Not all legal problems are the same and different types of help to protect your rights. For instance, a simple fender bender traffic accident or a speeding ticket is a much different situation legally than having been caught smuggling druggs across the border. Let's take a look gs
A federal crime violates federal law and is prosecuted by a federal prosecutor in a federal court. Depending on the federal criminal charge you're facing, the case may be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), or The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Since federal crimes have more severe penalties for comparable state crimes, understanding what to do once charged can be helpful. Discussed below are four steps to take when facing a federal criminal charge.
Hire A Federal Crime Defense Attorney
Considering how complex the federal criminal justice system is and how severe the possible consequences for a conviction can be, hiring a skilled Federal Crime Defense Attorney when charged with or investigated for a federal crime can make all the difference. Bringing in a lawyer early enough in the process enables them to intervene from the investigation stage onwards to try and safeguard your interests and rights. When looking for an attorney to represent you in a federal crime case, consider the following:
- Experience dealing with federal cases
- Understanding of case laws and federal statuses
- Negotiation skills to ensure they can effectively plead your case with federal prosecutors
- Knowledge of federal procedures and courts
- Federal sentencing expertise
Exercise Your Right To Remain Silent
Exercising your right to remain silent when facing a federal criminal case is crucial as it keeps you from giving testimony that may end up incriminating you. This is because prosecutors and law enforcement authorities can use anything you say to make a case against you. During questioning, invoking your right to stay silent assures you that you cannot be pressured into giving evidence against yourself.
As such, requesting your lawyer’s presence for any dealings involving the police can help ensure you don’t unknowingly make self-incriminating statements, keeping the prosecution from gathering more proof against you. When you exercise your right to remain silent and consult with a lawyer, you boost your chances of a favorable federal criminal case outcome.
Know When To Cooperate With The Authorities
Based on your case’s specific facts, cooperating with the federal government authorities can be quite helpful. For example, suppose you've been accused of violating federal law and have details about somebody else committing the federal crime. In that case, you can trade those details as a plea bargain for a more favorable outcome. Nonetheless, cooperating with the authorities can be tricky, and you shouldn't try it on your own.
If you cannot give the federal authorities the information they require to catch the culprit, trying to cooperate can backfire on you, leaving you in a worse situation than before. To determine whether to cooperate with the authorities, consult a federal defense lawyer and analyze the benefits and risks of cooperating to choose the best option for you.
Determine Whether To Negotiate A Plea Bargain Or Go On Trial
Federal criminal charges have three possible outcomes: dismissal, trial, or plea bargain. If your federal defense lawyer cannot get the charges against you dismissed, they can negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor and guide you if they believe it's in your best interest. If you don't go the plea bargain way, you can fight the case in court upon going to trial.
Being charged with a federal crime can have severe consequences. However, taking these steps when facing a federal criminal charge can lead to a more favorable outcome.