When Facing Federal Charges, You Need To Take Extra Precautions
If you are under investigation or facing federal charges, you are in a dangerous legal situation. The federal court system is manned by tough career prosecutors who are dedicated to achieving a conviction. The penalties imposed in federal offenses are severe and typically include fines and incarceration in federal prison, and prosecutors virtually only bring cases that they feel confident that they can win.
To defend against a federal crime requires the help of a federal criminal defense attorney with extensive trial experience and who is familiar with navigating the federal court system. At Hickey & Chung, every case we represent is given the full resources of our firm, including our more than 25 years of combined criminal defense experience. It is time to call us at our San Francisco office: 415-484-4547.
When Is A Crime A Federal Criminal Charge?
Whether a crime is a federal crime or a state one is largely determined by the type of allegation involved, whether the crime rises to a particular level and where the crime takes place. For instance, embezzlement and other white collar crimes that take place online are typically federal crimes, as are violations of federal statutes like the Clean Air Act. Issues surrounding matters of currency, such as tax fraud, money laundering and other financial crimes are inherently federal.
How We Create A Strong Defense Strategy
The first step in planning your defense strategy is an in-depth assessment of the situation and the evidence that has led to the charges against you. The federal prosecutor has the almost unlimited resources of federal agencies, including the DEA, IRS, FBI and other agencies, often working together. Challenging these cases requires legal skill, access to some of the best professional resources and a well-crafted defense strategy.
At your initial consultation, we take a full inventory of your case. We examine what you know, what the prosecutor has said, the full ramifications of your case and what strategies will work best for you. Our goal is always to preserve your freedoms.
Once our legal team has assessed the facts in the case, we will review the legal options available to you. Under federal law, various options could benefit you:
- A petition to dismiss
- A proffer (in which you cooperate with the federal authorities)
- Plea bargain
- Jury trial
- If the verdict is unsatisfactory, an appeal
Under the federal criminal justice system, very heavy penalties are imposed. A conviction may include fines, imprisonment and permanent damage to your professional and personal reputation. If you are under investigation or have been charged with a federal offense, you have the right to remain silent, and we advise you to exercise this right, even if you are entirely innocent of all charges. Our federal criminal defense lawyer can protect you during questioning by investigators from any branch of the federal government.
What To Expect Throughout The Life Of An Investigation
The process in a federal crime moves through several phases, which are as follows:
- Criminal Investigation: The investigation phase may have taken months or even years as various federal investigative agencies seek evidence.
- Arrest: An arrest is performed by federal or state law enforcement.
- Indictment: The prosecutor presents the case to the grand jury. At this point, you are formally notified that you are being charged.
- Initial court appearance and arraignment: You will make your first appearance in front of the federal judge and jury, and at this appearance, you may be officially charged.
- Pretrial discovery and motions: If you entered a “not guilty” plea, the discovery phase begins in which the evidence in the case is reviewed, other evidence is sought, and motions can be filed to suppress evidence or dismiss. Plea bargaining can occur during this phase.
- Trial: The trial process begins with jury selection, followed by the presentation of evidence by the prosecution and the defense.
- Verdict: The jury returns with a verdict, guilty or not guilty.
- Sentencing: The judge consults federal sentencing guidelines, determines any extenuating factors that affect the case and returns with a sentence.
- Appeal: You have the right to appeal a verdict in cases of errors in the legal process or in court proceedings.
At Hickey & Chung, LLP, our attorneys stand by your side throughout every phase of the process, seeking all possible advantages. Whether you are entirely innocent or hold some responsibility for the offense, we will take any legal action that could be of benefit to you.
It is imperative that your lawyer is experienced in federal court, is a talented litigator and is fully prepared to challenge the evidence presented by the prosecutor with compelling facts. The experience and dedication of your defense lawyer is a critical aspect in the outcome. Our legal team will work closely with you to develop a strong defense case, supported by professional resources such as PIs, financial consultants, tax advisors and other experts. Our team of experts is available and ready to move into immediate action to assist in crafting your defense.
Let Us Step In So You Can Breathe Easier
If you are under investigation or have been accused of a federal crime, contact Hickey & Chung, LLP, to discuss your case. You can trust our legal team to provide you with defense counsel that can balance the tough odds you face in federal court and is entirely dedicated to you, your future and your freedom. We have extensive experience working with serious federal criminal defense cases, and our track record speaks for itself. Schedule a consultation with us through our online intake form or call us at 415-484-4547.