For many, the seriousness of a federal crime may not be fully understood at first. The federal prosecution process can feel complex, confusing, and in some cases, devastating to those being accused of or charged with a federal crime. It’s important to understand that federal judges adhere to different sentencing guidelines than state judges. Mandatory minimum sentences tend to be much longer for federal crimes than for state ones. Many people are surprised to find out that federal charges can be added on to state charges for the same offense. In some cases, multiple counts of a single federal charge can lead to extended prison sentences. This means that more than one federal charge may lead to years, even decades, in prison. As the magnitude of federal charges begins to sink in, accused parties may feel overwhelmed.
That’s why it’s so critical to have a quality Tampa federal defense attorney in your corner from day one. If you are being accused of federal crimes or suspect that charges may be brought against you, it is of the utmost importance that you contact a federal defense attorney as soon as possible. Taking action immediately may help you protect your rights, assets, and family. Charges may be reduced or lessened in severity if they are addressed properly and in time.
While public defenders usually have good intentions, these dedicated public servants are often times burdened by heavy caseloads or extremely busy schedules. When your very way of living is threatened, we recommend finding a legal professional who can give your case the time and attention that it demands. Our experienced and dedicated defense attorneys are ready to come to your aid. Joffe Law has successfully defended thousands of federal cases over the last thirty years and is ready to take on your case as well.
With decades of experience representing clients in Tampa/Hillsborough County and the surrounding areas, Joffe Law, P.A will devote the time and energy that you deserve when it comes to preserving your rights and freedoms. Our law firm strives to ensure that you will be treated fairly and with dignity in accordance with local laws. While you may be experiencing stress and fear in the face of potential charges, you can rest a bit easier knowing that you have a tried and true professional going to bat for you.
Joffe Law, P.A. has extensive experience in multiple areas of law in Florida, our firm specializes in the defense of federal crimes, drug crimes, fraud, and other kinds of white collar crimes. Federal criminal charges are nothing to be taken lightly and our firm understands this better than most.
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.
Are federal crimes different from state crimes?
Knowing the difference between federal and state crimes is important. Whether someone misunderstands the severity of the federal crime that they’ve allegedly committed or they are simply unaware of potential consequences that they may face, federal crimes can carry significantly more weight than other similar crimes that occur at a state level. The main difference between a federal crime and a state crime is that federal crimes are criminal offenses which break the specific laws set by United States federal administrations while state crimes are crimes that have broken state laws. Florida has different laws and constitutions than other states and some federal crimes fall under both federal and state categories. Any infraction of a federal legal code will be classified as a federal crime. There are also some differences in federal and state crime consequences. Federal crimes carry longer mandatory sentences and may also cost offenders significantly more financially.
Can a crime be prosecuted at both state and federal levels?
Many people don’t understand the complexities and procedural standards surrounding federal and state prosecution practices. The simple answer to whether the same crime can be prosecuted as a state and a criminal offense is, yes. The state of Florida can prosecute a criminal offender on both state and federal levels for the same offense. This means that a federal crime may have overlapping consequences if it also happens to be a state law. This is known as double jeopardy. while double jeopardy is usually a procedural defense that protects the accused person from being tried again for the same crime with the same evidence if a valid acquittal or conviction has been reached, federal crimes are exempt from this protection. This means that offenses that are being prosecuted at both at a state and federal level can lead to more consequences such as longer sentences, greater fines, and larger asset loss. This is one of the reasons that having an experienced defense attorney is so important. Your attorney can help protect you from certain consequences and potential legal procedures and consequences.
How serious are federal criminal charges?
Knowing the severity of an allegation, charge, or potential conviction will help you to more accurately determine what your next move will be. You should know that federal crimes are similar to state crimes in many ways, with some big exceptions. Generally speaking, federal crimes are considered to be much more serious than state crimes. They carry longer sentences and also fall under federal jurisdiction. Being that these crimes are enforced by agencies such as the FBI, DEA, ICE, USPS, and other similar agencies, they are considered to be more severe offenses. Crimes against federal property or related to interstate commerce, the United States Constitution, or other similar areas are also treated very seriously and thus carry more severe consequences.
What are the differences in sentencing for state and federal convictions?
Understanding what may happen next if you are successfully convicted of a federal crime is also important. The amount of time that you may be made to serve if you’re convicted of a federal crime and the potential consequent sentence is usually up to 85% more than the length of time you may serve if convicted and sentenced for a state crime. This means that federal sentencing and time served is much harsher than sentencing at a state level. Additionally, since double jeopardy does not apply to federal crimes, your sentence can be even longer if you are prosecuted at both federal and state levels. The right lawyer may be able to help you significantly decrease the amount of time that may need to be served. A federal defense attorney will also fight to protect your rights and help you find better options in these types of situations.
What constitutes a federal crime?
