A Guide to Hiring a Los Angeles Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
The Services of a Los Angeles Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
Whether you live a primarily upstanding lifestyle or not, there may be times that you get caught up in a situation requiring the legal services of a Los Angeles federal criminal attorney. Since federal criminal cases are so complicated, you should consider retaining the services of a legal representative well-versed in California criminal law to be your advocate.
Federal crimes require a robust defense, as the federal government has created multiple laws that fluctuate and are often open to interpretation. This is where informed federal criminal defense attorneys may be able to have your charges reduced or dismissed in the United States District Court due to technicalities in federal laws.
Although hiring defense attorneys may seem like an unnecessary expense, especially if you feel you did nothing wrong, you don’t want to take the chance of using a public defender or, worse — attempting to defend yourself. The repercussions of a conviction would be much more costly, with long-reaching effects.
Investigating Crimes at a Federal Level
If you find yourself under investigation for a federal crime or you have been charged with one, your future could be in jeopardy. You might lose your freedom, face costly fines, and experience other lifelong consequences.
Authorities like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Secret Services are often involved in the investigation since they have a greater number of resources than the local authorities. They are able to collect video evidence and monitor phone calls, among other things.
It often takes federal agents years to gather evidence and develop a case since federal cases are so complex. They may have been investigating for quite a while when you are notified or even begin to suspect that you might have a pending federal arrest. This puts you at a disadvantage. Therefore, you must start planning your criminal defense immediately. If you are convicted, the punishment for federal crimes is often severe and cannot be reduced to probation.
Types of Cases Handled By a Los Angeles Federal Criminal Attorney
There are many reasons you may require the services of a Los Angeles federal crimes lawyer, but each offense carries stiff penalties that vary depending on the charges you face.
According to the Corrupt Organizations Act, the federal criminal charges you can be prosecuted for include but are not limited to the following:
- Bank robbery
- Child pornography
- Drug trafficking
- Identity theft
- Insider trading
- Mail fraud
- Money laundering
- Securities fraud
- Tax evasion and other problems with the Internal Revenue Service
- Wire fraud
In other words, an offense becomes a federal criminal offense if it crosses state lines or occurs on federal property. Furthermore, if an offense is committed against the government, federal officials, or employees, that offense would be considered a federal crime. Certain federal crimes are also specified in the U.S. Constitution. Simply said, federal crimes are offenses that put the national interest at stake in any way.
Can Crimes Be Prosecuted by Both State and California Federal Courts?
Yes, some crimes fall under both state and federal jurisdiction, meaning they violate both state and federal criminal laws. Although it may seem unfair for a defendant to face criminal prosecution more than once, successive state and federal prosecutions don’t violate The Constitution’s Double Jeopardy Clause because federal and state governments are considered separate sovereigns.
So, if you are facing federal criminal charges, it’s essential to retain the services of a federal criminal lawyer to prepare your case and defend you against federal offenses.
What Are the Potential Penalties for Federal Criminal Convictions?
Federal criminal convictions can result in severe penalties, which are often more stringent than those at the state level. The nature and severity of the criminal offense decide the penalty. Convicts may face imprisonment, hefty fines, probation, restitution, and forfeiture of assets.
In cases involving healthcare fraud against federal healthcare programs or social security fraud, the repercussions can be particularly severe, depending on the involvement of federal agencies and laws passed to protect federal funds.
How Does Plea Bargaining Work in Federal Criminal Cases?
Plea bargains are a critical component of the federal criminal legal process. Plea bargains involve negotiations between the defense lawyers and the assistant United States attorney or federal prosecutor. In many cases, plea bargains turn out to be a good option.
The aim of a plea bargain is to reach an agreement where the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a lenient sentence. This is an advantageous process for both parties, which saves the time and resources of a lengthy trial and provides a chance for the defendant to reduce penalties. However, in order to be effective, any plea deal must be approved by a federal magistrate judge to ensure it is fair and just.
It is crucial to work with a criminal defense law firm representing you during plea negotiations to protect your rights. It helps you secure the best possible outcome. A free initial consultation with a reputable law firm can provide insights into the available legal options and the potential implications of a plea bargain. Federal laws are complex, and stakes are high in federal crimes. Having an experienced defense lawyer can help navigate the intricacies of the corrupt organizations act.
Role of a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney in Los Angeles
A federal criminal attorney in Los Angeles can describe the various federal criminal charges you might face for the federal offense you are accused of, federal court procedures, and the federal sentencing guidelines involved.
Although federal court judges can evaluate cases individually, sentencing guidelines are often used to calculate a defendant’s criminal history score and guideline offense level. By combining certain factors, such as the facts concerning the offense and the need to provide restitution to the victims along with sentencing guidelines, judges of federal courts must impose sentences that are sufficient but not harsher than necessary.
Since federal crimes are so serious and the United States Attorney’s Office has unlimited resources, you should begin researching the evidence against you and consult with federal criminal lawyers as quickly as possible. A federal criminal investigation can be ongoing for years before you are even aware, so at your first suspicion, you should begin preparing your defense.
Seek Timely Legal Advice From Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys in Los Angeles
United States federal law is complex, and if you have been accused of a misdeed, you need a federal criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles to offer legal advice. Most people do not have the legal background to adequately and successfully defend themselves.
The United States Department of Justice and the United States Attorney General’s Office handle federal criminal cases. Federal prosecutors may require criminal background reports as part of their federal investigation. If they believe there is sufficient evidence, they begin preparations to take the case to the federal court.
They will face arraignment in a federal court where the judge will determine whether the accused is to be released to await trial or if they require bail. If the grand jury decides there is enough evidence to pursue the case, the prosecuting attorney will file an indictment.
The U.S. Attorney has to prove all elements of the case to obtain a conviction. At that point, depending on the charges, the accused will be remanded to the custody of federal authorities to await sentencing, which may include federal prison time, hefty fines, or both.
How to Find the Best Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer In Los Angeles
If you are looking for the best criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, consider the reputable Law Offices of Christopher Chaney as your advocate in federal courts. In order for the U.S. Attorney to secure a conviction, they must prove the accused guilty on all counts. Your defense team’s responsibility is to find mistakes, technicalities, and holes in the prosecution’s case.
So, if you face the Los Angeles criminal courts, you want a federal defense attorney who has the experience to represent criminal defendants from federal charges with a proven history of success.
See Why We’re Among the Top Federal Criminal Defense Law Firms in Los Angeles
When you need quality legal representation, federal criminal defense law firms in Los Angeles may be your only protection in your federal case. If you are convicted, not only do you face the immediate threats of prison time and fines, but you will also have a criminal record for the rest of your life. This makes it more challenging to land particular jobs, get bank loans, and (depending on the charges against you) live in certain neighborhoods.
Since you will be spending a considerable amount of time with your Los Angeles federal criminal defense attorney and need to be able to trust them, it is essential for the law firm you choose to value developing a solid attorney-client relationship. For help with your criminal case, contact the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney for a free consultation.