Federal Practice Areas
Federal criminal charges most often involve criminal conduct that violates a statute passed by the United States Congress. Unlike state criminal proceedings, federal prosecutors have seemingly endless resources and often rely on investigations by the FBI, DEA, or Secret Service Agents to build a case against you. Federal trials also utilize a grand jury to evaluate the evidence of a trial in order to decide whether or not a defendant should be indicted for committing a crime. For these reasons, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential in protecting your rights.
Until recently, defendants who were found guilty or pleaded guilty were punished according to the United States Sentencing Guidelines. These Sentencing guidelines took into account several factors to determine the appropriate punishment. Factors included the nature of the offense, the defendant’s criminal record, and the role that the defendant played in the crime. In January 2005, the mandatory use of these guidelines was deemed unconstitutional. The Sentencing Guidelines are now used as an advisory tool to help judge’s sentence those convicted of federal crimes.