Federal Defense Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale
Proudly Representing Miami, Tampa & Naples
Most people who are arrested and charged with a federal crime don’t immediately understand the severity of the charges they face. They’re not aware that many federal crimes could mean much more severe penalties versus charges at the state level, and they’re often shocked to find out how quickly the math adds up — Just a few charges — or multiple counts of a single charge — could mean decades in prison.
If you’re facing federal criminal charges, do not leave your fate in the hands of a public defender who has a stack of case files on his desk and is already over-extended coming in. When your freedom’s on the line, you need someone who will fight for you every step of the way. You need personal, dedicated representation from an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense law firm that has successfully defended more than 1,100 federal cases through the better part of the three decades.
Representing clients throughout Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Miami, Tampa, West Palm Beach and the rest of South Florida, Joffe Law, P.A. will work tirelessly to bolster your defense and ensure that you are treated fairly and in accordance with the law. You have rights, and we work vigorously to defend them.
When does a criminal charge become a federal criminal charge?
Federal crimes are offenses that are expressly prohibited under federal law. They may occur federal property, or involve people or property that is transported across state lines, overlapping state jurisdictions.
While the Fifth Amendment prohibits “double jeopardy,” the clause does not refer to cases that involve crimes that are recognized as offenses by both federal and state law. Therefore, it is possible for a defendant to be acquitted of a crime in state court, but later convicted in a federal court. Federal crimes are investigated by the FBI or, in some cases, other federal regulatory agencies. They are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and defendants appear before federal judges in Florida U.S. District Courts.
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.
Federal Cases We Defend
White Collar Crime
A phrase that is believed to have been coined in the 1930s, “white collar crime* refers to offenses that are mostly committed by business and government professionals. These crimes are non-violent in nature, and the motivation is financial gain. Most white collar crimes fall under the following categories:
- Ponzi schemes
- insider trading
- copyright infringement
- money laundering
- identity theft
- bank fraud
The federal government regulates white collar crimes through legislative acts passed by Congress and monitoring by regulatory agencies like the SEC and IRS. These offenses are investigated by the FBI; therefore, defendants must appear in federal court versus state court, though there are cases in which both federal and state governments have enacted legislation prohibiting certain white collar crimes. As federal offenses, white collar offenses typically carry very severe sentences, which may include prison time and large fines. In some situations, white collar defendants may also face civil court actions in addition to criminal punishment.
Defined as an intentional deception or misrepresentation that is intended to benefit the perpetrator or a third party, fraud is a federal offense. Fraud can take many different forms, including:
- tax fraud
- securities fraud
- mail and Wire frand
- Medicaid and healthcare fraud
Other common types of fraud include bank fraud, mortgage fraud, and ponzi schemes. Penalties for fraud may include up to 30 years imprisonment, probation, paying restitution to the victims, and paying fines. Being convicted of fraud can also severely limit an individual’s future employment prospects as well as impact social and personal relationships.
Violent sex crimes and those that are committed against minors are generally very aggressively prosecuted by state and federal governments. Though most sex crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the states, there are some over which the federal government is more likely to exercise authority in investigating and prosecuting:
- aggravated sexual assault
- sex crimes involving minors
- human trafficking
- crimes involving repeat sex offenders
- federal sex offender registry compliance violations
Crimes that involve child pornography are very aggressively investigated and prosecuted by the federal government. Federal law prohibits the possession, distribution, sale, and production of pornographic material that portrays a person who is under 18 years old. Defendants who are convicted of a child pornography-related offense are required to enroll and maintain their personal information in the federal sex offender registry, in addition to facing significant prison time.
Drug-related offenses may be prosecuted at the state and federal level. Trafficking cases are more likely to be prosecuted in federal court while most drug possession cases are processed by state courts. Federal law prohibits delivering illegal controlled substances as well as conspiring to deliver an illegal controlled substance. Cases that involve manufacturing and distributing drugs are also more likely to be prosecuted by the federal government. In addition to “street” drugs, prescription drugs have also become of increasing concern to federal law enforcement and prosecutors. Florida has grown increasingly notorious for its methadone clinics and has come under heightened scrutiny for its high volume of prescription drug-related offenses.
The term “alien” refers to a person who is not a citizen or national of the United States. The federal government prohibits the transportation of aliens beyond a designated port of entry of the United States. A person who does so for the purpose of private financial gain, labor, or commercial advantage may be fined and/or imprisoned for up to 10 years. An individual who causes injury to an alien in the course of smuggling may be imprisoned for up to 20 years. If the smuggler causes an alien’s death, he or she may be sentenced to life in prison. Federal law also recognizes aiding with alien smuggling and conspiring as criminal offenses.
When your freedom’s on the line, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney with a proven track record. Learn more about David Joffe’s experience defending federal cases in South Florida.
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Why Federal Charges Are So Serious
For most people who are facing a criminal charge, the race to find a seasoned Florida federal crimes defense attorney begins after they have been arrested. While it is important to have the help of a defense lawyer after being taken into police custody, in many cases, there are even earlier opportunities to get a lawyer involved and for individuals to avoid potential damage to their reputation, personal life, and career. By the time an arrest is made, law enforcement agencies have typically worked many hours and likely days to determine whether they will arrest someone in relation to a crime they are investigating. This is especially true of federal crimes. Hiring an attorney as early as possible can pay off later if the individual is eventually required to face charges in court. State and federal statutes often overlap; therefore, knowing the difference between state and federal crimes can be difficult. Anyone who believes he or she may be suspected of a crime should contact a Florida defense attorney to learn more about the nature of the potential charges and to determine the best way to proceed.
Federal Cases Handled
Our attorneys fight for your rights throughout the U.S.
Years of Experience
When your freedom is on the line, experience becomes critical.
Years Being AV Rated
Mr. Joffe is recognized as a top attorney by his peers.
Defending Ft Lauderdale, Naples, Miami, Tampa & West Palm
Google Local Reviews
My sister in South Florida was in trouble and I contacted David Joffe. With his extensive experience with all aspects of law, police, and how the system works he was able to guide my sister through what her options were with her particular situation. I felt much better after speaking to David and he was able to help resolve the situation before it got any worse. Thank you David!Patrick Duff
David is very intelligent and seasoned. Over 30 years practicing in Florida means he know the process and the players. As a family man he is compassionate of all situations and understands the ripple effect of legal troubles. His phone is always on to talk, even on the weekends. Gregg Grim
I've lived in Ft. Lauderdale most of my life and never once had any major issues with the law. My luck changed about a year ago. Although my charges were not bad as most, I did not want to discuss my situation with many people so I searched online for a criminal lawyer. I came across Joffe & Joffe who specialize in Criminal Law, and after meeting with him, I was confident (or as confident as one can be in this situation) he would be able to help me. He had my charges dropped significantly, in order for me to avoid any issues with my current employer. If you need a criminal defense attorney or a criminal lawyer in Fort Lauderdale or Miami- these are your guys! I just can't say enough about him! Too bad I can't really tell many about them, but I'll sure recommend them as often as possible.Google Reviewer