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Why Choose Patrick J. Mclain?

Federal Criminal Defense Attorney | Serving Dallas and the entire state of TX

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.

  • 20 years of active service in the Marine Corps
  • Former federal prosecutor
  • Former USMC defense attorney
  • Retired court martial trial judge

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.

Federal Criminal Defense

  • White Collar
  • Fraud
  • Murder
  • Drugs
  • Rape
  • Assault
  • Sexual Crimes
  • Child Pornography
  • Indecency with a Child
  • Sexual Assault of a Child

What is a federal crime?

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:

  • Tax fraud
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Drug trafficking and drug crimes
  • Racketeering
  • Corruption
  • Import and export violations
  • Conspiracy
  • Computer crimes
  • Child pornography offenses
  • Online solicitation offenses
  • Sex trafficking crimes
  • Firearms crimes
  • Internet crimes
  • Money laundering
  • Environmental crimes
  • Insurance fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Terrorism

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.

The Federal Criminal Process

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:

Pre-trial Actions

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.

The Trial

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.

Post-trial Motions

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.

Appeals Process

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.

Penalties for a Federal Criminal Conviction

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:

  • Prison time
  • Probation
  • Fines
  • Restitution

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.

Why You Need a Lawyer for Federal Charges

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) 416-9100.

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Don’t Just Take Our Word For It

Here are some kind words from our valued clients

  • Patrick is the tough love type of attorney. He will not hold your hand and do everything for you. What he will do is assign you the tasks that need to be completed in order to obtain a successful ruling in your favor. If you are serious about winning, he is the attorney for you.Glenn D.
  • Patrick did an outstanding job with my formal Physical Evaluations Board for the Air Force. He kept me on task with what was needed and is a great taskmaster. He was professional and extremely ethical, which is a great thing when it comes to a lawyer. He was successfully able to argue for a full retirement for me. I can’t say enough about what an outstanding lawyer Patrick McLain is. Choose him and you can’t go wrong.Stephen S.
  • I have found my lawyer Patrick McLain, to be honest, right to the point, consistently giving me realistic outcomes through the whole process of my case. He’s definitely no nonsense, cut to the chase. As a client…I’ve never been left hanging; he makes sure all my correspondence is returned. He’s got amazing strength and integrity with the combination of experience, insight, and knowledge of criminal law. He stands behind his words and expects the same in return. I say my blessings every day for him taking my case. With him as my attorney, I’ve achieved best possible outcomes.Gina F.
  • Because of my foreign birth, my Air Force career seemed unjustly doomed. Mr. McLain could not possibly have been more understanding, knowledgeable and professional. He took the facts of my case, and because he knew exactly how to express exactly what needed to be expressed, my case didn’t even go to DOHA. Mr. McLain really is, based on my own personal experience, a true professional, an ace at his job (aside from apparently honest and ethical human being). There wasn’t a question or concern that I had, during an entire year, that wasn’t competently addressed, at times long past normal business hours. I highly, highly recommend Mr. McLain and the professionals he chooses for his team.K.N., San Antonio

Get Connected With Us

Law Office of Patrick J
McLain, PLLC
Dallas Office
3316 Oak Grove Ave #200e
Dallas, TX 75204
Phone:(214) 416-9100

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