In the United States, a federal offense is an act that has been made illegal by federal legislation. When you’re prosecuted for a federal crime, you’ll be prosecuted at both a state and federal level. Thus, a federal crime is one that is prosecuted under federal criminal law instead of under state criminal law. In-drug related federal offenses, mandatory minimum sentences may be enforced if a federal law is implicated. In most federal criminal cases, federal government agencies are involved. These agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service, and sometimes even the Postal Service. The most common federal crimes are:
- drug-related crimes
- white-collar crime
Those charged with drug offenses may be wondering exactly what constitutes a federal drug crime. Drug charges can become federal at any time. They can also be prosecuted at both state and federal levels without being subject to any kind of double jeopardy violation. This can be a real issue and impact the lives of potential offenders in very serious ways.
White collar crimes
While white collar crimes may sound less threatening than certain other charges, they can carry lengthy prison sentences and real-life repercussions. There are multiple different kinds of white collar crimes. Many people are surprised to find out that certain crimes fall under the category of federal white collar infraction. White collar crimes usually involve nonviolent, financially motivated infringements of federal law. Typical white collar crimes may include insider trading, tax evasion, embezzlement, Cybercrime, copyright infringement, and more. If you suspect that you may be accused of committing a white collar crime, it is paramount that you seek good legal representation as soon as possible.
Fraud can be a white collar crime or a separate type of crime. Fraud is a general term that can refer to many different offenses. In general, federal fraud is any type of intentional deception or misrepresentation that benefits you our others. The federal government penalizes many different kinds of fraud that has been identified under federal law. These federal laws have specific penalties associated with each type of federal fraud infraction. There are a wide array of crimes that may fall under the federal fraud category including but not limited to, mail and wire fraud, tax fraud, securities fraud, Medicaid and Medicare fraud, and more. Some people commit fraud accidentally or are unaware that they’ve even committed a crime at all. For that reason, having an experienced defender can be the difference between a slap on the wrist and a life-changing loss.
What are some other common federal charges?
Knowing what crimes constitute as federal offenses can be helpful as well. Apart from the other infractions previously listed, there are a few more federal crimes that are commonly prosecuted. Drug offenses, mail fraud, forgery, and other criminal offenses are often prosecuted at a federal level.
- drug offenses/trafficking – 21 USC Sec. 841
- internet fraud – 18 USC Sec. 1030
- mail fraud – 18 USC Sec. 1341
- forgery or counterfeiting – 18 USC Sec. 21
- organized crime – 18 USC Sec. 1961
How important is it to have a defense attorney?
It is critical to understand the importance of having a reliable Tampa federal defense lawyer available to help you handle your case. If you have not yet been contacted by anyone from one of the aforementioned federal law enforcement agencies but still suspect that you may face criminal allegations, contacting a lawyer first can be the best possible move. Everything that you say can and will be used against you in court. This is especially true at a federal level. Preemptively hiring a lawyer is your best shot at reducing or eliminating allegations, charges, and more. If you have already been contacted by a federal agent, you absolutely must call a criminal defense attorney who knows how to handle a case of this kind. The decisions that are made early on regarding your case can have an enormous impact on what its outcome will be. Every case is different and you’ll almost definitely need a professional to help you from the earliest stages of your case. The bottom line is this: the earlier you hire a professional federal attorney, the better the outcome will likely be for you and your situation.
What decisions will my lawyer help me make?
It can be very helpful to know what the next step will be when you hire a federal defense attorney. Your lawyer will help you make some big decisions regarding your next move. They will also inform you of what you can expect to happen next and what may happen as your case moves forward. Counsel will help you decide whether your case merits your cooperation with the federal government. Whether you cooperate or not will depend on the severity of potential charges and any evidence that could potentially be held against you. In addition, your criminal lawyer will help you decide or understand:
- if you will enter into an early plea of negotiations;
- deciding if you wish to enter into an early plea of negotiations is also a big decision;
- what kinds of federal charges (if any) may be filed against you.
- Your attorney will listen to your case or the information you provide and let you know what you should expect. In some cases, you may find that your situation is less severe that you may have previously thought. In other cases, you may find out that things are far more difficult than you can handle on your own as a civilian.
- If a plea agreement can be reached before any charges are filed at all
In some instances, certain plea agreements may be reached before any official charges are filed or added to your record. This is why it is so important to contact a professional defense lawyer from the very beginning stages of your case.
If you are facing criminal charges at a federal level, having the right federal defense attorney in your corner is essential. Whether you’ve been contacted by a federal agent or simply suspect that allegations may be brought against you, an experienced Tampa federal lawyer is a must. Joffe Law, P.A. is available to help residents of Tampa, FL and those who reside in the Hillsborough County area. He is an experienced federal attorney and an expert on federal crime. Knowing that you have an experienced professional at your side can bring you peace of mind and may well help you avoid many severe federal consequences. No matter what federal crime you’re facing, retaining a Hillsborough County federal defense lawyer immediately after being arrested is a wise move.