Violations of the United States Code may result in federal criminal charges in addition or as an alternative to state-level charges. The differences between federal and state prosecution in New York are numerous and substantial. Seeking representation from a lawyer who is familiar with contesting cases in federal court could significantly improve your chances of getting your charges reduced or dismissed entirely.
Given the high conviction rate and life-altering consequences associated with federal charges, seeking help from a defense lawyer should be a priority for anyone accused of or under investigation for a federal offense. Once retained, your knowledgeable New York federal criminal attorney could work diligently to protect and enforce your legal rights and secure the best possible outcome on your behalf.
In a broad sense, federal criminal convictions can result in many of the same types of sanctions as those in state-level cases (i.e., fines, probation, imprisonment, and the loss of certain civil rights), albeit with terms of incarceration being served in federal prison rather than a state correctional facility. However, it can be challenging to determine in advance exactly what punishments a defendant may face upon conviction for a specific federal offense.
Federal criminal courts generally use relatively unique and complex federal sentencing guidelines when handing down a criminal conviction. A defendant may be classified under six different categories based on their criminal history, and their alleged crime will fall under one or multiple of the 43 “offense levels” based on its level of severity.
Importantly, the offense level associated with a particular crime offers a basis for a federal judge’s discretion when passing down a sentence. There are several factors that may add to or reduce an offense’s level of severity, including the role a particular defendant played in a larger criminal enterprise, the specific party the defendant harmed or attempted to harm, and whether the judge believes the defendant accepts responsibility for their actions. A New York defense lawyer could clarify how federal sentencing guidelines may impact a specific federal criminal case during a private consultation.
When pursuing a federal criminal conviction against a New York resident, the federal government has the same burden of proof as any state-level court, which is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” However, federal prosecutors often have access to significantly more investigative resources than equivalent state or county prosecutors, as well as assistance from federal agencies like the Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Securities and Exchanges Commission, and more.
Because of this, representation from a seasoned defense attorney may be essential to effectively contesting federal criminal charges. Dedicated legal representatives who have experience negotiating with federal prosecutors and authorities could provide invaluable assistance in challenging allegations of:
Federal criminal cases are more serious than state-level cases and often require uniquely comprehensive and coordinated defense strategies as a result. Put simply, the quality of legal counsel you retain could make a substantial difference in the outcome of your case.
A New York federal criminal attorney could be the dependable ally you need to protect your best interests in the face of federal prosecution. Call today to discuss your legal options with a professional.