Federal criminal justice and the justice system of the Commonwealth of Virginia are very different. If you are under federal investigation, or indictment, you may be compounding your problems if you are relying upon an attorney who is not well-versed in the somewhat arcane procedures and processes that surround federal criminal law.
A Stafford federal crimes attorney who understands this system, and who is well acquainted with the jurisdiction and its unique challenges, immediately strengthens your defense and puts you in a better position to successfully fight your case.
Many federal criminal offenses carry harsh mandatory minimum sentences. A conviction for many of these crimes not only endangers your freedom, it places your personal reputation at risk; not to mention the reputation of your family and professional and personal acquaintances.
In any federal criminal case, an experienced federal criminal defense attorney should be retained as soon as you are charged, or, ideally, made aware of an investigation before you are charged. Your attorney should be experienced at defending clients facing virtually all federal criminal charges. These charges may include:
The earlier your attorney is involved in your case, the better the odds of a favorable outcome. The Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have virtually unlimited resources to investigate, charge, and prosecute federal crimes in court. More often than not, once an indictment is handed down, the government is very confident that its evidence will produce a conviction. Your lawyer’s ability to question and challenge the validity of the charge in all pre-charge and pre-trial phases cannot be overstated.
Sometimes, however, the evidence appears overwhelming and the most aggressive defense may not be enough. A defendant in such a scenario will face a sentencing hearing over which the judge – not a jury – hands down punishment. And tough federal sentencing guidelines provide a blueprint for judges to follow, many judges choose to render their own decision on a sentence.
Negotiations between your lawyer and federal prosecutors can reduce that sentence in certain situations. If, however, both sides of the case can agree to a punishment before that final hearing, the power may be shifted from the bench. A skilled federal criminal defense attorney can leverage her experience and skill to minimize draconian prison terms into a more manageable sentence.
If you provide a potential value to federal prosecutors because you’re a “little fish” who can help them catch the big one, a white collar defense attorney may be able to help you negotiate in such a situation. This would enable you to provide evidence that the feds want in return for a lesser charge, or perhaps no charge at all if you were an innocent or an unwitting participant in the alleged crime. Your attorney must review a number of issues, including, but not limited to:
If you have been charged with a federal crime, or are the object of an investigation, you should immediately schedule a no-cost consultation with a federal criminal defense attorney. A capable and seasoned federal criminal defense lawyer will listen to your situation and then discuss your options and all viable defense strategies.
Karin Riley Porter leads a team of criminal defense attorneys who are familiar with every aspect of federal criminal law — from pre-trial to post-sentencing – and provide you with sound counsel during this tumultuous time. If you’re facing federal charges, whether it is for drug trafficking, weapons, fraud, or conspiracy charges, Ms. Porter and her dedicated team stand ready to protect your interests, and your constitutional rights.
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