Georgia Federal Crimes Attorney
Providing Expert Georgia Federal Defense for Over Two Decades
Federal criminal charges are serious and carry severe penalties. Individuals facing federal charges must deal with the reality of a long prison sentence and hefty fines. If you’re convicted, the crime will stay with you for the rest of your life. This can harm future employment opportunities, limit your housing options, trigger the loss of professional licenses, and may even hurt your reputation in the community. Reach out to a federal lawyer near you immediately if you have been charged with a federal crime.
Handling criminal cases in federal court is often more complex and demanding than handling state charges. No one should walk into federal court and face the full resources of the federal government alone.
An aggressive, strategic, and charismatic Georgia federal defense attorney can make a positive difference in these types of matters. Even when a plea bargain is the goal, preparing legal technicalities for argument and navigating the complex procedure in federal court requires tremendous legal experience.
What Are Federal Crimes?
The FBI, DEA, ICE, IRS, ATF, Secret Service, and other federal agencies investigate federal crimes. The first appearance in court before a federal judge is the arraignment. Here, the court may set bail or may pick a later date to hear arguments from both sides as to whether the defendant should be granted bond. Other early hearings allow the defendant to argue legal technicalities and other motions before trial.
Examples of federal crimes include:
- Health care fraud: Any person who engages in a scheme to defraud a health care benefit program may be charged with this offense. The law applies to beneficiaries and practitioners alike. A conviction may lead to up to 10 years in prison. However, if serious injury resulted from the offense, the maximum term of imprisonment is 20 years. And cases in which death occurs are penalized by up to life in prison.
- Drug trafficking: Federal law defines drug trafficking as manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing controlled or counterfeit substances. The conviction penalties depend on the type and amount of drug involved. For instance, trafficking in 1 kilogram or more of a substance containing heroin is punishable by 10 years to life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000,000. In contrast, if the defendant is convicted of trafficking 100 grams or more of heroin, they could face between 5 and 40 years’ imprisonment. Additionally, a court may impose a fine of up to $5,000,000.
- Identity theft: It’s an offense for an individual to use or transfer another's personal identifying information to further a federal crime. A conviction may result in a maximum of 15 years or imprisonment.
- Money laundering: This offense occurs when an individual or group conceals the source of funds obtained through criminal conduct. Various transactions can be made to make ill-gotten proceeds appear legitimate, including placing the money into the financial system, layering the funds through a serious of transactions, and integrating “clean” money back into the system. A money laundering conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years and/or a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the funds involved.
- Weapons offenses: The federal government forbids a range of conduct involving weapons and firearms. For instance, it’s illegal for a prohibited person to have a gun or ammunition. It’s also unlawful for any person to have, use, or carry a firearm to further a drug or violent crime. The conviction penalties for these types of offenses vary depending on the conduct involved.
- Racketeering: The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act provides that any person who participates in a pattern of racketeering for a criminal organization that affects interstate or foreign commerce may be charged with a federal crime. A “pattern of racketeering” includes a range of offenses, such as murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, or dealing in controlled substances. A conviction may result in up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine.
- Mail and wire fraud: These two offenses are covered under separate federal statutes but concern similar conduct. A person may be charged with either (or both) crimes if they use the U.S. Postal Service or electronic means to further a fraud scheme. Upon a conviction, a court may sentence the defendant to imprisonment for a maximum of 20 years.
Whatever your charge, our federal attorney in Georgia is ready to defend you. At The Abt Law Firm, LLC , we take the time to prepare for these types of cases and expend the effort necessary to aggressively fight the charge.
What are the Differences Between Federal Crimes and State Crimes?
In Georgia, federal crimes are offenses that violate laws set by the U.S. government and prosecuted in federal court. Federal law generally deals with large-scale criminal matters including interstate commerce, immigration/customs violations, national security, counterfeiting and fraud. Examples of federal crimes include kidnapping, tax evasion and drug trafficking across state lines.
On the other hand, state crimes are offenses that violate laws set by the Georgia State legislature, which are tried in a state–not federal–court. Offenses such as burglary, assault and battery, murder or DUI might be considered state crimes in Georgia.
The consequences for committing a federal crime can be more severe than a conviction for a state crime because they often involve longer prison sentences and larger fines. It’s also important to note that a person can be charged with both a federal and state crime for the same underlying offense if it violates both jurisdictions' laws.
What Should I Do If I’m Investigated for a Federal Crime in Georgia?
Once contacted by federal law enforcement agents, it is important to remain silent. This Fifth Amendment protection always exists, but you do not have to be notified until after your arrest. A common law enforcement tactic is to talk to the suspect to obtain damaging statements before the arrest. This is legal and can be used against you in court.
Agents often ask leading questions designed to make the suspect sound like they is admitting to a crime. If you believe you are a suspect in a federal criminal investigation, contact a federal criminal defense attorney immediately. Do not speak to a federal law enforcement officer without a lawyer.
Federal Criminal Lawyer Near Me
It is crucial to hire an attorney licensed in federal court for federal charges. Many attorneys not licensed in federal court help in the initial phases but are unable to continue the case once it reaches a certain point. This can mean a change in strategy as well as delays. At the Abt Law Firm, LLC, our federal defense lawyers we have handled federal cases throughout many jurisdictions in the United States. If you're asking yourself "Where can I find a federal criminal lawyer near me", contact our firm today!