Federal Crimes Lawyer
Orange County Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
When an individual is charged with violating a federal law, the federal government will prosecute the case in federal court. Is being charged with a federal crime worse than being charged with a crime in state court? No, not necessarily. The distinction is simply one of jurisdiction. Criminal cases involving the violation of a federal law can only be brought in a federal court. Crimes committed on federal property are also prosecuted in federal court. Federal crimes only include those that took place in multiple states or that otherwise may have involved interstate activity. In some cases, it may be possible to argue that a federal crime was not committed because there was no interstate component to the act.
Federal crimes are divided into nine distinct classes. There are five types of federal felonies (A, B, C, D and E), three types of federal misdemeanors (A, B and C), and a lesser category known simply as infractions. Felonies are those crimes punishable by more than one year in prison. For misdemeanor crimes, the punishment is between five days and one year imprisonment. Any crime punishable by less than five days in prison or by a fine is simply known as an infraction.
The federal court system does not operate in the same manner as the California court system. There are complexities and nuances that are unique to federal court. Rules of evidence and procedure differ from those used in state court. Moreover, the federal government invests more resources into prosecutions than states do. For these reasons, it is especially important for defendants in federal court to have qualified legal representation.
If a federal charge has been brought against you, you need an attorney who understands federal court procedures. From pre-trial discovery to post-trial sentencing, the federal court system has different rules from those followed in California state courts. An attorney who understands federal procedure and evidentiary rules can ensure that you maximize every opportunity that arises during the course of your trial.
Even if charges have not been brought against you, if you think that you are being investigated for a federal crime, you should contact a federal criminal defense attorney. You should not agree to be interviewed by federal agents without first consulting with a federal criminal defense attorney. Federal investigators will likely not disclose the purpose of their investigation to you, but you should assume that if they are questioning you about your own actions or business, you are suspected of a federal crime. You are under no obligation to help the federal government conduct their investigation, and indeed your Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination protects you from being forced to answer any questions. Even if you feel you have done nothing wrong, it is important to contact an attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.
If you have been charged with a crime in federal court or have been contacted by federal authorities as part of a criminal investigation, I can help. You may have a valid defense, or I may be able to reduce your charge to a lower class by negotiating with the government. I have substantial experience defending clients in federal court. I understand how the federal court system works, and I am dedicated to getting optimal results for my clients.
Call the Law Offices of Scott D. Hughes at (714) 987-2671 to schedule your free consultation.