Los Angeles Federal Criminal Lawyer

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If you’ve been charged with a federal crime it’s time to get serious. Federal penalties tend to be far more severe than state penalties and carry mandatory minimum sentences. The government has prosecutorial resources that seem endless.

Federal public defenders do exist, but they can’t get involved in the case until you’re already charged. Securing a private attorney with federal experience is often your best chance at protecting both your rights and your freedom.

We can begin working your case from the moment you become concerned you’re the target or subject of a federal investigation.

Common Federal Crimes

Here’s the truth: the federal government can turn almost any crime into a federal crime if they are so inclined. And there are some truly weird federal crimes on the books. Did you know it is:

  • A crime to sell “Turkey Ham” as “Ham Turkey,” or to place those two words in different fonts?
  • To wash a fish in a national forest if it’s not at a designated fish-washing faucet?
  • To harass a golfer in any national park in Washington, DC?
  • To let your pet make a noise that scares wildlife in a national park?
  • To injure a government-owned lamp?
  • To skydive while drunk?

Some make a little more sense, but still, aren’t widely known. It’s a crime to lie to a federal agent, for example.

Of course, most of the cases we defend don’t involve anything this crazy, or this arbitrary. Instead, we regularly defend clients on:

Immigration crimes are also federal crimes. Illegal reentry can come with 20 years of prison time.

Often, there’s overlap between state and federal charges, and you can be charged with both. For example, possession, creation, and distribution of child pornography is a federal crime as well as a state one.

The most common charge of all? Conspiracy, which is acting in concert with others to commit a federal crime. These leave you open to the same penalties as the original perpetrator of the crime.

Timing can be everything when dealing with these cases. If you suspect you’re under federal investigation it’s not a bad idea to hire a lawyer immediately, even if you haven’t been charged yet. The more time you give us to counter the prosecution’s strategies the better the outcome is likely to be.

A photo of the skyline of Los Angeles at night

An Introduction to Federal Court

California is divided into four federal districts: the Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts. Los Angeles is in the Western Division of the Central District.

The local federal courthouse is located at:

312 N Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

The prosecutor will be the U.S. Attorney, though generally, an assistant U.S. Attorney will be the one you see in the courtroom. The Central District of California has the largest USA’s office outside of Washington, DC. As of this writing, the U.S. Attorney for the Central District is Nicola T. Hanna.

What You Need to Know About Hiring a Federal Defense Lawyer

Experience in federal court is the very first thing you need to look for. The stakes are just too high to entrust your case to a rookie lawyer who isn’t familiar with federal cases. Federal prosecutors tend to play hardball, and you need someone who is prepared for it. Always ask how many federal cases your criminal attorney is handled, and what sorts of outcomes the attorney was able to achieve.

Second, you need to look for someone who will give you an honest case evaluation. Every federal case is different. You need someone who will give you solid advice about where you stand and what you can expect. We can’t promise to acquit every defendant who hires us. That’s just not possible. Sometimes the facts of the case just aren’t in your favor. We will always give you our fair, honest assessment and recommendations.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and lots of them. Your entire life could change if you’re convicted of a federal crime, and not for the better. You have the right to know the attorney’s credentials, how he or she will handle your case, and what the answers to specific questions you have might be.

Why is it so important to look for a quality federal defense attorney early?

As mentioned, you should start looking for a federal defense attorney the moment you suspect you’re under investigation. Often it’s best to ensure you never get charged in the first place, rather than taking your chances after you’ve been formally charged and arrested.

You should never, ever talk to any federal authority or investigator without an attorney present. And you should be aware you don’t have to do so. The right to silence doesn’t begin when someone Mirandizes you. It is a basic right you can exercise at any time.

A photo of two women crying in Los Angeles

Signs You’re Under Investigation

Wondering how you’d possibly know you’re under investigation? There are ways to tell.

  • Federal investigators have asked to speak to you. While they could be after someone else, it’s not a good idea to even try to help them out without an attorney present. You don’t know what kind of case you could be building against yourself. Even if they tell you that you’re just being questioned as a witness you should still give real consideration to getting a lawyer. Today’s witness can become tomorrow’s defendant. If you’re close enough to know something useful you may be close enough to be accused of wrongdoing.
  • They’ve shown up with a warrant. If the feds are busy searching your house right now, it’s because a judge has agreed they’ve got a good reason to go looking. Call a lawyer. You might want to do it before they finish their search.
  • Prosecutors have sent a subpoena demanding business or personal records.
  • You may even be told there’s an investigation. It happens. You may even receive a letter informing you that you’re the target of a federal investigation, which means you are definitely the one they’re after. But even if you aren’t a target you could be a subject, which means the prosecutor believes you’ve broken the law; they may ultimately be after someone else, but they’ll be happy to take you down too. Or use what you know and your weakened position to get you to give up information about the target you wouldn’t normally want to give up.

You may get clues even earlier. If you feel like you’re under surveillance, may have had your phone tapped or know investigators have been speaking to your family members and friends, start looking for an attorney.

We will be happy to review your situation and to tell you what your next steps should be. Call us today to get started.

