Federal Crimes Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

 

According to estimates, 80 percent of people who are arrested and charged with a federal crime are not aware of the full gravity of their crime until long after they have been arrested. A great deal of people do not realize that the implications of their crimes have the power to be much more severe than they could be if they were just prosecuted by the state. The rapidity of the number accumulation always amazes them as well. Essentially, if you are charged with just a few counts, or even just multiple counts of one charge, you could be sent to federal prison for decades. In the event that you are thinking about or are just suspecting that you may be charged with federal crimes, speaking with a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney will ensure that your rights are protected.

You should not let some inexperienced public defender handle federal criminal charges on your behalf if you suspect that you may face federal criminal charges. Your future will be in his hands before he’s started working on your case, which spreads him too thin from the start. A skilled lawyer who fights for your freedom and liberty is essential in such circumstances. A reputable, competent Florida federal crimes criminal defense attorney can assist you with a dedicated, professional, personal legal representation. The team of experienced attorneys at David Williams possesses a combined total of over 150 years of legal experience. Throughout our firm’s history, we have successfully tried numerous federal cases. Feel free to contact one of the experienced lawyers in our Fort Lauderdale office at (954) 302-5391 to schedule an initial case consultation.

When Does a Criminal Charge Turn into a Federal Crime?

Criminal acts that violate federal law are referred to as federal crimes. Federal lands could be involved or people or property could be moved across state lines, whereby state jurisdictions would overlap.

Though the Fifth Amendment prohibits double jeopardy (trying a person for the same offense more than once), it does not apply to high-level crimes identified as criminal offenses within both state and federal jurisdictions. Accordingly, it is entirely plausible for a defendant to be acquitted in a state court for a specific crime, but then find themselves convicted in a federal court. Investigation of federal crimes is typically performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), or, in some instances, different federal regulatory agencies. A federal defendant appears before a federal judge in Florida’s United States District Court for federal crimes tried by the United States Attorney’s Office.

The State of Florida vs. the Federal Government

Florida has many differences between the state and federal courts. In addition to the fact that these two sets of courts handle very different types of criminal cases, they also have very different juries, judges, prosecutors, and court rules.

In Florida, the state courts manage:

  • Criminal cases comprise the majority of all cases
  • The majority of contract dispute cases
  • Family law matters like divorces, marriages, and adoptions
  • Probate matters like wills and estate claims
  • Mass tort cases dealing with some form of personal injury

In Florida, the federal courts manage:

  • United States laws and treaties
  • Habeas corpus
  • Conflicts between the states
  • Constitutional law
  • Bankruptcy
  • Admiralty law

Some of the Federal Crimes That We Can Defend

White-Collar Crimes: Forfeiture of assets, embezzlement, bribery, identity theft, forgery, mortgage fraud, money laundering, computer crimes, and tax evasion.

Racketeering (RICO) Outrages: fraud, embezzlement, counterfeiting, extortion, gambling offenses, extortion, murder for hire, money laundering, perjury, and obstruction of justice.

Fraud: Including credit card fraud, bank fraud, identity theft, insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, Medicaid fraud, Medicare fraud, tax fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud, and many more.

Federal Drug Crimes: Production, ownership, racketeering, smuggling, transportation, fraud, administration, exportation, and importing drugs.

Weapons Offenses: A licensee shall not make false statements or falsify records, engage in gun trafficking, fraud in getting a firearm permit, unlawfully sell firearms, illegally export or import weapons, and engage in violent crimes involving firearms..

White-Collar Crimes

During the 1930s, the phrase “white-collar” crime was coined. Government and business professionals usually commit white-collar crimes. The motive of white-collar crimes is almost always monetary gain, and violence is not usually a factor in defining them. Criminal enterprises are most likely to commit white-collar crimes like:

  • Forgeries
  • Bank Fraud
  • Identity Theft
  • Money Laundering
  • Infringement on a Copyright
  • Cybercrimes
  • Embezzlement
  • Racketeering
  • Insider trading
  • Ponzi Schemes
  • Bribery
  • Fraud

Federal laws classify various white-collar crimes through statutory acts passed by Congress, which are monitored by regulatory organizations such as the Internal Revenue Service and SEC. In general, white-collar crime is investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, so those accused of those crimes must appear in federal court instead of state court, although there are some states that have passed laws outlawing certain types of white-collar crime. A white-collar crime’s punishment can be extremely harsh if it is convicted as a federal crime, which can include prison time and substantial fines. It is possible, sometimes, for white-collar offenders to be made to endure civil court penalties in addition to criminal penalties.

