The most notable federal criminal charges in Florida currently involve allegations of Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy against former President Donald Trump in the Mar-a-Lago documents case.
But most federal charges in Florida involve less sensational crimes and ordinary defendants. Statistics show that most federal convictions nationwide are for drug charges, followed by immigration violations.
The odds for Trump or anyone else charged with federal crimes aren’t good. According to the Pew Research Center, 9 out of 10 federal defendants pleaded guilty as part of a plea bargain, and more than 99% of those who went to trial were convicted. That’s why it’s so important when charged with a federal crime to find the best federal criminal lawyer you can, one who knows federal law and how to negotiate with federal prosecutors.
Federal Criminal Charges in Florida at a Glance
In fiscal year 2021, there were 57,287 individual original cases reported to the United States Sentencing Commission in Florida. This represented a decrease of 11.3% from the previous year and the lowest number of cases since 1999. While the overall caseload decreased, some crime types experienced an increase. Drug trafficking cases increased by 7.4%, and firearms cases increased by 8.1%. On the other hand, immigration cases saw a significant decrease of 36.2%.
Federal Offenders by Type of Crime
The majority of federal felonies and Class A misdemeanors in Florida fall into four categories: drugs, immigration, firearms, fraud, theft, or embezzlement. These crime types accounted for 83.1% of all cases reported to the United States Sentencing Commission in fiscal year 2021. Drug offenses overtook immigration offenses as the most common federal crime, accounting for 31.3% of the total caseload. Immigration offenses followed closely behind at 29.6%, while firearms offenses accounted for 14.2%, and fraud, theft, or embezzlement accounted for 8.0%.
Individual Offender Characteristics
In Florida, male offenders make up the majority, accounting for 86.7% of all individuals sentenced in fiscal year 2021. Men were most commonly sentenced for immigration offenses, while women were more commonly involved in drug trafficking offenses. The racial distribution of offenders varied across offense types, with Hispanic offenders making up 95.1% of immigration offenders. The majority of offenders were United States citizens (66.4%) compared to non-U.S. citizens (33.6%).
The Most Common Federal Criminal Charges in Florida
Drug offenses were the most common federal criminal charges in Florida, accounting for 31.3% of the total caseload. Methamphetamine cases were the most prevalent, followed by cocaine, heroin, marijuana, fentanyl, and other drugs. Offenses involving weapons were present in 23.9% of all drug trafficking cases.
Seeking Legal Representation
A criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with federal court procedures is essential because there are numerous steps in prosecuting federal criminal charges. Sentencing upon conviction for federal criminal charges sometimes includes mandatory minimum sentences and long prison terms. In exchange for plea agreements, prosecutors utilize the prospect of lengthy prison terms to intimidate defendants into giving up their right to a trial. In reality, the overwhelming majority of people accused of federal offenses choose to enter a guilty plea rather than face a lengthy jail sentence by going to trial. You need a federal criminal attorney who understands the tactics of federal prosecutors and knows when to push back.
When facing federal criminal charges in Florida, it is crucial to have experienced and aggressive legal representation. The Orlando criminal defense attorneys at the Rivas Law firm know how to fight for your rights within the complexities of the federal legal system. If you’re looking for the best federal criminal defense attorney in Orlando, consider reaching out to the Rivas Law Firm. Call 407-644-2466 for a free, confidential consultation.