pornography are serious federal offenses that can lead to decades in prison.
- Computer crimes: Hacking, cyberstalking, and other computer-related federal offenses are on the rise.
Other federal charges in Oklahoma City include RICO, kidnapping, bank robbery, counterfeiting, tax evasion, and immigration violations. With four federal courthouses in the state, federal criminal prosecutions are extremely active.
The Federal Criminal Process
The federal criminal process differs significantly from the state process. Here is a basic overview:
- Investigation: Federal investigations are usually conducted by agencies like the FBI, DEA, ATF, IRS, ICE, or USPS. Investigations can go on for months or even years before charges are filed.
- Charges: A federal grand jury determines if there is sufficient evidence for indictment. Over 99% of federal grand jury proceedings result in an indictment.
- Arrest: Suspects are typically arrested immediately after indictment.
- Initial appearance: This is when formal charges are presented and bail terms are set. Many federal defendants are denied bail under the Bail Reform Act.
- Preliminary and detention hearings: A judge decides if there is probable cause for the charges and if bail should be granted.
- Plea negotiations: Due to high conviction rates, many federal cases end in a plea bargain. An experienced lawyer can negotiate for charges to be reduced or dismissed.
- Trial: Less than 3% of federal criminal cases go to trial. Trials involve jury selection, opening statements, testimony, evidence presentation, closing arguments, jury deliberations, and a verdict.
- Sentencing: Federal judges use sentencing guidelines to determine penalties. However, some discretion is allowed.
- Appeal: Convictions and sentences can potentially be appealed and overturned.
The complexity of the federal criminal process makes having an experienced attorney essential.
Choosing the Right Federal Criminal Lawyer in Oklahoma City
When facing federal criminal charges, it’s critical to have an attorney who understands the federal system and has a proven track record of achieving successful case results. Here are some tips for choosing the right federal criminal defense lawyer in Oklahoma City:
- Look for an attorney who dedicates their practice to federal criminal defense and has significant experience in federal courts.
- Find someone who is familiar with federal sentencing guidelines and how to craft persuasive departure motions.
- Choose a lawyer with experience negotiating favorable plea bargains with federal prosecutors.
- Consider an attorney who has experience taking federal criminal cases to trial if necessary.
- Look for strong communication skills, responsiveness, and dedication to personalized service.
- Be sure they have the time and resources to handle a complex federal case.
- Ask about their strategy for building the strongest defense.
- Consider hiring a firm with a team of federal defense lawyers for additional experience.
When facing federal prosecution, every decision matters. Having an Oklahoma City federal criminal defense lawyer who can protect your rights, liberty, and future is critical.
Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving Oklahoma City
Here are some of the top-rated federal criminal defense attorneys and law firms serving clients in Oklahoma City and throughout Oklahoma:
- Pezzulo Gann Law Firm – Seasoned federal trial lawyers with over 60 years of combined experience. Skilled at developing winning defense strategies.
- Wallace, Ferguson & Associates – Team of former federal prosecutors known for tough advocacy and trial skills.
- Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis – Long history of achieving outstanding federal case results for clients.
- Federal Public Defender’s Office – Provides legal defense services for those unable to afford private counsel.
- Oberheiden Law Group – National federal criminal defense firm with extensive experience defending complex cases.
Don’t leave your future to chance. Reach out to an experienced Oklahoma City federal criminal defense lawyer for a free case evaluation and personalized legal guidance. The right attorney can make all the difference in achieving the most favorable outcome possible.