Here Are 5 Things to Know About Federal Crimes

What are 5 Things to Know About Federal Crimes?

  1. If you receive a letter stating that you are the target of a Grand Jury Investigation, never speak to a Federal Agent without first consulting an attorney. The agent wants to hand you the rope that you will hang yourself with. If you tell them you want to speak with a Federal criminal lawyer first, they will understand.
  2. Never appear before the Grand Jury without consulting a lawyer first. If you get a Grand Jury subpoena the first thing you should be doing is calling an experienced Federal criminal lawyer. People often think that they have “nothing to hide” and that they are telling the truth. The Grand Jury is not so grand. It’s a tool used by the Government to charge people with crimes by Indictment.
  3. If you think you may be arrested for a Federal crime, hire a lawyer beforehand. You may not have to spend one night in jail if a lawyer can secure your release on pre-trial conditions at the Detention Hearing. The hearing is usually the same day that you are arrested, so that’s why you need to think ahead.
  4. If you have a Federal criminal case, make sure you hire an attorney that understands the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and how they may apply to your case. The guidelines are becoming more complex every year and they were already extremely complex to begin with. Your Federal criminal lawyer should be able to give you an idea about the amount of prison time you are facing if you lose at trial versus pleading guilty and not going to trial.
  5. Ask your attorney how many Federal criminal trials they have handled and how long they have been admitted to practice in Federal court. Easily 85% of criminal defense lawyers do not practice Federal criminal law even though they may be admitted to do so.

Written by

Ray Lopez has practiced since 1990, with prior experience as a Hillsborough County assistant State attorney and lawyer for the Tampa Police Department. He handles all criminal charges, from traffic violations and misdemeanors to serious felonies and federal drug charges. He practices in all state and federal courts of the Tampa Bay area and throughout Florida, as well as criminal appeals, juvenile court, administrative hearings, and civil forfeiture proceedings.

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