Although there are some similarities, there are certain differences between the state criminal justice system and the federal criminal justice system that are worth noting. Federal prosecutors are typically allowed to choose the cases that they want to prosecute, for example, which means that they often choose the cases that they have the strongest chance of winning. Procedural and evidentiary rules often are different in federal courts from state courts as well. This can affect each side’s strategy for proving or defeating a criminal charge. When you are up against federal charges, it is essential to retain a Charlotte or Concord federal crime lawyer who will dedicate his or her knowledge and resources to seeking a fair outcome. At the Olsinski Law Firm, we serve people across North Carolina who are facing a broad range of federal charges.
Our attorneys are admitted to practice in the Western District of North Carolina and the Central District of North Carolina. We are also admitted to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the federal appellate court for the region.Types of Federal Crimes
There are certain types of crimes that tend to involve federal laws, including white collar crimes like wire fraud, money laundering, tax fraud, and bank fraud. Federal crimes also may arise in the context of drug offenses and firearm charges, since the U.S. Congress has enacted harsher penalties in order to crack down on drug trafficking and firearms use. If you possess a firearm during a drug crime, for example, it automatically becomes a federal crime. It is also a federal crime to possess a firearm if you are a convicted felon. Other federal drug crimes include drug trafficking, conspiracy to traffic drugs, and possession of drugs with the intent to distribute.
A number of sex crimes also fall into federal jurisdiction. These are some of the most aggressively prosecuted crimes and carry some of the harshest penalties, including potentially decades of imprisonment and sex offender registration. Some examples include aggravated sexual abuse or rape, sex trafficking, enticing a minor to commit sexual acts, and crimes that involve using the internet to engage with minors for unlawful sexual purposes. You should promptly consult a federal crime attorney in Charlotte or Concord if you are being investigated for this type of crime or if you have been charged in the Western District of North Carolina or the Central District of North Carolina.
Crimes that are committed across state lines will trigger federal jurisdiction, as well as crimes committed on federal property, such as the U.S. Postal Service or federal government buildings.Sentencing and Defenses for Federal Crimes
A distinctive aspect of the federal system involves the mandatory minimum sentences that judges are required to impose if a defendant is convicted. Not all federal charges carry mandatory minimums, but many do. The United States Sentencing Commission created the Guidelines, which place a strong emphasis on examining whether the defendant has a prior history of criminal activity.
Due to the complexity of some of these federal charges, such as conspiracy to traffic drugs, federal government agencies like the DEA or FBI will typically spend considerable time gathering evidence and building a case before bringing an indictment. This means that there may be opportunities for a Charlotte or Concord federal crime attorney to challenge the evidence for failing to comply with the constitutional rules governing how law enforcement agencies can go about collecting evidence. In order to perform a search, for example, they must typically obtain consent or a warrant that is based on probable cause. If law enforcement officials fail to follow these due process procedures, any evidence obtained from the search usually can be suppressed.Consult a Dedicated Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing a federal investigation or have been charged with a federal crime, our trial attorneys are ready to help you assert your legal rights. The federal criminal justice system can be complex and daunting. Our dedicated team of criminal defense lawyers will ensure that you understand each stage of the proceedings in the Western District of North Carolina or the Central District of North Carolina. We represent people throughout North Carolina, including in Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill, Cornelius, Davidson, Pineville, Kannapolis, Harrisburg, Midland, Mount Pleasant, and other areas of Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties. We offer a free and confidential conversation to discuss your situation. To schedule an appointment with a federal crime lawyer in Charlotte or Concord, call our Charlotte office at 704-405-2580 or our Concord office at 704-918-4747, or contact us online.