Federal Crimes Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Defend Yourself with 150+ Years of Experience at Musca Law
The majority of people who get arrested and are subsequently accused of a federal crime do not directly recognize the true seriousness of the criminal charges that they are facing. They are simply unaware that most of their crimes might mean penalties that are much harsher than they would be if they were just charges brought by the state. In addition to this, they are usually astounded to see just how swiftly the numbers add up. With just a couple of charges, or possibly several counts of one particular charge, you could be facing decades in federal prison. Consequently, if you are looking at federal charges or maybe even just have suspicions that federal charges might be made against you in the near-future, it is in your best interest to promptly consult with a federal crimes criminal attorney here in Fort Lauderdale, in order to make certain that your freedoms are being defended from the very start.
If you believe that you could be looking at federal criminal charges, please do not entrust your future to some inexperienced public defender who already has a pile of case folders stacked into piles all over his office, spreading him way too thin from before he starts working on your case. When your liberty and freedom is on the hook, you need an experienced attorney who will battle for you each step of the way. You need a dedicated, professional, personal legal representative from an accomplished and reputable Florida criminal defense federal crimes attorney. With over 150 years of combined legal experience among our team of highly qualified attorneys, Musca Law has successfully tried numerous federal cases throughout the history of our firm. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at (954) 302-5391 to schedule a free initial case consultation with one of the experienced attorneys in our Fort Lauderdale office.
When Does a Criminal Charge Turn into a Federal Crime?
Federal crimes are crimes that are specifically forbidden according to federal law. They could take place on federal lands or deal with people or with property that is moved across state boundaries, causing an overlap in state jurisdictions.
It is true that the Fifth Amendment prevents double jeopardy (being tried for the same crime more than once) but the article does not apply to any case that involves a crime that is identified as a criminal offense by both state and federal laws. It is, therefore, entirely plausible that a defendant could be absolved of a particular crime in a state court, but then proceed to be found guilty in a federal court. Federal crimes are reviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or, in certain instances, different federal regulatory bureaus. Federal crimes are tried by the United States Attorney’s Office, and the defendant appears in front of a federal judge in the Florida United States District Court.
Florida State Charges vs. Federal Charges
There are a lot of significant distinctions between the federal courts and the state courts in the state of Florida. Along with having an entirely different set of juries, judges, prosecutors, and court rules, the kinds of criminal cases that these two sets of courts manage are also very different.
In Florida, the state courts manage:
- The majority of criminal 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
- Admiralty law
Some of the Federal Crimes That We Can Defend
White-Collar Crimes: Business crimes, asset forfeiture, embezzlement, bribery, identity theft, forgery, mortgage fraud, money laundering, computer crimes, and tax evasion.
Racketeering (RICO) Offenses: Witness tampering, embezzlement, counterfeiting, extortion, gambling offenses, extortion, murder for hire, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and bribery.
Fraud: Business fraud, credit card fraud, bank fraud, citizenship fraud, health care fraud, financial fraud, internet fraud, insurance fraud, identification fraud, mail fraud, Medicaid fraud, Medicare fraud, real estate fraud, naturalization fraud, tax fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud.
Federal Drug Crimes: Conspiracy, cultivation, transportation, administration, exportation, fraud, importation, laundering money from controlled substance crimes, production, ownership, racketeering, smuggling, and trafficking.
Weapons Offenses: False statements by the licensee, falsification of records by the licensee, guns trafficking, fraud in getting a permit to own or obtain a firearm, unlawful sale of firearms, illegal export and import of weapons, illegal ownership of a weapon, and violent crimes including the use or shooting of a firearm.
“White-Collar” crime is a term that is thought to have been developed during the 1930s. White-collar crimes relate to crimes that are mainly perpetrated by government and business professionals. White-collar crimes do not typically employ violence as one of their defining characteristics, and the motive is almost always exclusively monetary profit. The majority of white-collar crimes can be classified as one of the following:
- Bank Fraud
- Identity Theft
- Money Laundering
- Infringement on a Copyright
- Insider trading
- Ponzi Schemes
The federal government classifies various white-collar crimes via juridical acts that have been enacted by Congress and are monitored via regulatory bodies such as the Internal Revenue Service and Securities and Exchange Commission. These types of crimes are looked into by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, so consequently, the accused is required to appear in federal court instead of the state court, although there are instances in which both state and federal governments have passed laws that prohibit specific white-collar crimes. When they are tried as federal crimes, white-collar crimes generally bring about extremely harsh punishments, which can include incarceration and substantial monetary fines. In certain circumstances, white-collar offenders could also be made to endure actions in a civil court along with their criminal penalties.
