A conviction for a federal crime carries serious penalties, including significant jail time, fines, and probation. We are familiar with federal laws and understand the challenges criminal defendants face in federal court. Knowing that you may not have any experience with the judicial system, we will help you navigate the process and fight tirelessly to protect your freedom
Why do I need a federal crime defense attorney?
Although most criminal prosecutions take place in state courts, federal laws make certain offenses federal crimes. Commonly charged federal crimes include drug crimes, mail fraud, child pornography, identity theft, and computer crimes. Ultimately, state-level criminal defense experience is not sufficient when it comes to federal defense. Federal criminal trials are often incredibly complex and are governed by exacting rules of procedure.
Federal White Collar Crimes
The United States Code lists over 200 federal crimes, many of which fall under the category of white-collar crimes — nonviolent crimes motivated by financial gain. White-collar crimes include:
- Bank fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Identity theft
- Health care fraud (Medicare/Medicaid fraud)
- Insurance Fraud
- Money laundering
- Mortgage fraud/real estate fraud
- Securities fraud
- Tax fraud
- Mail fraud/wire fraud
The consequences for conviction of white-collar crimes are serious and include prison time, fines, home detention, community confinement, and paying the cost of prosecution. When a white-collar crime victim suffers substantial financial harm, Federal Sentencing Guidelines call for longer prison sentences.
Federal Drug Charges Lawyers
The federal Controlled Substances Act criminalizes the possession and distribution of certain drugs. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enforces the laws outlined in the Controlled Substances Act. The Act classifies drugs into five different Schedules or categories. The law also establishes regulations for distributing and manufacturing drugs. The Act defines the following federal drug crimes:
- Drug manufacturing
- Drug trafficking
- Continuing criminal enterprise crimes
- Conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, or import illegal drugs
- Distributing illicit drugs in unlawful locations or to persons under the age of 21
- Simple possession of controlled substances without a valid prescription
- Investing drug profits from illegal drug sales in interstate businesses
Federal Firearms Charges
Several federal laws regulate the purchase and possession of firearms. Many New Yorkers do not realize that they can face both state and federal charges related to firearms. The use of a gun in the commission of another crime can result in significant sentencing enhancements. Most federal firearm charges involve the illegal possession, use, transfer, shipping, and procurement of firearms. Federal prosecutors most frequently charge the following crimes:
- Felony possession of a firearm
- Using or carrying a firearm when committing a crime of violence
- Making false statements concerning firearms purchases
- Stolen firearms offenses
- Possession and sale of firearms with altered or obliterated serial numbers
- Unlawful possession or transfer of machine guns
Sexual Abuse of a Minor Charges
Although state governments traditionally prosecute sex crimes, federal prosecutions for sexual crimes have increased over the last forty years. To secure a conviction for the sexual abuse of a minor, federal prosecutors must prove the defendant knowingly engaged or attempted to participate in a sexual act with a person (1) between the ages of 12 and 16 years old, and (2) at least four years younger than the defendant. Defendants convicted of sexual abuse of a minor face a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
Federal Child Pornography Charges
Possession, distribution, or production of child pornography is a federal crime. Child pornography includes any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer-generated image or other visual depiction that shows sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. The pornography must be produced by electronic or mechanical means, including a modification or creation of visual images.
The penalties for federal pornography crimes are severe. The penalty for coercing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct to produce pornography is a sentence of 15 to 30 years of incarceration. Most child pornography convictions result in sentences between 5 and 20 years. Repeat convictions will increase the length of prison time for child pornography convictions.
Federal Crime Sentencing Guidelines
Federal courts use the Federal Sentencing Guidelines when sentencing defendants convicted of federal crimes. Federal judges consider the following factors, among others, during sentencing:
- Whether or not the crime involved injury to another person
- Whether or not the defendant possessed or used a weapon during the crime
- The criminal history of the defendant
Judges have the discretion to depart from the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. However, the sentences must stay within the mandatory minimum and maximum sentencing requirements set forth by federal statutes. Enhanced penalties may apply when a crime occurs in a protected zone or a school.
At CDH Law PLLC, our lawyers use evidence gathered in our investigation of the case to show that government prosecutors can not meet their burden of proving every element of the crime. Additionally, when prosecutors cannot justify mandatory sentencing requirements, we fight hard to decrease the severity of the sentences.
Contact an Experienced New York Federal Crime Defense Attorney
Facing federal criminal charges can be confusing and frightening. Federal prosecutors have many powerful teams of attorneys and investigators at their disposal. At CDH Law PLLC, we have the skills and resources to level the playing field. Our criminal defense lawyers have a well-earned reputation for providing our clients with powerful representation and fighting to protect their rights. The sooner you contact our office, the sooner we can get started defending your freedom.