Los Angeles Federal Criminal Lawyer

inne-rpage-seperator

If you’ve been charged with a federal crime it’s time to get serious. Federal penalties tend to be far more severe than state penalties and carry mandatory minimum sentences. The government has prosecutorial resources that seem endless.

Federal public defenders do exist, but they can’t get involved in the case until you’re already charged. Securing a private attorney with federal experience is often your best chance at protecting both your rights and your freedom.

We can begin working your case from the moment you become concerned you’re the target or subject of a federal investigation.

Common Federal Crimes

Here’s the truth: the federal government can turn almost any crime into a federal crime if they are so inclined. And there are some truly weird federal crimes on the books. Did you know it is:

  • A crime to sell “Turkey Ham” as “Ham Turkey,” or to place those two words in different fonts?
  • To wash a fish in a national forest if it’s not at a designated fish-washing faucet?
  • To harass a golfer in any national park in Washington, DC?
  • To let your pet make a noise that scares wildlife in a national park?
  • To injure a government-owned lamp?
  • To skydive while drunk?

Some make a little more sense, but still, aren’t widely known. It’s a crime to lie to a federal agent, for example.

Of course, most of the cases we defend don’t involve anything this crazy, or this arbitrary. Instead, we regularly defend clients on:

Immigration crimes are also federal crimes. Illegal reentry can come with 20 years of prison time.

Often, there’s overlap between state and federal charges, and you can be charged with both. For example, possession, creation, and distribution of child pornography is a federal crime as well as a state one.

The most common charge of all? Conspiracy, which is acting in concert with others to commit a federal crime. These leave you open to the same penalties as the original perpetrator of the crime.

Timing can be everything when dealing with these cases. If you suspect you’re under federal investigation it’s not a bad idea to hire a lawyer immediately, even if you haven’t been charged yet. The more time you give us to counter the prosecution’s strategies the better the outcome is likely to be.

A photo of the skyline of Los Angeles at night

An Introduction to Federal Court

California is divided into four federal districts: the Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts. Los Angeles is in the Western Division of the Central District.

The local federal courthouse is located at:

312 N Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

The prosecutor will be the U.S. Attorney, though generally, an assistant U.S. Attorney will be the one you see in the courtroom. The Central District of California has the largest USA’s office outside of Washington, DC. As of this writing, the U.S. Attorney for the Central District is Nicola T. Hanna.

What You Need to Know About Hiring a Federal Defense Lawyer

Experience in federal court is the very first thing you need to look for. The stakes are just too high to entrust your case to a rookie lawyer who isn’t familiar with federal cases. Federal prosecutors tend to play hardball, and you need someone who is prepared for it. Always ask how many federal cases your criminal attorney is handled, and what sorts of outcomes the attorney was able to achieve.

Second, you need to look for someone who will give you an honest case evaluation. Every federal case is different. You need someone who will give you solid advice about where you stand and what you can expect. We can’t promise to acquit every defendant who hires us. That’s just not possible. Sometimes the facts of the case just aren’t in your favor. We will always give you our fair, honest assessment and recommendations.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and lots of them. Your entire life could change if you’re convicted of a federal crime, and not for the better. You have the right to know the attorney’s credentials, how he or she will handle your case, and what the answers to specific questions you have might be.

Why is it so important to look for a quality federal defense attorney early?

As mentioned, you should start looking for a federal defense attorney the moment you suspect you’re under investigation. Often it’s best to ensure you never get charged in the first place, rather than taking your chances after you’ve been formally charged and arrested.

You should never, ever talk to any federal authority or investigator without an attorney present. And you should be aware you don’t have to do so. The right to silence doesn’t begin when someone Mirandizes you. It is a basic right you can exercise at any time.

A photo of two women crying in Los Angeles

Signs You’re Under Investigation

Wondering how you’d possibly know you’re under investigation? There are ways to tell.

  • Federal investigators have asked to speak to you. While they could be after someone else, it’s not a good idea to even try to help them out without an attorney present. You don’t know what kind of case you could be building against yourself. Even if they tell you that you’re just being questioned as a witness you should still give real consideration to getting a lawyer. Today’s witness can become tomorrow’s defendant. If you’re close enough to know something useful you may be close enough to be accused of wrongdoing.
  • They’ve shown up with a warrant. If the feds are busy searching your house right now, it’s because a judge has agreed they’ve got a good reason to go looking. Call a lawyer. You might want to do it before they finish their search.
  • Prosecutors have sent a subpoena demanding business or personal records.
  • You may even be told there’s an investigation. It happens. You may even receive a letter informing you that you’re the target of a federal investigation, which means you are definitely the one they’re after. But even if you aren’t a target you could be a subject, which means the prosecutor believes you’ve broken the law; they may ultimately be after someone else, but they’ll be happy to take you down too. Or use what you know and your weakened position to get you to give up information about the target you wouldn’t normally want to give up.

You may get clues even earlier. If you feel like you’re under surveillance, may have had your phone tapped or know investigators have been speaking to your family members and friends, start looking for an attorney.

We will be happy to review your situation and to tell you what your next steps should be. Call us today to get started.

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