Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers in Raleigh, NC
If you have been contacted by an agent from a federal agency tasked with investigating criminal activity, such as the FBI (Federal Bureau of investigation), the Secret Service, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), or the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), you may be the target of a federal investigation. Federal criminal cases are often much different than state criminal cases, so it is essential that you have the help of an experienced federal criminal lawyer.
At Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, we represent people facing serious federal criminal charges. Our aggressive federal criminal defense attorneys take a collaborative approach to all our cases. When you hire us, you get the benefit of our collective 50 years of experience. If you believe you are the target of a federal investigation, contact the dedicated federal criminal defense attorneys of Kurtz & Blum, PLLC immediately.
Differences Between Federal and State Cases
Federal criminal cases significantly differ from state cases in regard to the systems they involve and the potential sentences defendants face.
Federal System vs. State System
The federal system itself functions differently from the state system. To start with, only certain types of crimes are prosecuted in the federal system.
Some of those crimes, like R.I.C.O. (Racketeer Influenced Criminal Organization Act) are entirely unique to the federal system while others are simply prosecuted federally because the crime was committed across state lines or because it involved a violation of both state and federal law but the United States Attorney’s Office deems it worthy of federal prosecution.
In state prosecutions, local law enforcement agencies may have limited budgets and resources. In contrast, the federal government has veritably unlimited resources at its disposal. Cases in the federal system receive far greater attention than state cases. Federal criminal investigations often involve intensive investigations by federal agents that produce significant compelling evidence.
Federal cases are handled in federal courts, which have different procedures than state courts. Federal prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office handle federal criminal cases while state prosecutors handle state offenses. Federal judges are appointed for life as opposed to North Carolina State judges who have to run for election.
The federal government rarely brings a case unless they have confidence in their ability to win. These factors combine to make defending federal crimes an exceptionally demanding task.
Sentencing for Federal Cases vs. State Cases
Federal crimes carry significant penalties. These harsh legal penalties are often due to the federal sentencing guidelines, which include mandatory minimum penalties for the commission of various federal crimes. Federal criminal penalties are often much harsher for similar offenses under state law. You can see mandatory minimums on this federal sentencing guidelines chart. If convicted, a defendant is sentenced to time in a federal prison instead of a state prison.
What to Do If the Federal Government is Investigating You
Unlike state criminal prosecutions, in which suspects are rarely notified that they are the target of an investigation, in federal prosecutions, suspects frequently receive so-called “target” letters notifying them that they are the subject of a federal investigation.
Federal criminal complaints and indictments also signify the beginning of a federal criminal prosecution. Once you have received notice that you are the target of a federal investigation, you should seek counsel immediately.
In fact, if at some point you are made aware that you are the target of an investigation, whether by law enforcement executing a search warrant or as the result of being contacted by federal agents, you should immediately seek counsel.
Acting quickly is paramount to the potential outcome of your case. In some situations, hiring a federal lawyer early in the process may allow us to get ahead of the case and prevent any charges from being filed. Even if that is not possible, federal criminal lawyers know the tactics federal agents use, and we can protect your rights and prevent you from incriminating yourself. We can also help you prepare if you are served with a grand jury subpoena and defend you against an indictment.
Why You Need a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
The federal justice system is much different than the state system. It is essential to have a federal criminal defense attorney familiar with the various rules relating to grand jury indictments, evidence discovery, and motion deadlines. You also want someone with experience handling specific federal offenses. For example, if you are facing federal drug charges, you will want an experienced drug defense lawyer who is familiar with testing procedures, search and seizure rules, and potential defenses for these federal criminal charges. An attorney for federal cases can take all actions to protect your legal rights and fight for the best outcome for your case.
Federal Crimes We Defend Against
At Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, our experienced federal defense lawyers can help to guide you through the process and avoid the many pitfalls that await. We can defend you from various federal criminal charges, including but not limited to:
- Mail Fraud
- Obstruction of Justice
- Identity Theft
- Tax Crimes
- Health Care Fraud
- Internet Fraud
- Bankruptcy Fraud
If you have any questions about your federal criminal case or the federal criminal defense lawyer cost, contact our criminal attorneys for a confidential consultation.