Los Angeles Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys
Most criminal cases begin when local authorities conduct an arrest of a suspect, and the local criminal court begins prosecution. As such, most criminal cases in Los Angeles unfold at the local and state levels. However, some offenses qualify for federal criminal charges and can involve more severe offenses and harsher penalties. While facing any kind of criminal charge can be an incredibly stressful experience, federal charges bring with them many additional challenges.
If you are facing any charge of a federal crime, it is vital to understand that these cases unfold much differently than state-level criminal cases. When a federal agency such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) opens a federal criminal case against an individual, they have often already spent a great deal of time investigating the case and gathering evidence before filing any charges. This means that when you are finally arrested for a federal crime, the authority handling the case believes they already have a strong compilation of evidence to convict you. In this situation, it is vital to have legal counsel you can trust.
At the Law Office of Stein & Markus, we specialize in criminal defense. Our team offers comprehensive defense counsel for a wide range of cases, including those prosecuted in federal criminal courts. If you are arrested on federal criminal charges, you need to take full advantage of your right to legal counsel, as well as your right to remain silent until you speak with your criminal defense attorney. After you secure our representation, we can provide the compassionate and comprehensive legal counsel you need to approach your case with clarity and confidence.
What Are the Three Types of Defense Attorneys?
When you need criminal defense representation it is vital to obtain legal counsel from the right kind of attorney. There are three main types of criminal defense attorneys:
- Civil litigation defense attorneys represent defendants in civil claims. For example, if you are speeding and cause a car accident with another driver, that driver may file a personal injury claim against you. In this situation, you would need a civil litigation defense attorney to represent you.
- State criminal defense attorneys provide legal counsel to individuals arrested for crimes that are prosecuted at the state level. These attorneys tend to focus on case law pertaining to their states and other specific regions of service. If you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), this charge is prosecuted at the state level, so you would want a state criminal defense attorney to represent you. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can secure legal counsel from a public defender free of charge.
- Federal criminal defense attorneys specialize in defense representation in federal court. The procedures for criminal cases filed at the federal level are different, and the skills necessary to argue against legal counsel working for the FBI, DEA, or another federal agency are vastly different than working across from state-level prosecutors. If you are charged with any type of federal crime, it is essential to hire an experienced federal criminal defense attorney to represent you.
The Law Office of Stein & Markus can provide the federal criminal defense representation you need to navigate your federal criminal case as successfully as possible. We can provide the full breadth of our resources, experience, and litigative skill to help you seek a positive outcome to your case.
What Is a Federal Defense Attorney?
Simply put, a federal defense attorney is a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in defending clients facing federal criminal charges. As mentioned, these cases proceed differently from criminal cases prosecuted at the state level. In addition, the penalties for conviction in federal court tend to be more severe. For these reasons, it is essential to seek a defense attorney with federal case law knowledge and experience facing federal prosecutors.
In this capacity, federal criminal defense attorneys are experienced in identifying the Constitutional laws that often come into play in federal criminal cases. For example, if the FBI believes an individual has committed a federal crime, they may decide to seize the individual’s assets and obtain a federal search warrant that allows them to comb through the suspect’s property. To obtain this warrant, the agency must provide a written affidavit that outlines the full extent of the evidence they have to justify the search. A federal criminal defense attorney can determine whether such a warrant was obtained and executed in good faith or if the suspect’s Constitutional rights were violated in any way.
Why Should I Hire a Los Angeles Federal Criminal Defense Attorney?
When you are tried in state criminal court, you have the option to secure legal counsel free of charge from a public defender. The same rule applies in federal cases—the defendant can accept legal counsel from a federal public defender at no cost. While most public defenders are capable attorneys who do the best they can for their clients, they typically need to manage several cases at once and cannot provide each client with much individual attention.
Hiring a private Los Angeles federal criminal defense attorney will ensure your case receives the attention it deserves. At the Law Firm of Stein & Markus, we believe in taking a client-focused approach to every federal criminal defense case our firm accepts. We can carefully review the prosecution’s case, highlight potential Constitutional violations, and help you develop the most comprehensive defense possible.
How Much Does a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Cost?
While many people seek legal counsel from public defenders due to the high cost of legal fees, the reality is that when you hire a private Los Angeles federal criminal defense lawyer you are investing in a more robust level of defense representation than you could hope to receive from a public defender. A private defense attorney will cost more, but if the result is a minimized sentence or dropped case, the investment will be well worth the price.
Most federal criminal defense attorneys charge for their services by the hour, usually broken down into ten or fifteen-minute increments. Before signing any contract with a federal criminal defense attorney, make sure you understand how they will bill their time and how long you can expect your case to take before it reaches a conclusion. This should enable you to calculate a rough estimate of your overall legal fees.
What Types of Cases Are Prosecuted in Federal Courts?