Fraud is defined as “an intentional deception or misrepresentation that is intended to benefit the perpetrator or a third party.” Fraud is a federal offense that is able to take several different forms that include but are not limited to:
- Medicaid and Healthcare Fraud
- Wire and Mail Fraud
- Securities Fraud
- Tax fraud
Other traditional forms of fraud involve mortgage fraud, bank fraud, and Ponzi schemes. If you are found guilty of fraud, punishments can include as long as 30 years in federal prison, supervised probation, giving compensatory payments to your victims, and paying massive amounts of fines. Being sentenced with a charge of fraud could also seriously restrict a person’s future job possibilities as well as negatively affect their personal and social relationships.
Sexually motivated crimes that are violent in nature along with sexually motivated crimes that are perpetrated against minors are almost always prosecuted extremely aggressively by both federal and state governments alike. Even though the majority of sex crimes come under the jurisdiction of the individual state, there are a few over which the federal government is more inclined to exert their power in investigating and prosecuting. These crimes include but are not limited to:
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Sex crimes where minors are involved
- Human trafficking
- Crimes committed by repeat sex offenders
- Compliance violations with the Federal Sex Offender Registry
Criminal actions that include child pornography are extremely aggressively investigated and tried by the federal government. Federal law forbids the ownership, administration, marketing, and manufacturing of any pornographic medium that depicts any person who is younger than 18 years of age. Offenders who find themselves convicted of a child pornography-related crime are obligated to register and keep their personal information in the federal sex offender registry. They will also be required to serve a substantial sentence in state prison.
Drug-related crimes can be tried at the federal and state levels. Cases of drug trafficking are much more likely to be tired in the federal court of Broward County while the majority of drug possession cases are tried by state courts here in Florida. Federal law prevents transporting illicit controlled substances along with conspiring to transport an illicit controlled substance. Those cases that include the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs are also more inclined to be tried by the federal government. Along with street drugs/narcotics, prescription drugs/narcotics have also grown into a major point of concern for both federal law enforcement officers and prosecutors alike. The state of Florida has itself has become more infamous for its methadone dispensaries and has found itself under increased investigation for its large number of crimes concerning prescription drugs.
As you probably are aware, the word “alien” applies to anyone who is not a national or a citizen of the United States of America. The federal government forbids the passage of immigrants past a predetermined port of entry in the United States. Anyone who offers such transport with the intention of private monetary benefit, labor, or commercial advantage can be fined and/or incarcerated for as long as a decade in state prison. Anybody who causes harm to an immigrant during the course of their smuggling can be incarcerated for as long as 20 years. In the event that the smuggler brings about an immigrant’s demise, she or he could be sentenced to state prison for the remained of their life. U.S. federal laws also recognize both assisting with immigrant smuggling and conspiracy to commit criminal actions.
Why Federal Charges Are So Serious
The United States Attorney who is in charge of trying your case could potentially suggest a diminished sentence as a trade for your assistance on the case. If you present brand new, reliable, and up-to-date information like the identities of the persons who committed the crime with you (referred to as a safety valve) or the identities of people who have perpetrated different criminal acts (referred to as “substantial assistance”), it could greatly reduce the amount of time that you would be required to be in prison.
The dilemma with furnishing the prosecutor with this type of information is that in addition to the fact that you are giving evidence against yourself, you also may not get any decrease at all in your jail time in the event that the information you provided was considered to not be helpful or valid. This kind of situation is exactly why you absolutely need to be working with an accomplished and qualified Fort Lauderdale federal crimes criminal defense attorney.
For the majority of defendants who are looking at criminal charges, the rush to obtain a skilled Fort Lauderdale federal crimes criminal defense attorney does not start until after they have been arrested. Although it is essential to obtain the guidance of a federal defense attorney in the state of Florida subsequent to being taken into police custody, in a lot of instances, there are also advanced chances for you to retain an attorney and to help yourself to circumvent any possible detriment to your good reputation, your private life, and your job as well. Once an arrest has been made, law enforcement bureaus have usually put it a lot of very long hours and possibly even days or weeks into deciding whether or not they are going to arrest somebody in connection to a crime that they are actively investigating. This is particularly true in the case of federal crimes. Retaining a criminal defense attorney as quickly as you feasibly can is an action that will be rewarded further down the road should you ultimately be expected to deal with these charges in a court of law. Federal and state laws frequently overlap, consequently, being aware of the distinctions between federal and state crimes is oftentimes very tricky.
Anybody who feels that she or he might be under suspicion regarding a federal crime should get in touch with a Fort Lauderdale federal crimes criminal defense attorney so that they can learn more about the strength of the possible offenses and to ascertain the smartest way to move forward with your case. Feel free to contact our Fort Lauderdale office today at (954) 302-5391 to schedule a free initial case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.