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Federal Criminal Defense


Federal criminal investigations and prosecutions are handled very differently than similar criminal cases in state courts.  The law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI or DEA, that investigate federal crimes are generally well-funded and staffed by the most experienced agents and investigators.  The Assistant United States Attorneys who prosecute cases are very experienced, and have virtually unlimited resources at their disposal.  The judges who preside in federal courts have lifetime appointments and their dockets are generally not as crowded as those of most state court judges who handle many different types of criminal offenses.

FBI agents gather near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston Tuesday, April 16, 2013. The bombs that ripped through the crowd at the Boston Marathon, killing at least three people and wounding more than 170, were fashioned out of pressure cookers and packed with shards of metal, nails and ball bearings to inflict maximum carnage, a person briefed on the investigation said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Federal crimes generally carry stiffer sentences than state crimes, especially in the areas of drug trafficking and conspiracy.  Federal criminal penalties are also more severe in cases involving child pornography and other sexual offenses prosecuted in federal court. For the most part, however, the mandatory minimum penalties and federal sentencing guidelines usually result in very lengthy sentences for people convicted of federal crimes. That’s one of the main reasons it is so important to retain a lawyer with a record of success in federal court if the case is being prosecuted by the federal government.

Of course, not all crimes can be prosecuted in federal court. The federal government has limited jurisdiction over criminal offenses and can only prosecute those crimes that are specifically defined in the federal criminal code.  In order to have jurisdiction over a crime, the alleged criminal activity must somehow involve the federal government or some instrumentality of interstate commerce.  Federal courts have generally been very expansive in their definition of what constitutes interstate commerce.  As a result, the federal government now prosecutes many crimes that were traditionally prosecuted only in state court.  And this trend is likely to continue.

Given the severity and complexity of federal criminal investigations and prosecutions, anyone charged with a federal crime should retain a lawyer who has extensive experience in federal criminal defense.  If you need a federal criminal defense attorney with successful results, contact our firm and discuss your case with J.R. Francomano in complete confidence.  You will not find a law firm with more experience, better credentials, or a deeper commitment to pursuing justice for people who need help in federal court.

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