“Federal Crimes” are, by definition, violations of United States federal law. Some offenses may lead to state-level prosecution in addition to federal-level prosecution, depending on their severity. A few examples of the types of criminal offenses that can qualify for prosecution in federal court include:
- Federal drug offenses. These typically include offenses that extend well beyond simple possession or local-level illegal drug sales. Drug trafficking across state lines, drug smuggling from outside of the US, and drug manufacturing qualify as federal crimes.
- Healthcare fraud. If an individual attempts to defraud a federal healthcare program like Medicare or Medicaid, their case will be tried in federal court.
- Defrauding the government. Engaging in any type of fraud against a government entity or program can result in federal charges. For example, Social Security fraud qualifies as defrauding the government.
- Bankruptcy fraud. The bankruptcy laws of the US are designed to provide economic relief to individuals who can no longer pay their debts. If an individual tries to take advantage of a bankruptcy status when they do not technically qualify to do so—usually by hiding or otherwise obfuscating their assets—these actions constitute bankruptcy fraud and can lead to criminal prosecution.
- Securities fraud. Attempting to profit from illegal insider trading or engaging in any type of violation of the laws of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can result in federal criminal charges.
- Identity theft. Using another person’s identity or personal information for financial gain is a serious form of fraud. Obtaining a credit card using another person’s personal details, signing another person’s name on any financial document, or posing as another person in any official capacity can lead to federal criminal penalties.
- White collar crimes. “White collar crimes” refer to criminal offenses of a financial nature, such as embezzlement and money laundering. An individual convicted of such offenses will typically need to surrender any ill-gotten gains and face additional penalties, including imprisonment.
- Federal sex crimes. Some sex crimes are prosecuted at the state level, but severe sex crimes can lead to federal charges. Many federal cases involving sex crimes pertain to child pornography production and distribution, sex trafficking operations, and other criminal activity that extends beyond the scope of the state criminal court.
- RICO violations. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act violations include any type of organized crime. If you are involved in any type of organized criminal conspiracy, you and the other participants can potentially face prosecution for each other’s crimes. In a RICO case, if prosecutors have sufficient evidence to charge one member of a conspiracy with a crime, they can apply this charge to every other member.
These are only some of the offenses that may qualify for prosecution in federal court. If you or a loved one receive charges for any type of federal crime, or if a federal agency such as the FBI or DEA has presented you with a search warrant or arrest warrant, it is crucial that you speak with a Los Angeles federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Defending Against Federal Criminal Charges
Facing federal prosecution can be a much more daunting experience than facing criminal charges at the state level. If a federal agency has arrested you, you can be certain that they believe they already have a strong enough case to convict you. Working with an experienced Los Angeles federal criminal defense attorney is the best way to minimize or avoid prosecution. Your attorney can help you determine the best available options for your defense.
In some situations, your attorney may focus on attacking the prosecution’s handling of your case. All federal agencies must follow the laws of due process and obtain their evidence legally. If the FBI or other federal agency conducted an illegal search and violated your Fourth Amendment rights, your federal criminal defense attorney can highlight this behavior in federal court. In some circumstances, the goal is to have some evidence declared inadmissible. In others, it may even be possible for federal courts to dismiss your case before it progresses to a critical stage if the federal agency in question mishandled your case or violated due process.
If the prosecution follows the letter of the law and your situation seems hopeless, a Los Angeles federal criminal defense attorney can still help you uncover exculpatory evidence or establish an alibi. If prosecution is unavoidable and you know you have committed a crime, your attorney will shift their focus toward successful plea bargaining.
The plea-bargaining process is a negotiation between prosecution and defense counsels. In exchange for a guilty plea and swift proceedings, the prosecution remains open to reducing the defendant’s charges. If the federal case pertains to a larger investigation, it is possible for a defendant to avoid prosecution by cooperating with the agency handling the case. For example, the defendant may be asked to act as a federal informant in exchange for a reduced sentence.
What to Expect From Your Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges it is essential to speak with an experienced Los Angeles federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney should carefully examine the case against you and thoroughly review the evidence involved to determine the best approach to the situation. Then, your attorney should make your options clear and help you understand what to expect from your federal court proceedings.
At the Law Office of Stein & Markus, we understand the additional stress and uncertainty that comes with federal criminal prosecution. Our goal is to provide clarity and reassurance as you proceed through the phases of your case, explore every available avenue of defense, and help you secure reduction or dismissal of your charges. If you were recently arrested for any type of federal criminal charge, contact the Law Office of Stein & Markus to schedule a consultation with a reliable and experienced Los Angeles federal criminal defense attorney.
Free Attorney Consultation in California Federal Crime Cases
If you are under investigation or have been charged with any federal crime in California, The Law Office of Stein & Markus in Bellflower is ready to meet with you, explain your legal rights, and start building a defense for you. Arrange a free initial consultation by calling (562) 512-7030 or contact us online today.
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