Whether you have been charged with a state crime or a federal crime, you may wonder what the differences are and whether it is worse to be charged federally. In fact, federal crimes often have much more serious penalties and consequences. A defendant in a federal criminal case can benefit greatly from a federal criminal defense attorney. Federal crimes are violations of U.S. Law and usually overrule state law. While the vast majority of criminal trials are held in state courts, there often is overlap between state criminal offenses and federal criminal offenses. Thus, there is often a choice as to whether to charge a case federally or in state court. Under certain circumstances, a crime can be charged in both courts. Because the process and the penalties are different between state and federal crimes, it is extremely beneficial to have an experienced federal criminal defense attorney like John Cutler defending your charges.
Why You Should Choose Cutler Law Office, P.A. for your Federal Crimes Attorney
Federal crimes attorney John Cutler begins every case with the idea that it may go to trial. This mindset is important as discovery is reviewed and a full analysis of your charges is undertaken. Negotiations are significantly helpful when your attorney is ready to go to trial if necessary. In other words, simply having the mindset that the case will go to trial ensures your attorney will always be prepared for any scenario. Doing criminal defense “right” is the ultimate goal of the Cutler Law Office, P.A. At the Cutler Law Office, P.A. we will fully dig into the discovery and facts of your case and listen to you while investigating and researching your case. If you have been charged federally, it is important that you have an attorney who is experienced in defending both federal charges as well as defending state charges.
When is a Criminal Offense Federal?
You could potentially be charged with a federal crime if any of the following facts are present:
- A specific federal law was violated
- The criminal offense occurred on federal property
- Multiple states were involved in the criminal offense
- The criminal offense involved people from different states
Some of the criminal offenses that are commonly charged as federal crimes include:
- IRS violations
- Any type of tax fraud or tax evasion
- Internet crimes
- Money laundering
- White-collar crimes
- Mail fraud
- Counterfeiting American money
- Drug trafficking, particularly across a state line
- Other drug offenses
- Immigration crimes
- Wire fraud
- Any crime that occurs on federal land
- Banking crimes
Are Federal Criminal Penalties More Severe?
Although not all federal crimes carry harsher penalties than state crimes, most of them do, including longer prison terms, heavier fines, and additional statutory penalties. In particular, federal drug offenses carry longer prison terms, including lengthy mandatory minimum prison sentences. Federal judges usually follow Federal Sentencing Guidelines when determining the sentences. These guidelines often produce harsher sentences than similar state court crimes.
Those who are convicted of a federal crime are sent to federal prison rather than state prison which can take you out of your state—making it difficult for your loved ones to visit you while you are incarcerated. Federal crimes can be much more difficult to defend against since the federal government and federal prosecutors typically have more resources and staff to devote to the prosecution.
How is the Process Different Between State and Federal Charges?
Federal crimes can involve three levels of the courts: the district court, the court of appeals, and the Supreme Court. Federal criminal offenses are prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys and usually investigated by federal law enforcement officers, including ICE agents, DEA agents, and the FBI. Additionally, if convicted you will serve your time in a federal prison facility anywhere across the United States. A person charged with a federal offense will end up in federal court before a federal judge. Federal judges are not elected, they are appointed by the President of the United States and are appointed for life.
Federal criminal offenses essentially follow the same process as state criminal offenses, including:
- Investigation of the crime
- Charging of the crime
- An initial hearing or arraignment
- If not charged by a grand jury, there will be a preliminary hearing
- The discovery phase where information is exchanged
- Pre-trial motions
- Plea bargain negotiations
- The actual trial if no plea agreement is reached
- Post-trial motions
- An appeal
How Can the Cutler Law Office P.A. Help with Your Federal Charges?
Having an experienced federal crimes attorney from Cutler Law Office, P.A. can help you navigate the federal criminal justice system and make a positive impact and properly defend your federal criminal charges. Attorney John Cutler is dedicated to helping you get your life in order following federal or state criminal charges. John is fully aware of the impact criminal charges can have on your future.
Having a highly skilled, and knowledgeable federal crimes attorney on your side is crucial before mistakes are made that cannot be undone. If you are charged federally, you will be going up against an Assistant U.S. Attorney with vast resources—don’t you want an equally experienced attorney by your side who can help make a difference in the outcome of your charges as well as the penalties? Contact Cutler Law Office, P.A. today.