California Law Firm for Federal Crimes
In the United States, we have a distinction between criminal law made federally and by the state. The vast majority of crimes are handled by state courts, and those are the ones that are most often shown in popular culture.
You should also keep in mind that federal laws are different from state ones, and you could find yourself in over your head if you are charged with one. These crimes tend to be handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and other agencies. Upon your arrest, you will be placed in front of a federal judge and be processed into the federal justice system. It is a very formal system, and federal charges often come with harsh sentences. Most people accused of federal crimes can find it very intimidating. Because of this, it is absolutely crucial that you hire a California attorney who has knowledge and experience with navigating the federal justice system. You want a federal attorney that is committed to defending your rights and will work to secure your freedom.
What You Need in a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
It’s incredibly hard to navigate the federal court system. To do so successfully, you need an experienced federal attorney on your side. They must have experience, knowledge, and proficiency of federal law, as well as understand the differences between state and federal court systems. There are subtle nuances that must be taken into consideration, otherwise, there could be errors and bad outcomes. Of course, your attorney must also be properly licensed to practice law in federal court.
Attorneys that work exclusively in state court can have trouble working in federal court. The differences may not seem substantial, but a small error could mean the difference between prison or walking free. If you want the most positive outcome possible, then you need an experienced federal criminal attorney.
Differences Between Federal and State Crimes
With federal crimes, the arrest is made by an agent of a federal agency, such as the FBI. The prosecutors on your case will be federal prosecutors, who are called “United States Attorney.” The penalties for federal crimes are much harsher than state penalties. Not only are the penalties much more severe, but the prosecutors have less leeway when it comes to making plea deals with defendants.
Once sentenced in state court, there’s a good chance that in the end, you will only have to serve a percentage of a prison sentence, with as low as 50 – 85% depending on your case. With federal crimes, the stakes are much higher and many people serve 100% of their sentence.
Common Federal Charges
There are several crimes that can come with federal charges. It all depends on which agency is investigating, and what jurisdiction the crime falls under. Some of the more common federal crimes are:
Smuggling illegal items across the border
Federal Miranda Rights
Just like with state crimes, you should always take advantage of your right to remain silent when contacted by federal officers. Contact a federal criminal lawyer as soon as possible to start protecting your rights and guiding you through the process. If you make a mistake and talk to agents and even incriminate yourself with your statements, you may still be able to stay out of jail if there was a Miranda rights violation.
If you were not read your Miranda rights by a federal agent, then any confession you made is not admissible in court. Reminding the accused of those rights is a basic task that is required when making an arrest, however, many law enforcement officers fail to do so. However, if you are given the Miranda warning, and still provide incriminating evidence, then what you say is admissible and could place you at risk.
Your attorney will have to be able to evaluate how you were given your federal Miranda rights. Were they offered at the appropriate time? Were they given in full? If the agents claim that you waived them, was your waiving voluntary and clear? All of these questions are important in determining what steps can be taken to get you the best outcome possible.
It is never a good idea to navigate the justice system on your own. It is even more important when you are facing federal charges since the penalties can be so severe. You need experienced and knowledgeable federal criminal defense attorneys that you can trust. Contact us today to help if you are arrested or fear being arrested by federal agents.