If you have been criminally charged in federal court for legal activity in the state of California, your first step should be to hire a criminal defense attorney. If law enforcement has already arrested you for a misunderstanding, it’s your word against theirs.
When the court is not as willing to listen to you by yourself, you have a louder voice when there’s a federal crimes lawyer in the room who is speaking on your behalf. Despite your activity being legal in California, federal criminal charges are not something you want to face alone.
Understanding Federal Crimes
Federal crimes are the most serious crimes with which a person can be charged. If someone is a defendant in a federal action, this means that he has been accused of committing a crime against the entire country. Because of this, the penalties associated with federal crimes are more severe than those at the state level.
Examples of federal crimes include:
There are a few ways in which federal crimes differ from state crimes. For one, there is no such thing as “double jeopardy” here. A person can be charged at both the state and federal levels for the same crime.
For instance, if a person robs a bank, they can be charged for robbing the bank within that state and then be charged for robbing a federally insured business. So, while the crime was the same, the charges are slightly different. A person may also be charged with a state crime on top of a federal crime if the federal crime was committed across state lines.
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Are You the “Subject” or “Target” of a Federal Investigation?
If you receive a notification that you are either the “subject” or “target” of a federal investigation, the first thing you should do is call a lawyer. Such notification means that they are already considering charging you with a crime.
You should not contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office on your own. Your lawyer can make an inquiry as to what the government’s interest is in you in particular.
A federal criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights and ensure that you do not do or say anything that may be self-incriminating. A lawyer may also be able to negotiate immunity for you so that you can testify without the fear of imprisonment or other penalties.
If you get charged with a federal crime, you need a federal crimes lawyer by your side. Contact the Simmrin Law Group as soon as you receive word that you are the subject of a federal investigation.
Federal Sentencing and Parole
When it comes to federal sentencing, there is no such thing as parole. You serve the entirety of whatever sentence you receive. However, there are some rewards for good behavior. Some prisoners are awarded “good time,” which is a reduction of 54 days per year for every year of a person’s sentence.
Some individuals are also allowed to spend the last 10% (up to six months) of their sentence in a halfway house. A halfway house is a location where inmates are able to live in preparation for their release to help them grow accustomed to living life on the outside again. However, not all inmates are eligible.
Federal crimes, and their penalties, are the most serious crimes for which a person could be convicted. It can be intimidating to go up against federal prosecutors by yourself, individuals with years of experience successfully putting people behind bars. In this case, a Los Angeles federal crimes lawyer may be your only option.
When Federal and State Law Clash
Sometimes, the penalty is not the only way federal and state laws differ concerning a crime. Some things are considered a crime at one level but are legal at the other.
Legality at the Federal Level
When something that is legal at the federal level is a crime at the state level, things are pretty straightforward. If you commit the offense within the state, you can be arrested for the action and prosecuted at the state level.
Essentially, the state is allowed to add rules just as a school can have additional regulations. Children can be punished for violating these rules, even if their actions would not warrant any such penalization outside of the school.
Legality at the State Level
When something that is legal at the state level is illegal at the federal level, things get confusing.
A person can largely make their own rules in their home. When these rules go against the laws of the area in which they live, though, they could potentially be punished. However, in most cases, they will be left alone. People have a right to privacy, and the police will only enter their homes to check on an alleged crime if there is a complaint.
Things are largely the same with prosecuting actions that are legal at the state level in federal court. The federal government typically leaves the states alone to enforce their laws as they see fit. However, if a crime crosses state borders, the federal government will likely get involved.
One of the most prevalent examples of this is the legalization of marijuana. While possessing small amounts of marijuana is legal in California, it is still illegal at the federal level. So far, the feds have largely looked the other way since legalization began. When a person transports marijuana across state lines, though, the federal government may get invested.
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Protect Yourself From Federal Prosecution
Facing a federal charge for an action that is legal at the state level can be both frightening and confusing. Many people who commit federal crimes that are legal at the state level are unaware that they have even done anything for which they could have potentially been penalized.
An experienced federal crimes lawyer can help sort through the mess and attempt to get the charges against you dismissed.
Facing a Federal Charge? Don’t Wait – Call Us Now!
Being charged with a crime is a frightening and stressful experience. Being charged with a federal crime is utterly devastating. If there was ever a time that you needed an experienced lawyer by your side, this is it. Don’t put your life and future at stake by trying to go this one alone. There are too many risks involved to take a chance here.
Our experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers have years of experience helping clients charged with federal crimes. We have in-depth knowledge of the kinds of severe and life-altering consequences that those accused of a federal crime can face, and we want to help you. Fill out our online contact form, or call us now to speak with a member of our team.
There is no obligation to retain our services, and the consultation is free. We want to help you get your life back on track by giving you the advice you need, even if you ultimately choose not to hire us. You have everything on the line, and your best chance at walking away clean is to contact an experienced lawyer. Reach out today.