Los Angeles Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
Federal Crimes in Los Angeles
Everyone in California is under the jurisdiction of two distinct courts systems, the State Judiciary and the United States Judiciary. Crimes that are uniquely Californian (i.e. those that are prohibited by state statute, but not by federal law), such as texting while driving or conducting an unauthorized gambling operation, are prosecuted by the State of California. Crimes that are uniquely federal (such as bank robbery and wire fraud) are prosecuted by the federal government.
However, many serious crimes, such as drug, sex, and violent offenses, are prohibited by both Californian and federal law. These federal offenses are usually tried by the state, but, depending on the circumstances, could end up in a federal court or be tried by both courts in turn. How it plays out is up to the government alone and neither you nor your lawyer can control that outcome.
Dual Sovereignty vs. Double Jeopardy
Although rare, if you’ve committed a federal offense, your case may be tried twice – once in state court and once in federal court. The sentences will stack and can easily put you in prison for most, if not the rest of your life. Many clients mistakenly believe that if their case begins in one court they cannot be tried in another because of their constitutional protection against double jeopardy.
However, double jeopardy does not eliminate the possibility that your case may be tried twice. It only protects you from being tried twice by the same court jurisdiction or “sovereign.” Because federal crimes are prohibited by both the state and the federal government, these crimes are a dual offense against two separate sovereigns and thus may be prosecuted once by each.
This is why if there is any chance that your case may end up in federal court, even if it begins in state court, you should hire a federal defense attorney in Los Angeles from the very beginning.
What Are The Most Common Types of Federal Crimes In Los Angeles?
A federal defense attorney is required for any case that is tried in federal court. Usually, these are restricted to cases that affect national security, cross state lines, or involve federal property.
These crimes include (but are not limited to):
- Bank robbery
- Wire fraud
- Federal property crimes
- Money laundering
- Organized crime
- Major art or jewelry theft
- White-collar crimes
- Hate crimes
- Human trafficking
- Child pornography
If you’ve been accused of any of these crimes, or have been informed that the FBI is investigating your case, get a Los Angeles federal defense attorney immediately before talking to the police or federal agents.
Why Should I Hire a Los Angeles Federal Criminal Defense Attorney?
What you can control, however, is whether or not you plan ahead for the possibility that your case could end up in federal court by hiring a skilled Los Angeles federal defense attorney from the very start. Not all lawyers have been admitted to the federal bar and many of those who have been admitted practice there very seldom.
If you’ve committed a federal crime, whether it is uniquely federal or prohibited by both the federal and state governments, you should take great care to hire a lawyer who has the credentials and experience to handle your case through the entire process, such as those from Manshoory Law Group, APC.
Shaheen Manshoory has been admitted to all four of California’s United States District Courts, including the Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts. He excels at defending complex cases and can walk you through the entire process with skill and dignity.
How Much Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost?
The costs for a federal criminal defense attorney vary significantly. While it might seem like a great deal to opt for the lower-cost federal criminal defense lawyer option, this may hurt your case over the long term.
Here’s why: The best criminal defense lawyers have a wealth of experience and expertise that makes them worth the cost. They understand federal court processes, can quickly identify process or policy issues that may help your case and have experience in court against federal prosecutors.
What are the Common Defenses?
If you’ve been charged with a federal offense, the first thing to do is find the right criminal defense attorney. While it’s possible to defend yourself in federal court, the complexity of this process makes it extremely difficult to mount an effective defense. The right federal defense firms understand how the system works and can help guide you through every step of the process.
Once you’ve found the right lawyer, start collecting all relevant information and documents about your case. It’s a good idea to learn about the charges you’re facing, what potential sentence they carry and how your lawyer plans to make your defense.
Next, collect any relevant documents or evidence related to your case, then draft a written statement about what happened. While you may never need to use this statement in court, it can help you remember the details of your case as time goes on.
Call Now to Learn More
Have you been charged with a federal offense? The right Los Angeles federal criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the federal prosecution process and give you the best chance of a better outcome. Contact our lawyers today and discover how we can help.
Frequently Asked Questions
What crimes go to federal court?
Crimes that go to federal court are those that involve violation of federal laws. Examples of crimes that are heard before federal courts include armed robbery, antitrust, computer crimes, drug trafficking, forgery, bribery, motor vehicle theft, cyber crimes, and extortion. All told, there are several hundred crimes that fall under the purview of federal prosecutors.
What Does a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?
A federal criminal defense lawyer works in the best interest of their client through all steps of the case. This typically starts with an interview: Lawyers speak to clients about the case itself, the events leading up to and their subsequent arrest and charges.
They then investigate the case for potential defensive avenues, analyze available evidence, assist in jury selection, and participate in the trial itself by calling witnesses, cross-examining witnesses,es and making arguments to demonstrate that the prosecution has failed to meet the federal standard for burden of proof needed to convict.
If clients are sentenced for the crime or accept a plea bargain, federal criminal defense lawyers can help negotiate the sentence itself to have time served reduced or find options other than incarceration.
What are the Chances of Beating a Federal Case?
Pew Research notes that only 2 percent of federal cases go to trial, with most defendants opting to plead guilty or take a plea bargain before the trial stage is reached. But the fact remains that the chances of beating a federal case are tied to the facts at hand, and the ability of your federal defense lawyer to investigate and apply these facts in a court of law.
What are the 8 Types of Cases Heard in Federal Courts?
The eight types of cases that are heard in federal courts are:
- Cases related to the U.S. constitution
- Violations of federal laws (as listed above)
- Disagreements among state governments
- Lawsuits that involve citizens in different states
- Someone suing or being sued by the U.S. government
- Disputes that include foreign governments
- Maritime laws and violations
- Cases in foreign nations that involve U.S. officials
Is There Bail in Federal Cases?
There is no bail in federal court cases and no system of bail bonds. Instead, these cases use what’s known as “pre-trial release”. Under pre-trial release, federal judges can approve or deny any request for release before trial. To deny a request, judges must articulate why they believe personal recognizance will not be enough to have defendants return for trial, or describe why defendants are a potential danger to the community.
They may also grant a conditional release that includes specific limitations of movement or activity to ensure defendants’ appearance at trial.
How Serious is a Federal Charge?
Federal charges are typically more serious than their state counterparts. Conviction may result in a fine or prison sentence and judges have broad authority to consider the nature of the possible crime and its impact when making decisions about sentencing.
What is the Penalty for Federal Charges?
The penalties for federal charges vary based on the charge itself. Federal charges are divided into two broad categories: Misdemeanors and felonies.
Misdemeanors are further divided into three categories: A, B, and C. Category A misdemeanors carry a prison term of one year or less (but more than six months) along with a potential $100,000 fine. Category C misdemeanors, meanwhile, carry a prison term of 30 days or less and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Felonies are divided into five categories: A, B, C, D, and E. Again, A carries the highest potential penalty — sentencing may include life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Class E felonies, meanwhile, carry a prison term of more than one year (but less than five) and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Are there Federal Lawyers Near Me?
Absolutely. Contact Manshoory Law Group and see how we can help.