Fraud

Using deception, misrepresentation or other means in order to benefit the perpetrator or third party is defined as fraud. Fraud is a federal offense which can take numerous forms, including but not limited to:

  • Medicaid and Healthcare Fraud
  • Wire and Mail Fraud
  • Securities Fraud
  • Tax fraud

 

Ponzi schemes, mortgage frauds, and bank frauds are traditional forms of fraud. You can be sentenced to as much as 30 years in federal prison for fraud, can be placed on probation, have to pay your victims compensation, and can be fined heavily for fraud. If convicted of fraud, a person’s future job prospects may be seriously hampered, as well as intimate and social relationships may be negatively affected.

Sex Crimes

As a rule, both the federal and state governments aggressively prosecute sexually motivated violent crimes and crimes perpetrated against minors. However, the federal government is more inclined to investigate and prosecute a few sex crimes over which the state has jurisdiction. There are many types of crimes, but some examples are:

  • Sexual assault of a serious nature
  • Rape
  • Sexual crimes committed by minors
  • Human trafficking
  • Repeat offenders committing sex crimes
  • The Federal Sex Offender Registry has been in violation of compliance 

The federal government aggressively investigates and prosecutes crimes involving child pornography. In addition, under federal law, any pornographic medium depicting a minor is unenforceable and cannot be owned, administered, marketed, or manufactured. The federal sex offender registry is a legal requirement for all convicted offenders of child pornography related crimes. State prison will be their final destination as well as an important part of their sentence.

Drug Crimes

Both federal and state laws apply to drug offenses. In Broward County, federal courts tend to hear more drug trafficking cases than state courts, where drug possession cases are more frequently tried. The federal law prohibits both the transportation of an unlicensed controlled substance and the conspiracy to do so. Federal prosecutors tend to consider cases involving manufacture or distribution of illegal drugs as well. The prescription drug/narcotics market has also gained a lot of attention in recent years, as has the street drug/narcotics market. There have been numerous investigations of crime involving prescription drugs in Florida, which was infamous for its methadone dispensaries.

Alien Smuggling

 

Anyone who does not belong to the United States of America is considered an alien. Immigrants are prohibited from entering the United States past a predetermined port of entry. The offender is liable for a substantial fine and/or incarceration for up to ten years in state prison for offering such services with private monetary benefit, labor, or commercial advantage. In the course of smuggling, anybody who harms another immigrant can face imprisonment for as long as 20 years. Sadly, if a smuggler causes the demise of an immigrant, he or she could be sentenced to a life sentence in state prison. As well as assisting immigrants in smuggling, there is also evidence of conspiracy to commit crimes under federal law.

Why Federal Charges Are So Serious

You might be offered a decreased sentence if you help the United States Attorney win your case. Providing brand new, trustworthy information, such as the names of the persons who worked with you (an “internal safety valve”) or the names of people who have committed different crimes (an “internal safety valve”) could significantly reduce the amount of time you have to serve.

A major downside to providing the prosecutor with such information is that, along with giving your testimony against yourself, you may also not get any reduction at all in your jail sentence in case the evidence you provided is not considered valuable or valid. An attorney who is qualified to represent you in a federal crimes case in Fort Lauderdale will be an invaluable resource in this situation.

A defendant who faces criminal charges will generally not get in touch with a skilled Fort Lauderdale federal crimes criminal defense lawyer until after they have been arrested. Although it is recommended that you seek the advice of a federal defense attorney in Florida following your arrest, there are frequently advanced opportunities for you to speak to a lawyer and to help yourself to avoid any damage to your good name, your personal life, or your job. A law enforcement agency puts in a lot of time and effort and may even spend several days or even weeks on whether they are going to investigate and possibly arrest someone for a crime they have made an arrest for. A federal crime is especially serious. An attorney can be of great help to you should your case end up in court and you are ultimately faced with these charges. Hence, you should retain one as quickly as you can. There is often no clear distinction between federal and state crimes due to the frequent overlap of federal and state laws. 

A Fort Lauderdale federal crimes criminal defense attorney can provide more information about the strength of any possible charges against one’s person and help one determine the best way to move forward. To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced attorney in our Fort Lauderdale office, call +954-522-9997 today.