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An experienced federal crimes lawyer can be your most effective weapon in fighting serious criminal charges in federal court. Patrick J. McLain, Attorney at Law, gives his clients tough, ethical, and knowledgeable advice as an attorney with over 25 years of federal criminal defense experience. We provide the dedicated and professional representation you need to fight federal criminal charges.
As a former federal prosecutor, criminal court judge, and U.S. Marine Corps officer, Patrick McLain understands who you are facing and what it takes to win a fight, inside and outside the courtroom. We work with clients facing federal criminal prosecution for mail fraud, drug crimes, child pornography or other computer crimes, wire fraud, forgery, document tampering, gun crimes, white collar crimes, and more. Whether you are facing charges involving illegal firearms and narcotics, or securities fraud and computer crimes, you need a powerful and experienced federal criminal defense attorney on your side.
We take pride in the services we provide. We have the resources to handle the most complex federal criminal matters. Our clients rely on us to protect their lives and their reputations when the stakes are at their highest. We understand what that means. When you or someone you love faces charges in a federal court or state court, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a powerful advocate.
If you are being investigated for a crime, or if you have been charged, contact us today to schedule a consultation with an accomplished federal criminal defense lawyer. Our phones are answered at any time of day or night so that our clients to get in touch with us 24/7.
A federal crime is either an allegation of a violation of federal code, or the alleged conduct occurred on federal property. State and federal criminal proceedings are very different, and your attorney needs to know those different procedures.
Most alleged federal are white-collar crimes. That is, they are allegations of non-violent crimes, and involve accusations of cheating, stealing, or lying. Here are some of the main charges when you need a federal crime lawyer:
But almost all federal convictions; whether for violent crimes like arson, murder, or terrorism or white collar crimes, result in penalties that are likely to be severe.
Know that the federal criminal process and the state criminal process are different. This is what you need to know about the federal criminal process:
When a federal crime is charged, the U.S. attorney is the prosecutor who brings charges against the defendant. The evidence must be reviewed by a grand jury to decide if the charges will be indicted; that is, sent to a federal court. If the grand jury determines that there is enough evidence to maintain the charges against the defendant, then the defendant must stand trial. The grand jury is not the trial jury that will issue a verdict of guilty or not guilty — the grand jury’s purpose is only to determine whether or not there is enough evidence to even try the defendant in the first place.
If a trial is to take place, then a judge must make a determination about whether or not the defendant should be held in jail during the course of the trial, or if they can be released . Usually, this decision is made by considering the type of crime for which the accused is standing trial, as well as the accused’s previous criminal background, and whether he or she is considered a ‘flight risk’. In most federal criminal cases, there is no bond; the defendant is either kept in detention pending trial or released under some sort of conditions of release.
The next step is entering a plea at an arraignment. The defendant will have the charges against her or him read in open court. Then the defendant will plead guilty or not guilty. A defendant should always plead not guilty, since the evidence has not yet been presented to the defendant’s attorney, and there is much to discuss before a decision on a plea can be made.
If the accused chooses to plead ‘not guilty,’ then a trial will occur in which the U.S. government must prove that the defendant is guilty of the charged crime by legal and competent evidence beyond a reasonable doubt; the defendant does not have to prove her or his innocence. During the trial, evidence will be presented, questions (direct examinations and cross examinations) will take place, witness and expert testimony will be given, and the prosecution and the defense will have argue their cases. A jury (unless the defendant chooses to be tried by the judge alone) will then go to the deliberation room and discuss the evidence and vote until they get a verdict of guilty or not guilty.
If the verdict issued by the jury is ‘not guilty,’ then the defendant is free to go; if the verdict is ‘guilty,’ then the defendant will have a sentence determined. The federal judge determines the sentence in federal cases.
When a person is convicted of a federal crime, they have the right to file a motion to appeal on any legal errors, i.e. something the judge did wrong. An appeal is not a retrial, rather it is like a motion that is filed to question the grounds on which the verdict of ‘guilty’ was issued. An appeal alleges that misconduct or another type of legal error took place during the original trial, overturning either the verdict the sentence.
Often the punishment for committing a federal crime is much more severe than is the punishment for committing a similar state crime. There are four typical penalties for committing a federal crime:
For white-collar crimes, the penalty may include a large fine and a prison sentence; for violent crimes, a sentence of life imprisonment or even capital punishment may result.
Federal criminal cases are usually much more complicated and based on a greater volume of evidence than state criminal cases, even if the crime in nonviolent in nature. Furthermore, the state and federal criminal processes are very different, and a comprehensive understanding of the federal criminal process is essential when building a defense.
Being convicted of a federal charge can change your life. Attorney Patrick J. McLain is the proven trial lawyer to fight for you. To learn more about Patrick J. McLain, call us now at (214) 308-5972.