I have 10 years of experience handling criminal defense cases. In some cases, Federal and State crimes carry the same sentences, but other times they do not. For some drug cases, you can serve up to 10 years in Federal prison–no matter what your background and with no parole. These are the types of cases I handle.
Drug Possession/Conspiracy to Possess
United States Code 21 U.S.C. § 841 (a)(1) makes it illegal to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. Drug sentences are harsh in federal court. Federal law enforcement are well-trained and have far more resources than state police officers. I have years of experience representing clients charged with drug crimes in state court.
Federal prosecutors charge people with conspiracy in all types of cases. The most common are drug cases. For a conspiracy to distribute a controlled substances the government only has to prove that you, and some other person, conspired to commit the offense. The prosecutor only has to prove you committed one over act toward the crime. If they can prove the overt act then they can charge you in the conspiracy. The general conspiracy statute is 18 U.S.C. § 371. For drug crimes the conspiracy statute is 21 U.S.C. § 846.
The RICO statute was originally passed to fight the mafia in the 70s. However, the statute under 18 U.S.C. § 96 has been more broadly prosecuted through recent years. RICO charges allow the government to charge an alleged leader of a gang or other group to be charged for crimes he orchestrated or ask the other gang member to commit. The threat of more serious RICO charges is generally thought to force defendants to take a plea to lesser charges. These case can be complex and involve volumes of evidence and surveillance to review.
Possession of Child Pornography
Some clients get confused when they are charged in federal court with child pornography. However, the courts have said that because the information crosses state lines (through the internet) that there is in fact federal jurisdiction. The federal law against possession of child pornography is 18 U.S.C. § 2252. Many clients claim that some other person put the images or videos on their computer. It is important to retain counsel early in these cases so that the computer can be forensically analyzed.
White Collar Crime and Theft
I represent clients charged with all types of federal theft and fraud. These types of charges include Embezzlement (31 U.S.C. § 641-et seq.), Tax Evasion (26 U.S.C. § 7201), Securities Fraud (15 U.S.C. § 78j( b)), Counterfeiting (18 U.S.C. § 471), Forgery (18 U.S.C. § 495), Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956, 1957), Mail Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341), Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343), and Bank Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1344). Many people charged in these types of white collar crimes have little or no criminal history. However, persons charged with these crimes can still face substantial prison sentences. These cases are usually document heavy and require hours of skillful preparation. I have years of experience handling white collar cases.
Firearm possession is one of the most commonly charged federal crimes. 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(1). Many state law enforcement ask federal prosecutors to file firearm possession cases. This is done because federal penalties for firearm possession are generally much harsher than penalties in state court. Additionally, the Armed Career Criminal Act may apply if a client has certain prior offenses. If so, the client can be facing 15 years to life in prison. 18 U.S.C. § 924(e).
In federal court you can be charged with a felony for having illegally reentered the country after having been removed once before. 8 U.S.C. §1326. There can be technical defenses to mount to this crime challenging the validity of the original removal of the client. Clients can also be charged with fraudulently applying for passports or residency. I represent people charged with any immigration related offenses in federal court.