Federal offenses can have serious consequences including arrests. If you have been arrested for a federal offense, it is vital that you consult an experienced federal defense attorney. A seasoned lawyer could help you navigate the Maryland federal arrest process. Work with a qualified attorney that could advocate for you.
The Maryland federal arrest process comes to fruition in a couple of different ways. Sometimes a person is arrested by state law enforcement at the scene of the crime or based on a warrant in state court. For example, due to the nature of the charges, a person can be arrested on drug possession after a traffic stop by state law enforcement in state court. Based on the investigation, if the government alleges or finds a connection to interstate trafficking or something like that, the person can receive federal charges and federal prosecutors come in to handle the case. Based on the evidence uncovered during an investigation, the prosecutors may file federal charges. Sometimes, the state case continues as a parallel case.
Usually, the state case is dropped. The person is transferred into federal custody if they are still in custody and it is a federal case. The federal authorities, whether in conjunction with state law enforcement or independently, investigate witness interviews and subpoenas documents. The investigation can go on for months or even years. With financial crimes and some white collar cases, the federal government builds the entire case and has a wealth of information, documents, and witness statements already prepared. The prosecutors obtain the indictment and proceed with an arrest warrant after accumulating the information.
A person does not have to be arrested by a federal agent to be charged with a federal offense. When new information comes to light, a person can be arrested by state law enforcement or by local authorities. When new information broadens the scope of the alleged crime or offenses, that can bring in federal jurisdiction. Sometimes, it becomes immediately apparent that the crime is a federal offense and after being arrested by local authorities, the federal authorities are contacted to investigate the case or come into the case and proceed under federal law allegations.
One scenario where this might happen is a narcotic-based offense. Another situation could be a financial fraud case involving a local business. When a person is arrested based on the charges through interviews with the person, victims, and co-workers, new information may come to light that extends the scope of the alleged offense. The case that started out only involving a local business could grow to involve businesses nationwide. Other people can be involved if the person is directed by someone else or it becomes apparent that the individual is involved in a criminal organization that exists beyond the state borders. Those circumstances can take the crime from a violation of state law to a violation of federal statutes. In that case, federal prosecutors become involved and the violation is a federal crime.
Before the Maryland federal arrest process begins, there must be a valid reason for arresting the individual. Usually, it is an arrest warrant. In theory, a person can be arrested if they commit a crime in front of the authorities. That is special to federal law enforcement or federal agents and rarely occurs. When the authorities arrest a person based on a warrant, they take the person to a federal processing station to book them into the system. The obtain the person’s information and have an arraignment where a magistrate judge informs the person of the charges against them. The judge advises the person about their right to counsel and could release the person on their own recognizance, which is a promise to return to court for the next court date. The judge could decide to hold the person on bond. When a person cannot pay the bond; they are held in federal custody until the case is resolved.
There are multiple fact-specific decisions during the bond process, especially related to the judge setting a bond or allowing the person to be released. The person could be released on their promise to return with conditions. Those conditions can be as strict as electronic monitoring where a person must wear an ankle monitor and can only leave the house to go to work. The person might be given a type of house arrest or may only be given instructions to stay in touch with a probation agent. The person may need to obtain permission to leave the state, but otherwise, they are free to go about their business as long as they stay out of trouble.
A person is processed when they arrested. They receive paperwork and are advised of their rights. The person does not have to talk to anybody without an attorney present. They have the right to have an attorney and if they cannot afford one, an attorney from the federal public defenders is assigned to their case.
If you have been charged with a federal offense, it is important that you consult a federal arrest attorney. A competent lawyer can walk you through the nuances of the Maryland federal arrest process, and set realistic expectations for what may or may not occur. Furthermore, the attorney could help you secure bond and negotiate more lenient conditions of release. Speak with a skilled federal attorney that could pursue a positive outcome for you.