If you have received a federal accusation, you will need assistance from a professional federal criminal defense lawyer in Virginia who can fight for your rights while acting as an aggressive advocate for your defense. While your situation may be daunting, know that you do not have to face it alone. A skilled attorney can gather evidence and interview key witnesses for your case while offering you legal advice accumulated through years of dedicated practice in the courtroom. Read on to learn more about how a skilled federal criminal defense lawyer in Virginia could potentially make a difference in your case.
A Virginia federal criminal lawyer can help in circumstances where an individual is facing federal charges in a U.S. District Court in Virginia. In general, the crimes that occur within Virginia’s borders are prosecuted by the Commonwealth’s Attorney for a particular city or county. In most states, these prosecutors are called Assistant or Deputy District Attorneys. However, crimes that violate federal law are prosecuted by federal prosecutors who work for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). Most federal criminal cases are handled by the United States Attorney’s Office, which is a regional branch of the DOJ. Federal criminal cases are also handled by other federal prosecutors who work within various specialized units in the Criminal Division of the DOJ.
Some examples of the types of criminal cases brought by federal prosecutors where a Virginia federal criminal defense attorney can help include narcotics trafficking and/or conspiracy cases, crimes that involve interstate commerce or that cross state or international borders, crimes involving financial markets, health care fraud, crimes related to political elections or public corruption offenses, terrorism or national security offenses, and crimes that occur on federal property or within a federal territory.
White-collar crimes including embezzlement, tax fraud, and health care fraud are but a few categories of federal criminal offenses frequently handled in the United State District Courts of the eastern and western districts of Virginia. Federal sex crimes such as the distribution of child pornography, transporting minors for illicit sex, child sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and international sex tourism are also handled in federal courts.
Regardless of the offense with which someone is charged, federal criminal offenses are serious and could result in a substantial period of incarceration for those convicted. Obtaining legal representation from a federal criminal defense attorney in Virginia knowledgeable about federal criminal prosecutions is the best way to protect one’s rights and reputation amid such potentially devastating allegations. Federal criminal charges are very serious and it is invaluable to consult with an experienced attorney to learn about how they can help in a case.
Federal crimes are investigated by many different highly skilled and specialized government agencies, some of which include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the United States Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Sometimes these federal agents also work together with state, county, or local police in specialized task forces. Assistant US Attorneys or other federal prosecutors use the evidence obtained by these federal agencies and task forces to build their cases. A federal case process may also include a federal grand jury investigation and indictment prior to arrest.
Additionally, these investigations will likely continue even after an arrest and into actual court proceedings. Anyone who is a target of a federal grand jury investigation or is aware that they are being investigated for federal criminal charges should secure a qualified federal criminal defense lawyer in Virginia to provide a strong defense. During investigations, there is also the possibility that constitutional issues can arise, making assistance from a trusted attorney an invaluable asset.
Federal criminal laws are enumerated in the United States Code. Some of the acts described therein are prohibited under both state and federal law, but the particular circumstances of the case will determine the appropriate jurisdiction. As such, white-collar crimes can be filed as state or federal offenses. Embezzlement and fraud may be prosecuted as crimes in federal court or the local Commonwealth of Virginia state courts. Some commonly prosecuted federal white collar crimes in Virginia where a Virginia federal criminal lawyer can help include:
If an individual has been accused of any of the above crimes, they should highly consider reaching out to a federal criminal defense lawyer in Virginia as soon as is practicable to gain legal protection and assistance.
Embezzlement can be defined as the act of taking or misappropriating money or property that an individual has access to and converting it for personal use. This often involves an employee or volunteer who has control of or access to the accounts of a company that has been accused of misappropriation. An individual committing embezzlement may utilize false billing, alter account books, abuse company credit cards, forge checks, or otherwise unlawfully access funds for personal expenditures. Embezzlement can involve the stealing of tangible property beyond money, such as certain types of property theft.
For example, a construction worker or foreman who is accused of taking building materials from a federal job site in a government-owned vehicle could be prosecuted for embezzlement and the unauthorized use of a government vehicle. This would be an example of an embezzlement-related federal crime. Federal embezzlement laws are outlined in Title 18 Chapter 31 of the United States Code. There are a number of statutes pertaining to specific types of embezzlement and theft. A conviction for embezzlement of property valued at $1,000 or less is punishable by a maximum of one year in prison. A conviction for embezzlement of property which exceeds a value of $1,000 carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. Those convicted of federal embezzlement also face the possibility of hefty fines and restitution.
Embezzlement charges are often accompanied by charges of tax fraud. Americans are required to pay taxes on all income, even if it has been obtained illegally. If someone embezzles $30,000 and fails to report that $30,000 on their tax return, they can be charged with tax evasion in addition to embezzlement. Tax fraud can be defined as any attempt to circumvent paying taxes owed to the federal government, whether that occurs through not claiming all of one’s income, claiming deductions to which one may not be entitled, or overstating deductions. In addition to IRS civil penalties for tax evasion or late payment, someone who attempts to avoid paying taxes faces a federal felony charge of tax fraud, which is punishable by five years in prison, a fine of up to $100,000 (and up to $500,000 for corporations), and restitution for the costs of prosecution. If someone has been accused of tax fraud, a federal criminal defense attorney in Virginia may be able to offer their assistance.
Federal authorities estimate that health care fraud in the United States costs taxpayers billions of dollars annually. Because of this, the federal government has enacted numerous laws to prohibit and punish those it deems in violation of such laws. While Medicare and Medicaid fraud can be committed by both patients and healthcare providers, the majority of cases prosecuted in federal court involve medical providers who allegedly abuse the system by making false claims in order to obtain compensation greater than what they are rightfully entitled to for the medical services they actually provided. Common prosecutions for alleged Medicare fraud by providers include:
The general health care fraud statute is found in 18 U.S.C. Section 1347. Under this statute, anyone who attempts to defraud a health care benefits program can be prosecuted under this statute and if convicted faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. The statute also has sentencing enhancements for offenses that involve serious bodily injury, increasing the maximum penalty to 20 years in prison.
US District Courts located within the eastern and western Districts of Virginia are under the jurisdiction of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is located in Richmond, Virginia. The Fourth Circuit has jurisdiction over all appeals for federal cases handled within Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. A federal criminal lawyer in Virginia is admitted to practice in federal court and can represent you against federal charges. An attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of your defense that can potentially benefit your case. A skilled federal criminal defense lawyer in Virginia can compile evidence, interview witnesses, and aggressively fight for your representation in court. If you are facing federal charges, consider reaching out to a dedicated federal criminal defense lawyer in Virginia today.