The federal government involves itself in certain types of investigations, such as those that require multi-state jurisdiction, for example. You might also find yourself in front of a federal judge for charges of organized crime, theft of government funds, drug trafficking investigations that were conducted by the DEA, identity theft, and more. No matter how a client ends up before a federal judge, they will need a skilled federal criminal defense attorney to fight the charges in federal court.
Understanding Federal Charges
Unlike state charges, federal charges involve the FBI, DEA, ATF, and other divisions of the alphabet soup. It is a completely different code of laws, and it has completely different sentencing guidelines. In fact, federal sentencing guidelines are why most clients will hope to avoid federal court. In the past, judges were required to sentence defendants according to a specific chart. In recent years, however, judges have some more discretion when sentencing convicted defendants.
How Do Federal Sentencing Guidelines Work?
The federal government essentially likes to keep score. They consider various aspects of your offense, whether or not you are a repeat offender, and various elements of your crime. They assign a point total to the crime. This point total is used to determine how long your stay in federal prison will be.
These guidelines are passed by the legislature. Each offense is assigned a base level point total. Other factors may raise this total. Factors such as criminal history, how the crime was committed, and whether or not there were any aggravating factors such as the use of a weapon during the commission of a crime. The points are totaled, and depending on how many points a defendant receives, they are generally required to serve out the sentence that the chart assigns based on the total point value.
How can Your Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?
The goal of your federal criminal defense lawyer will be to negotiate the lowest possible sentence given the evidence against you. This can include getting some of the evidence stricken from the record, discussing why your situation involves extenuating circumstances, or chipping away at the prosecution's case so that a conviction is no longer a given at trial.
While federal sentencing guidelines were imposed to ensure that the process was fair for all defendants, their effect is often that some defendants are given much harsher sentences than their crime warrant. It is imperative that you have an attorney who can work closely with federal prosecutors and the federal judge to ensure that you are not being overcharged based on technicality.
Call a Buffalo, NY Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing federal charges, then you need a criminal defense attorney with experience arguing cases in federal court before a federal judge. Call Daniel J. DuBois today to discuss your situation, and we can begin building your defense immediately.