Retaining competent legal counsel is crucial if you are under investigation or charged with a federal crime in California. A California federal criminal defense lawyer can answer your questions, explain the charges against you, and determine the best course of action. An experienced attorney may be able to get charges reduced or dismissed. Don’t hesitate to contact a qualified California federal criminal defense attorney today to discuss your case.
Table of contents
- California Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
- Common Federal Crimes in California
- What Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Investigate Crimes in California?
- United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines
- California Federal U.S. District Courts
- How a California Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
- Speak with a California Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
California Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
The Zoukis Consulting Group’s outstanding Northern and Southern California federal criminal defense lawyers render informed legal services to clients across the state. They are preeminent criminal trial attorneys helping clients during all criminal investigation and prosecution stages.
Federal crimes range from computer offenses to more serious allegations. Drug possession, tax evasion, bank robbery, and child pornography are typical federal crimes. Depending on the underlying conduct and statutory code, these federal offenses are charged as either misdemeanors or felonies. If you’re convicted, you may face substantial criminal penalties.
A battle-tested California federal criminal defense attorney can help. They will assist you with navigating the federal court system and defending against criminal accusations.
Common Federal Crimes in California
Federal crimes are offenses that Congress has declared illegal and punishable under federal law. While state legislatures can pass criminal laws that prosecute certain crimes in state courts, Congress also has the authority to enact legislation outlawing other types of criminal conduct.
Usually, a crime is classified as a federal offense if it crosses state lines or involves interstate commerce. A crime is also a federal offense if it violates a federal statute, even if it takes place entirely within one state.
Examples of common federal crimes include drug trafficking, fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion. If you are charged with any type of federal crime, it is vital to seek the help of an experienced California federal criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney will protect your rights and defend you against the charges.
Continue reading to discover more about typical federal crimes and how a California federal criminal defense attorney may assist.
White Collar Offenses
Financial crimes, fraud offenses, and bankruptcy fraud are all white-collar crimes. These offenses typically involve some unlawful financial gain for the perpetrator. For example, someone who commits bank fraud may falsify documents to obtain a loan they are otherwise not eligible for. Or, someone may commit securities fraud by insider trading or making false statements about a company to manipulate the stock price.
Federal law also prohibits various other types of fraud, such as wire fraud, mail fraud, and healthcare fraud. These offenses can be committed in several ways, but all involve using some type of communication to defraud another person or entity. For instance, someone may commit wire fraud by using email or text messages to solicit money from someone under false pretenses.
Bankruptcy fraud is another type of white-collar crime that can be committed in many ways. For example, someone may hide assets from the bankruptcy court to keep them from being liquidated. Or, someone may make false statements on their bankruptcy petition to obtain a discharge of debts for which they would not otherwise be eligible.
Please contact our California federal criminal defense lawyers if you are charged with a federal white-collar offense. Our law firm regularly handles federal cases and provides legal advice to clients.
Federal law prohibits drug-related offenses, including controlled substance possession, distribution, manufacturing, and conspiracy. Controlled substances are those that are deemed to have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use. Examples of controlled substances include heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine.
Possession of a controlled substance is generally a less serious offense than distribution or manufacturing, but it can still result in significant penalties. For instance, someone convicted of possession of heroin may be sentenced to up to one year in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Distribution and manufacturing offenses often carry much harsher penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences of five or ten years in federal prison.
If you are charged with a federal drug offense, you need a skilled California federal criminal defense attorney to represent you. Our team regularly represents clients accused of all manner of federal drug crimes. We can deploy defense strategies to thwart federal prosecutors.
Federal law also prohibits various sexual offenses, including child pornography crimes (e.g., production, distribution, and possession of child porn). Child pornography is any type of sexual image or video depicting a minor under 18. Possessing child pornography is a serious offense that can result in many years in prison.
Distributing or manufacturing child porn is an even more serious offense that can carry a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison. Producing child pornography is the most severe offense and can result in a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Federal sexual offenses carry particularly significant penalties. If federal law enforcement interviews you or brings charges, you need a vigilant Northern or Southern California federal criminal defense lawyer to protect you.
Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with our team. And remember, whether you live in Los Angeles County or Orange County, we can help. The attorney-client relationship protects all discussions with your attorney.
What Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Investigate Crimes in California?
The federal government has the authority to investigate and prosecute certain crimes within the United States. These crimes include those crossing state lines or occurring on federal property and violating the United States Code.
The FBI, DEA, ATF, and IRS are the primary federal agencies tasked with investigating these crimes. The SEC and the Secret Service have investigative authority in some instances. The Department of Homeland Security is also responsible for investigating crimes related to national security. These federal agencies work closely with state and local law enforcement in all cases.
You don’t have to go through this alone. There is help available. Contact a Southern California federal criminal defense lawyer today to discuss your options and determine a game plan. The sooner you act, the better your chances.
United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines
When a person is convicted of a federal crime, the judge sentences them according to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. These guidelines consider the crime’s severity, the defendant’s criminal history, and other factors.
Federal judges usually sentence defendants to a prison term within the range specified by the guidelines. However, in some cases, judges deviate from the guidelines if there are extenuating circumstances.
If the defendant cooperated with authorities or provided valuable information, judges may issue a lighter sentence than the guidelines recommend. Similarly, defendants deemed dangerous sometimes receive harsher penalties than those proscribed by the guidelines.
Ultimately, federal judges determine the appropriate sentence, but they only do so after considering the federal sentencing guidelines and all relevant circumstances.
California Federal U.S. District Courts
The District Courts are the trial courts of the federal court system. The district court is where all federal criminal cases are handled.
California has four federal districts:
- Central District of California
- Eastern District of California
- Northern District of California
- Southern District of California
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has four locations: two courthouses in Los Angeles and one courthouse in Riverside and Santa Ana.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California has five locations: Sacramento, Fresno, Redding, Bakersfield, and Yosemite.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has four locations: San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and McKinleyville.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California has three locations: two San Diego courthouses and one El Centro courthouse.
When a criminal case begins, it is heard before a magistrate judge, who decides on preliminary issues like arraignment, bail, and investigation procedures. After conviction, a pretrial investigation report is produced to aid the sentencing judge in determining an appropriate sentence.
The sentencing phase follows, where the judge reviews the pre-sentence investigation, arguments from both sides, and imposes a penalty. Typically, this penalty includes a period of imprisonment.
How a California Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you are facing federal criminal charges in California, you need an experienced and knowledgeable California federal criminal defense lawyer on your side. Your lawyer will help in several key areas:
- Help you navigate the convoluted legal system
- Protect your rights
- Give you the best chance of achieving a favorable outcome in your case
There are many potential benefits to working with a defense lawyer. One of the most important is that a lawyer can help you get your charges dismissed or reduced. In some cases, this may be possible by challenging the evidence against you or raising defenses to the charges. In other cases, it may be possible to negotiate with prosecutors for a lesser charge or sentence.
A California federal criminal defense attorney can also help you receive a fair trial. This includes ensuring the prosecution does not withhold evidence helpful to your defense. We will also ensure you have the opportunity to present your side of the story in court.
Finally, a criminal defense lawyer can help you obtain a lighter sentence if you are convicted. In some cases, this may be possible by negotiating with prosecutors for a reduced sentence or by persuading the judge to pronounce a lenient sentence.
Hiring a knowledgeable Southern California federal criminal defense lawyer is crucial if you are facing federal criminal charges in California. Your attorney will help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Call the Zoukis Consulting Group at (843) 620-1100.
Speak with a California Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are charged with a federal crime, it is vital to seek legal representation promptly. The experienced California federal criminal defense attorneys at our firm are here to help you fight the charges against you.
We understand how daunting this process can be. Our federal defense lawyers will do everything possible to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Contact us today for a consultation.
Published Feb 15, 2022 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on May 11, 2023 at 6:14 pm