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Federal Crimes

Dallas Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers

We Have the Experience to Face Your Charge

An experienced and reputable attorney can be an effective weapon in fighting criminal charges in federal court. At the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, we offer our clients legal advice, guidance, and representation backed by over 30 years of courtroom experience.

Our defense team is led by Patrick McLain, a former federal prosecutor, criminal court judge, and U.S. Marine Corps officer. He knows what you are up against and what it takes to win a fight, inside and outside the courtroom. 

Our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Dallas can guide you through the legal process, protecting your rights at every opportunity.

Call our firm at (214) 238-9392 to schedule your initial consultation. Se habla español.

What Is a Federal Crime?

Generally, a federal crime is a transgression that violates the United States federal legal codes. An offense is also considered a federal crime if it crosses state lines. When a crime traverses the boundaries of one or more states or involves federal property, it falls under the jurisdiction of federal courts.

Federal offenses tend to carry penalties more severe than state-level offenses and are prosecuted by government agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Agency and the IRS.

Having a federal criminal defense lawyer on your side can be invaluable if you’ve been charged with a federal crime. Our attorneys understand how the prosecution gathers evidence and builds your case accordingly, protecting your freedoms and providing an aggressive defense.

Cases We Handle

We handle a wide range of federal crimes, including:

Various government agencies can be involved during a federal investigation, including:

  • FBI
  • DEA
  • ATF
  • IRS
  • Office of Inspector General
  • US Postal Inspection Services
  • U.S. Secret Service
  • Immigration & Customs Enforcement
  • Customs & Border Patrol
  • Joint Terrorism Task Force
  • “The experience, passion and most importantly the care provided cannot be beaten.”
    “I would get consistent phone calls making sure that I was okay mentally, and not letting myself get painted as a number or a problem despite my command's efforts.”
    - John
  • “Best attorney”
    “Mr. Patrick McLain equals instant and good results for you. Hiring Mr. Patrick McLain is the best decision I had made throughout my military career.”
    - Master Sergeant Michael A Heath Jr.
  • “A Marine through and through. He is dedicated to taking care of his clients.”
    “He is an excellent lawyer who gives his all for you and gets things done. He has a no-nonsense approach that gets you results.”
    - Scott S.
  • “First class lawyer!!!!!”
    Patrick saved my career and my life by proxy, he did everything and more you would HOPE for from a lawyer. Patrick is what you need if you want to win your case!
    - David L.
  • “If anyone needs an attorney that will stand with you during your time of trouble, look no further.”
    “Patrick has truly become a good friend and if anyone needs an attorney that will stand with you during your time of trouble, look no further. Patrick J. Mclain is this man.”
    - Child Abuse Client

Can I Face Charges in Federal & State Court? 

The United States Constitution’s Fifth Amendment protection against double jeopardy prevents an individual from being tried twice for the same offense; however, it does not apply when separate sovereign entities bring forth charges for the same crime. This is due to something called the “dual sovereignty doctrine.” 

The dual sovereignty doctrine establishes that a state government and the federal government are separate sovereigns, each with its own laws and associated penalties. If a crime violates both state and federal law, you can be theoretically charged in both state and federal court; however, this is not likely. In most cases, legal professionals working for the state and federal government will determine at which level you will be charged.

Federal Investigations

A federal investigation is initiated when authorities have reason to believe that a federal crime has been committed. This process typically commences before any charges are formally filed and can span weeks, months, or even years.

During a federal investigation, the federal government, employing the resources of agencies like the FBI, DEA, or IRS, gathers evidence related to an alleged crime. This evidence collection can involve various activities, from executing search warrants and conducting surveillance to interviewing witnesses and suspects.

The collected evidence is then presented to a federal prosecutor, who reviews it to decide whether there’s sufficient proof to justify charging someone with a federal crime. The decision to proceed with charges can lead to an indictment by a federal grand jury, a group of citizens convened to evaluate the strength of the prosecutor’s case.

The gravity of being the subject of a federal investigation cannot be overstated. Such a situation demands a careful and strategic response guided by an understanding of federal law and procedure. Our team can help you through the process, from the first sign of an investigation to your case’s conclusion.

Understanding The Federal Court System

The United States federal court system is a complex network of courts with jurisdiction over matters involving federal law. These courts function independently of state and local courts and have their own rules and procedures.

The federal court system encompasses three levels: 

  • U.S. District Courts are the trial courts of the federal system. They handle a wide range of cases, such as violations of federal laws, constitutional disputes, cases involving the U.S. government, and more. If you are charged with a federal crime, your case will begin in a U.S. District Court.
  • The U.S. Courts of Appeals, or Circuit Courts, hear appeals from the District Courts. If you lose your case at the trial level, you can appeal the decision to one of these appellate courts. There are 13 Circuit Courts, twelve of which are geographical circuits. The Fifth Circuit covers Texas.
  • At the top of the federal court system is the United States Supreme Court, which hears a small percentage of cases from the U.S. Courts of Appeals. This court has the final say on matters of federal law, including the U.S. Constitution.

What Happens If Convicted of a Federal Crime?

The consequences of a federal crime conviction can be significant and often include both immediate and long-term effects. Immediate consequences may consist of federal imprisonment, substantial fines, and mandatory restitution to victims. However, the impact extends beyond these punishments. In some cases, a federal conviction can lead to the forfeiture of specific legal privileges, such as the ability to hold public office, serve on a jury, or own a firearm.

A criminal record can create obstacles in various aspects of life, such as securing employment, obtaining housing, or receiving certain licenses. Federal crimes are also often subject to mandatory minimum sentences, which restrict a judge’s discretion in sentencing.

Don’t Wait—Contact an Experienced Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Our Dallas federal criminal defense attorneys take pride in the legal services they provide. They have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex criminal matters. 

Our clients rely on us to protect their lives, reputations, and freedoms when the stakes are at their highest. When you or someone you love faces charges in a federal court, don’t hesitate to contact a powerful advocate at the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC.

Contact us online or call (214) 238-9392 today to schedule a consultation with an accomplished Dallas federal criminal defense lawyer. Our phones are answered at any time of day or night so that our clients can contact us 24/7.

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  • Former Federal Prosecutor & Military Judge
    Attorney Patrick J. McLain's years of experience across the aisle provide him with a unique perspective.
  • Over 3,500 Cases Successfully Handled
    Patrick J. McLain has helped thousands secure a better future with tenacious representation.
  • Our Firm is Top-Rated & Award-Winning
    Attorney Patrick J. McLain is widely respected by his peers & clients as seen by his numerous accolades.
  • Over Two Decades in the U.S. Marine Corps
    Attorney Patrick J. McLain tries all of his cases with integrity and unparalleled work ethic.