Whenever any agency or entity within the federal government gets involved in a criminal matter, the severity of the defendants’ situation almost always intensifies. Federal agencies have extensive financial and practical resources to thoroughly investigate any alleged criminal behavior. The federal government’s conviction rate for federal court trials is very high.
You will have substantial trouble protecting your legal rights and preserving your future interests in any federal prosecution. You need the help of a Florence federal crimes lawyer. Working with a trustworthy criminal defense lawyer who has experience defending charges at the federal level will give you a better chance of securing a favorable outcome and mitigating your risk of life altering consequences.
Federal and State Law Prosecutions
There are many situations where a violation of a criminal law could involve both federal and state prosecutions. Examples are drug offenses. In many instances, there can be federal as well as state prosecutions at both levels as they are separate entities. Concurrent prosecutions in federal and state court are not that common. Generally speaking, if the federal court prosecutes a case, Kentucky will dismiss their prosecution. This, on occasion, may also happen where Kentucky is prosecuting and the federal government will not indict.
Unlike state-level court judges, federal judges receive lifetime appointments from the President of the United States. They do not have to run for re-election in order to keep their position. Additionally, rather than state prosecutors, the burden of prosecuting federal offenses falls to the U.S. Attorney’s office. The U.S. Attorney’s office may seek assistance from various federal agencies that have a much greater capacity to thoroughly investigate alleged crimes.
Penalties associated with federal offenses are generally significantly more severe than those prosecuted at the state level. Any imprisonment imposed for a conviction of a federal offense will be served in federal prison. Seeking counsel from a local federal criminal defense attorney will be in the best interest to protect the rights of the accused.
Sentencing Guidelines for Federal Criminal Convictions
Penalties for violation of federal criminal law are set out in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. These are extremely complex. It is difficult to handle sentencings in federal court without input from a qualified legal representative having full knowledge of the sentencing guidelines.
State criminal prosecutions generally fall into misdemeanors or felonies. A felony involves a sentence of 1 year or more, whereas misdemeanors involve a sentence of up to 12 months. State courts do not have guidelines. State courts have a penalty range which is set either by a jury or a state judge. In Kentucky, if a case is tried to a jury, that jury sets the penalty recommendation which the courts of Kentucky almost always follow.
Diversely, Federal Sentencing Guidelines involve a table. Across the top of table are criminal history categories ranging from 1 being the least severe, to 6 being the most severe. Offense levels, involving the severity of the particular crime, run up and down the chart for 43 different offense levels. To arrive at a sentencing range, you follow across to the particular category, then go down to the particular offense level which gives you a range of months for each particular defendant. A Florence federal criminal lawyer can explain what a person’s exposure to any particular conviction may be.
A few examples that are taken into consideration involve the degree to which a defendant participates in an offense; whether the defendant has accepted responsibility; whether the defendant has cooperated with the government in any prosecution; and mitigating factors unique to any particular defendant.
Seek Help from a Florence Federal Criminal Attorney
Criminal trials at the federal level are much more complicated and generally have much higher stakes than equivalent state-level trials. Additionally, the federal government has a variety of resources and agencies at its disposal to help prosecute people suspected of violating criminal law. All of these will be levied to the maximum extent possible against any defendant without the defendant’s rights being protected by a criminal federal lawyer.
If you believe you may face federal prosecution, you should immediately contact a Florence federal criminal lawyer. Schedule a consultation by calling immediately.