A federal criminal conviction is a serious matter that can carry significant consequences. Whether you are charged with a white-collar offense, drug crime, violent crime or fraud offense, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.
When you are facing a federal arrest, your lawyer is the person that you can depend on through strategic advocacy. You want an attorney with experience handling Federal cases, including grand jury indictments and discovery procedures.
If you are the target of a federal criminal investigation or facing charges in a Federal Court, you must hire a lawyer who has the expertise and track record to effectively defend you. Federal prosecutions are extremely complex and involve the full resources of the Federal Government including investigators from agencies like the FBI, ATF, DEA, IRS, Secret Service and others.
You need a NYC criminal defense attorney who has experience with these kinds of cases, and knows the Federal court system inside and out. Federal law is vastly different from state laws and the penalties are often much more severe.
Moreover, your lawyer must be able to negotiate with federal prosecutors and have the ability to avoid the harsh consequences of a guilty plea or conviction. Don’t speak with federal agents without your lawyer present, this is almost always a mistake and can lead to foreclosed defenses or damning admissions of guilt that can be used against you at trial.
A federal pre-trial conference is a court hearing where the judge gets familiar with your case and helps set a trial date if no plea agreement is reached. At a pretrial conference, your lawyer can request a copy of the prosecutor’s file which includes police reports and other evidence that may be used at trial. This is the first opportunity for your attorney to analyze this information and begin negotiating with the prosecutor.
A successful defense attorney can also use the pretrial conference to engage in settlement negotiations with the prosecutor and help you resolve your case through a plea bargain or jury trial. Experienced federal criminal defense attorneys prepare for this meeting intensely so they can make the most of it and help their clients resolve cases favorably. Oftentimes, these meetings are the most productive time to try to reach a resolution for your case. Pretrial conferences are required for felony cases but optional for misdemeanors.
If you cannot afford to pay for a private attorney, the federal court will assign an attorney to represent you at your Initial Appearance. Those attorneys are members of the Criminal Justice Panel and are paid for by taxpayer dollars.
A capable federal criminal defense attorney will possess great articulation and public speaking skills to argue your case in front of a judge or jury. He or she will also have excellent writing skills to prepare the many documents that are required for a criminal trial.
Unlike New York State prosecutions, which have limited resources, the federal government has unlimited resources and moves cases through the legal system at an expedited rate. A sharp federal criminal defense attorney will identify weaknesses in the government’s case and work through strategic advocacy to secure dismissed charges or reduce your criminal sentencing liability.
In a criminal trial, the prosecutor must prove that you are guilty of a Federal crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor fails to meet this burden, then you will be acquitted.
An experienced federal criminal defense attorney can help you if you are convicted of a federal crime. The right lawyer can file a direct appeal to challenge the conviction and/or sentence in a higher court.
A judge will review your case based on the facts of your case and the law. This review can include a review of the trial transcript and any other evidence submitted to the court.
The Appeals Process
A successful federal criminal appeal requires attention to detail, as well as skill. Appellate judges read briefs for hours every day, and they are looking for arguments that are clear, concise, and properly argued. Errors in a brief can distract the judges from the arguments that are presented.
Appeals are also lengthy. Your federal criminal attorney should be familiar with the court of appeals schedule and how long it may take to receive a decision on your appeal. If your case is set for oral argument, the attorneys must be prepared to travel to attend the hearing.