San Francisco Federal Criminal Lawyers
Understanding Federal Crimes and Legal Proceedings
Facing Federal Charges: The Reality
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.
The Scope of Our Legal Services
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 Attorneys Aid in Legal Proceedings
Interrogations: The First Stage of Defense
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.
Bail Hearings: A Critical Junction
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: A Prosecutor’s Duty
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: Preparing for Trial
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: Weighing the Outcomes
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: Fighting for the Best Outcome
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.
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys at Your Service
If you’ve been accused of a federal crime, you probably have many questions. It can be an incredibly stressful time in your life. A federal criminal charge typically refers to any activity that would fall outside of “white-collar crime.” It can be anything from federal drug charges to violence. The process is much different than a state level case. You’ll need the assistance of a skilled federal court experienced attorney. Our attorneys have helped many to beat or significantly reduce the charges they’re facing. This article will explain the process and the do’s and don’ts of how to handle the entire process.
The federal investigation and its importance:
There’re several ways that you may be notified of a federal criminal investigation. This can include federal authorities showing up at your home in the morning with a search warrant. If this is the case, it’s imperative that you comply with their investigation. Occasionally, you may receive a letter or a subpoena that notifies you that you’re either under investigation or that you must turn over documents to the federal agency in charge of the investigation. If you receive either of these documents, it’s important to contact an attorney right away to guide you through the process.
Sometimes an investigator will show up at your home or elsewhere and try to talk to you about the matter. If they’re unsuccessful in reaching you, they’ll leave contact information that instructs you how to get in touch. If you haven’t spoken to them, you’ll want to get in touch with an attorney right away for advice.
These investigators may also seek out your friends, family, business partners, or anyone else in the community they feel may have valuable information about the investigation. This is often done prior to them reaching you and without your knowledge. It’s not uncommon for people to find out that they’re under investigation by these people. While it’s rather embarrassing and can even be viewed as harassment, it’s a common tactic that federal investigators utilize.
Other helpful tips if you’re facing federal criminal charges:
If you’re feeling an exceptional amount of stress that’s affecting your daily life, you’ll want to seek out the advice of a therapist. They can help you with coping mechanisms and get to the bottom of the issues that are plaguing you. It’s also helpful to avoid putting yourself into situations that may put you at risk for catching additional charges. During an investigation, you may be investigated through a variety of methods. While extreme measures such as wiretapping aren’t uncommon, they’re not as likely as using private investigators and being subjected to public criticism. It’s important to maintain a low profile and stay away from risky situations during this time.
What not to do if you’re facing federal criminal charges:
If you’re facing charges, being thoroughly honest can’t be stressed enough. Federal investigators are skilled in uncovering half-truths and misrepresentations. Chances are, the crime you’re being accused of isn’t anywhere close to what they have experience in prosecuting. Destroying records and evidence is also strongly discouraged and can cause a very unhappy ending to your case. Federal penalties can be severe in nature and the more you cooperate, the better chances you’ll have of success or at least reducing the impact. You’ll also likely face additional charges if you’re dishonest or destroy evidence. Discussing the matters with anyone is also strongly inadvisable. Even the closest of friends or a romantic partner should be off limits during this time. These people are highly likely to be subpoenaed. Even the most trustworthy individuals have spoken out of turn and caused a significant disruption to a criminal case. More information is available on the federal court’s website regarding criminal matters and the entire process. Click here to visit the federal courts website.
Getting the representation you deserve is imperative:
Federal criminal court is a very difficult and complex legal arena to navigate. Only the most experienced of attorneys should even attempt to represent these cases. Our team has helped many to beat or significantly reduce the charges faced. We have the expertise, resources, and experts that will assist in devising an airtight strategy. Getting in touch with us at your earliest convenience should be a top priority. We’re available for your no-risk case evaluation. Get in touch with us online or via telephone, today.