Federal Defense – What Crimes are Federal Offenses?

Austin Federal Crime Defense

The penalties for federal criminal cases are usually more severe than for state cases. Federal sentencing guidelines give the government a great deal of power, and the government has usually conducted a lengthy investigation before seeking an indictment. Federal cases are first heard by a grand jury, which gives the government an opportunity to see how a jury would receive a particular criminal case and also gives the government an opportunity to organize their presentation of the evidence prior to trial. For all of these reasons, federal cases are some of the most difficult cases to win. If you have a federal criminal case in Austin, you should hire an experienced Austin federal defense lawyer immediately.

Representing clients charged with serious federal crimes in Austin, including charges of:

  • Federal drug trafficking
  • Federal drug manufacturing
  • RICO cases
  • Wire fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud
  • SEC cases, tax fraud
  • Bank fraud, identity fraud
  • White collar crimes
  • Bank robbery
  • Internet crimes
  • Child pornography and solicitation of a minor
  • Interstate noncustodial kidnapping

Federal Drug Charge Defense

A federal drug charge is a very serious charge. Far beyond simple possession, a federal charge can have a far-reaching impact on all aspects of your life. Being convicted on a federal drug charge often involves a long prison sentence and a very big fine. A federal drug charge takes its toll on everything around you, including your family and your professional career. When you face federal drug charges, it is vital that you seek the advice of an attorney who knows how the federal court system works.

Types of Federal Drug Charges

Often the prosecution pursues charges that are significantly more serious than a simple possession of illegal drugs. When you face federal drug charges, hosts of other charges are typically included, such as:

  • Drug manufacturing
  • Drug trafficking
  • Transport of illegal substances
  • Distribution and intent to sell
  • Drug crimes involving the use of a weapon

Federal Drug Defense

Federal drug charges stem from the discovery of persons in possession, manufacturing or trafficking of controlled substances without a valid prescription, as well as other illegal drugs that have no legitimate usage, such as methamphetamine, crack, cocaine, heroin and/or ecstasy (MDMA). This amount must be large enough that it is unlikely to be for personal use.

Important considerations in forming an adequate defense against a federal drug charge are a review of the charges, as well as how the prosecution obtained the evidence against you. Unlawful evidence gathering used to justify your arrest, together with evidence intended for use at trial, can include:

  • Violating your 4th amendment rights by conducting an improper search and seizure
  • Using or admitting into evidence any material that was not secured by proper chain of custody documentation and procedure
  • Using unsubstantiated hearsay as evidence

Money Laundering

Money laundering is a white-collar crime that Austin-area prosecutors level with tremendous frequency. Texans who are accused of this offense should call a local criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Money laundering involves concealing the origins of monetary funds that were obtained illegally. Individuals who launder money typically do so in the following ways:

  • Falsifying business transaction records to hide the true source of individual payments
  • Including laundered funds in profit calculations to make it seem as if the money was collected by legitimate means
  • Operating international invoice scams, in which overseas “customers” help transfer illicit funds to banks in foreign tax havens

A person who is accused of money laundering should not fight his charges alone. A money laundering attorney may be able to help him avoid criminal penalties.

The Penalties for Money Laundering

In Texas, money laundering is treated as a serious crime that may be prosecuted under both state and federal statutes. The potential fines and prison sentences that are associated with money laundering convictions tend to increase in proportion to the amount of money that is involved. An individual who is found guilty of money laundering under federal law may incur up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000. Under Texas law, perpetrators who launder more than $200,000 automatically incur first-degree felony charges. Furthermore, a defendant’s business partners may also be accused of money laundering.

When to Hire an Lawyer for a Federal Case

People sometimes make the mistake of thinking that they do not need a lawyer for a grand jury investigation. The people being investigated know that they are being investigated and know that they are innocent, so they do not hire a lawyer. This is a very costly mistake. If you do not hire a lawyer for a grand jury investigation, you may be giving up very important rights and may be jeopardizing your case. To get the best result in your federal case and protect your rights, you should hire an Austin criminal defense attorney as soon as you know that you are being investigated.