Are you under investigation or charged with a federal offense by the ATF, DEA, or FBI? When you are charged with a crime under the United States Code, you deserve the best legal defense possible. Federal criminal charges are more serious than state offenses and tried under a very different legal system.
Not all defense attorneys in Collin County have experience with federal cases. At the Edgett Law Firm, an experienced Frisco federal crimes lawyer is here to give you the legal defense you need. Contact our office to schedule your free consultation to discuss defense options available to you.
How the Edgett Law Firm Can Help You Defend Yourself Against Federal Charges in Frisco, TX
There is a lot on the line when you are charged with a federal crime. In addition to stiffer penalties, you may be sentenced to a federal prison that is likely far from your loved ones. You will also be investigated and prosecuted by federal investigators and prosecutors who have limitless resources.
You deserve an experienced Frisco criminal defense lawyer who can help you protect your rights and build the strongest defense possible. At the Edgett Law Firm, we serve clients throughout Collin County who are facing federal criminal charges. Our Top 100 Trial Lawyers will deliver the defense you deserve inside and outside the courtroom with more than 22 years of experience.
You can count on the Edgett Law Firm to:
- Defend your legal rights at every stage of your case
- Gather exculpatory evidence to strengthen your defense
- Assess and use weaknesses in the case against you
- Negotiate for a dismissal of your case, reduction of the charges, or a satisfactory plea deal
- Represent you in U.S. district court and present your defense to a jury
The Frisco criminal defense attorneys at the Edgett Law Firm are here for you. While you may feel overwhelmed and hopeless in the face of serious federal charges, we will build the vigorous defense you need and fight for your freedom.
Texas State Versus Federal Charges
Some criminal offenses violate state and federal law, but others are only crimes under federal or state criminal code. The United States Code covers federal crimes and it has fewer classifications of offenses that generally relate to national or federal interest.
There are several factors that are considered to determine if you will be charged under federal or state law:
- Did the offense cross state lines?
- Did a federal agency conduct the criminal investigation?
- Was the offense related to a large criminal operation?
- Did the offense involve federal property, a bank system, or online activities?
Certain crimes like robbery are crimes under Texas state law. However, they can become a federal offense. In this case, bank robbery would be a federal offense.
Most arrests in Frisco, Texas are for violations of Texas Statutes. These crimes are investigated by local law enforcement and prosecuted by a state district attorney in a state court.
A federal crime, by comparison, will be investigated by a federal law enforcement agency such as the FBI. The case is prosecuted by a federal prosecutor in a district court, not a county court. Sometimes state and government agencies work together and pursue separate charges.
Key differences you should be aware of when charged with a federal offense include:
- Federal prosecutors who generally handle fewer cases than state prosecutors. Federal prosecutors are less likely to accept plea bargains and have better resources.
- Federal judges with less discretion than state judges.
- Federal criminal trials use different procedures and cases are rarely dismissed.
- Bail types and conditions are different in federal cases.
- Jurors in a federal case are generally more diverse and selected from across the district in which the court is located.
- Federal sentencing is different than sentencing for state offenses and typically carries higher penalties.
Defense lawyers must be authorized to represent clients in a particular federal court. If you have been charged with a federal offense in Frisco, Texas, contact the Edgett Law Firm as soon as possible. We will help you understand the federal criminal process and begin working on your defense.
Common Frisco Federal Charges We Defend
As a matter of fact, federal law enforcement agencies can investigate and arrest someone for any violation of federal law. In practice, federal agencies usually only make arrests for specific types of criminal cases. Federal charges are generally filed in cases involving:
- Large-scale criminal activity
- Identity theft and large-scale fraud
- Drug trafficking
- Criminal offenses crossing state lines, particularly if they involve kidnapping, firearms, drugs, or fraud
- Immigration and customs offenses
- Crimes that occur on federal property
The following are the most common offense categories under the federal criminal code. Additional federal offenses may include property crimes, pornography, gambling offenses, and kidnapping.
Federal Sex Crimes
Sex crimes such as sexual assault are almost always prosecuted by the state. A federal law enforcement agency may investigate and prosecute certain sex offenses, however, such as:
- Sex trafficking
- Child pornography
- Sexual exploitation of a minor
- Aggravated sexual assault
If you are convicted of a federal sex crime, you will likely face a mandatory minimum sentence and a longer prison term than for a similar state offense.
Federal Weapons Offenses
Federal gun laws are taken very seriously. Certain groups are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. There have been many federal laws passed to regulate firearms in the U.S. This includes the Gun Control Act of 1968 that prohibits most interstate gun transfers, and the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 that bars the sale of automatic weapons to civilians.
Violations of these laws may be tried at the federal level. Federal firearm offenses can also include possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of a firearm in the commission of a drug or violent crime, and straw purchasing.
Federal White Collar Offenses
White collar crime refers to non-violent crimes that are motivated by financial gain.
Often committed by professionals and executives (or workers in “white collar” fields), federal white collar crimes can include:
- Securities fraud
- Tax fraud
- Money laundering
- Insurance fraud
Despite their non-violent nature, these offenses are taken seriously. White collar crimes can be prosecuted aggressively so federal agencies can make an example out of an offender.
Federal Drug Crimes
Drug crimes carry among the stiffest penalties under federal law.
Most drug offenses are charged as state crimes, but drug offenses can be charged as a federal offense in many cases such as:
- Controlled substances sold to minors or in a school zone
- Drug offenses on federal property
- Drug crimes involving a federal agent
- Drug offenses involving the internet or crossing state lines
- Crimes that involve federal law enforcement at any stage
- Offenses involving organized crime
If you are charged with a federal drug offense, you will face penalties even harsher than Texas drug laws which are already notoriously stiff. There may be mandatory minimum sentences.
What Are the Penalties for a Federal Crime Conviction?
Federal criminal conviction typically comes with much heavier fines and penalties than similar state convictions. Federal offenses fall under the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Voluntary Sentencing Guidelines which have longer prison sentences based on a point system. Mandatory minimum sentences are usually involved.
You will likely face higher penalties for a federal charge in Texas than a state offense because:
- Federal judges follow strict sentencing guidelines
- Federal judges do not have as much sentencing discretion as judges in a state court
- Federal prosecutors have limited discretion to negotiate a plea deal
- Federal crimes are often subject to sentencing enhancements
- The maximum punishment for a federal offense is typically higher than for state offenses
There are two types of federal offenses, similar to state offenses: federal misdemeanors and felonies.
Federal misdemeanors fall under three categories. A Federal Class A misdemeanor: punishable by 6 to 12 months in prison. A Federal Class C misdemeanor is punishable by 5 to 30 days in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Federal felonies are charged under five categories: A through E. A Class A federal felony is punishable by up to life in prison. A Class E felony is punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison. By comparison, the lowest category of felony in Texas is punishable by 180 days to 2 years.
Contact the Edgett Law Firm for a Free Consultation with a Frisco Federal Crimes Lawyer
If you have been charged with a federal crime or you are under investigation, it’s important to act quickly. You are facing the full force of the United States government with unlimited resources; you deserve experienced counsel to help you protect your rights and your freedom.
A Frisco federal crimes lawyer at the Edgett Law Firm is here to help you. We have handled thousands of cases in state and federal court and we will work tirelessly to build the defense you deserve. Call our law office for a free case review today.