When to Hire a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
Most criminal cases are violations of state law. If you are facing charges for a state crime, a general criminal attorney will be familiar with the law and with the procedures in your local area. If, however, you are accused of violating a federal statute, it is imperative that you hire an attorney who is experienced with these types of cases.
How can you tell if your case is a federal offense? This occurs when the United States Attorney or another U.S. government agency files charges with the United States District Court accusing you of violating a federal law, or your case involves a federal employee or U.S. government property. When this happens, you need a criminal defense attorney experienced in federal offenses. Some of the most common agencies that investigate federal crimes are the
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA
- United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Secret Service
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
These agents will tell you that it will be in your interest to cooperate. Nothing could be further from the truth. Often when these agencies begin an investigation, they have a suspicion that a crime has occurred, but they do not have nearly enough evidence to arrest anyone. And rather than picking up the phone and hiring a lawyer, the person under investigation believes that they can make the problem go away by cooperating. Even the most sophisticated or highly educated person is no match for a team of trained and experienced federal agents. Our partner Curtis Fallgatter was a federal prosecutor for 17 years. He understands how federal agents think and the tactics they use to convince unwary people to cooperate with them.
If it is already too late for that, you still need a federal criminal attorney to guide you through the next steps of your case. If the government has already issued an arrest warrant, your attorney may be able to negotiate your surrender to the authorities rather than having you be arrested without warning. He will represent you during every phase of the case, and will advise you about how to plead to the charges and the possibility of pleading guilty to a lesser charge. And if it is in your interest to proceed to trial, we will vigorously defend you throughout the process. We are happy to meet with you to discuss your situation with no cost or obligation.
200 E Forsyth St
Jacksonville, FL 32202