Federal Cases are prosecutions brought by the federal government- usually by the U.S. Attorneys Office, in federal court. Please click on our Health Care Fraud and White Collar Fraud to see information about those specific type of Federal Cases that we handle.
Defending Federal Cases is much different than defending state court cases. The biggest difference is that in state court the defense gets the opportunity to take depositions (sworn statements) from prosecution witnesses. In Federal Cases, the defense does not have the right to depose prosecution witnesses. This means that a successful defense of clients in Federal Cases requires the use of more resources and innovative lawyering to try and even the odds, This can include using an investigator to locate and speak to potential witnesses and who can obtain records that we can use as evidence.
Many prosecution witnesses in Federal Cases are cooperating and have signed plea deals that give them the benefit of a lower sentence. Obtaining details of the prior federal cases of cooperating witnesses, speaking to their former associates, and obtaining current jail records of the witnesses, are some of the ways we get material we can use to impeach the witness during the trial.
Most of the records involved in complex Federal Cases like white-collar prosecutions or fraud Federal Cases are in electronic format. The documents can total into the millions of pages. We partner with several document management services that will put the information into searchable databases that will allow us to get a handle on the facts of the case and locate documents that can be used to defend a client. Beyond skill and experience, these days the most important tool a lawyer uses to defend their client in Federal Cases is their laptop and their ability to use technology to manage information.
Sometimes the most successful litigation that we do on behalf of clients in Federal Cases occurs during the sentencing phase of the case.
Sentences are Federal Cases are arrived at, in part, through the Federal Sentencing Guidelines system. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are a set of rules that utilize a number system and a matrix. The specific facts of the case can raise or lower the number calculated under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. For instance, in a fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, or health care fraud case, the amount of loss the fraud caused will raise the number under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Conversely, the fact that a person agreed to plead guilty early on in the case or the fact that a client was a minimal participant in the criminal scheme will cause the number to be lowered.
The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are no longer mandatory in Federal Cases, and a Judge does not need to follow the recommended sentencing range. Because the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are advisory, the sentencing hearing before the judge becomes a critical part of the representation we provide. It is crucial that a judge considering a sentence be provided with a clear picture of the client's life, and not just the snapshot of criminal activity that led to their prosecution.
There are times when it is in a client's benefit to negotiate a deal with the prosecution. And there are times when a client should proceed to trial. What distinguishes the services we provide in Federal Cases is that we have the skill and experience to either try the case or negotiate a deal. We use that experience to help clients make the best decision possible under difficult circumstances. And even in those cases where a client is convicted, because our aggressive defense extends to the complex area of sentencing litigation, in many instances our clients receive sentences that were less than the plea offer before trial.
The United States of America is the most powerful entity on earth. When the federal government prosecutes Federal Cases, the Department of Justice and lawyers for the U.S. Attorney's office bring the awesome power of the government to their case. But that does not mean that there is no hope for clients charged with crimes in Federal Cases. Time and time again we have successfully defended clients in the most difficult of Federal Cases. When bad things happen to good people, we can help.