Federal Crimes

Orlando Federal Crime Attorney

Standing in front of the judge as he announces that it’s United States of America v. YOU can be pretty scary. That means you’ve been charged with a federal crime – and the U.S. government is holding all the high cards. Federal prosecutors are very good at putting people in prison. It’s what they do. They’re highly motivated, well-trained career professionals with large staffs and almost unlimited resources.

So if you’ve been charged with a federal crime, everything – your future, your freedom, sometimes your very life – depends on the knowledge, expertise and skill of the federal criminal defense attorney representing you against the awesome and sometimes arbitrary power of the United States Department of Justice. If you are facing federal criminal charges in the Greater Orlando area, call  407-644-2466 to talk with an experienced federal defense attorney at the Rivas Law Firm.

What crimes are federal offenses?

Most crimes are prosecuted by the state because the laws of an individual state have been violated. But many crimes violate laws passed by Congress or occur on federal property and are therefore federal offenses.

Federal crimes include kidnapping, bank robbery, mail or credit card fraud, child pornography, tax evasion and counterfeiting. The most common type of federal criminal cases involve violations of immigration law: illegal entry, illegal re-entry, smuggling immigrants, or visa fraud. In fact, nearly two thirds of people arrested by federal law enforcement agencies are non-U.S. Citizens.

The second most common federal criminal prosecutions involve drug trafficking–the manufacture, sale, transportation or possession of illegal drugs, mainly methamphetamine and cocaine. Firearms offenses are the third most common federal crime prosecuted, involving illegal possession or transportation of weapons or ammunition.

What happens when you are charged with a federal crime?

If you’re arrested on state charges, the state prosecutor or district attorney will press charges against you and your case will be heard by a trial judge in a state court. However, if you are facing federal criminal charges, the case will be prosecuted by a United States Attorney. The U.S. Attorney’s office will use federal investigators from an agency like the Drug Enforcement Agency or the FBI, often in conjunction with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, to build a case against you and present it to a grand jury. The grand jury will likely issue an indictment. There will be an arraignment— a hearing at which you will enter a plea and the judge will decide if you can be released on bail.

An Orlando Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer can Help

There are many steps involved in a federal criminal prosecution and it’s vital to have a criminal defense attorney who knows his way around a federal court room.  Federal criminal penalties can involve lengthy prison terms and many carry mandatory sentencing. Prosecutors use the threat of years in prison to pressure defendants into giving up their right to a trial by making plea bargaining deals. In fact, almost all defendants charged with federal crimes plead guilty rather than risking a lengthy prison term by going to trial.

When it comes to federal crimes, the judge has a lot of power to determine how much time a defendant will spend in prison. That’s why it’s crucial to be represented by an experienced, effective criminal defense attorney who knows how to present your side of the story and can make a persuasive argument on your behalf. If you’re looking for the best criminal defense attorney in Orlando, consider the expert lawyers at the Rivas Law Firm. Call 407-644-2466 to speak with an attorney today.