There is a world of difference between the state and the Federal criminal justice systems. Just because an attorney practices in the state system does NOT qualify them to practice in Federal court. When interviewing your potential lawyers, please ask about their Federal court experience before you make your decision.
You simply can't afford to have someone handle your Federal case that has little to no Federal court experience.
Palmieri Law offices have been defending Federal criminal cases in Florida since 2003. The majority of our caseload comes from Federal matters.
What determines if a charge is Federal or state?
The short answer is: If your case crosses state lines in any way, you may be looking at Federal charges. Crimes that typically fall under Federal jurisdiction include many white collar crimes, fraud, and drug trafficking cases.
In the case of counterfeit bills, MAKING them is a Federal offense, but passing them is usually handled by the state.
Federal Criminal Charges Defended
Our office is well-qualified, and has experience, in all of the following:
- Fraud: Mail Fraud, Tax Fraud, Bank Fraud, Computer Fraud, Insurance Fraud, Mortgage Fraud
- Racketeering / RICO
- Embezzlement and Larceny
- Perjury and Obstruction
- Bribery and Extortion
- Money Laundering (usually associated with counterfeiting and trafficking)
- Drug Trafficking, both within the US and International cases
- Counterfeiting and Forgery
- Letter of Investigation from a Government Agency, such as the CIA, Secret Service, IRS, etc.
Experienced Federal Criminal Attorneys are knowledgable about Federal Law and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines
. Our knowledge and experience can help you get a fair and just result. Our clients have been able to successfully reduce their exposure to the offenses they have been charged with.
I received a letter from the US Government. What now?
If you receive ANY letter from ANY agency that indicates the government "would like to speak with you" for ANY reason, call us at (813) 254-0254 before you respond. Any such letter usually indicates an investigation of some kind. And ANY statement from you in their investigation "can and will be used against you in a court of law."
Even if you have done nothing wrong and wish to cooperate, please involve a Federal defense lawyer as soon as possible after receiving such a letter. If you are contacted by phone, you can always say, "Please discuss that with my lawyer," and NOTHING further. If you have not decided on an attorney yet, tell them, "I am in the process of hiring an attorney, and I will not answer any questions at this time." Be polite, but be FIRM.
Why are Federal cases so much more serious?
Two main reasons why Federal cases are so serious (compared to state-level charges) is that, first, they are much more complicated and labor-intensive, and second, Federal cases often involve harsher punishments for similar crimes charged in state court.
By definition, Federal matters cross state lines. With that complication comes a host of issues: multiple state and county law enforcement jurisdiction issues, as well as the Federal prosecutors involvement. There is usually an enormous amount of discovery (evidence) to evaluate and dissect. We will review any and all appropriate documentation in our vigorous defense of you or your loved one. It takes time, but the strength or weakness of any case lies in the minute details.
As for stricter punishments, the reason for the disparity in sentencing between state and Federal charges is that the members of Congress created Federal Sentencing Guidelines
. These limit the Federal judges' options when it comes to sentencing. Unfortunately, without allowing much judicial leeway for extenuating circumstances, Federal cases often include prison sentences for offenses that would usually score only probation on a state-level charge. Since the judges have less discretion to offer a lighter sentence, there is much more for you to lose if you are convicted of a Federal offense.
This is not to say that Federal cases do not end in probation. When appropriate, we have produced exactly such a result for our Federal clients.
What can I do to reduce my exposure?
First, obviously, hire a competent and experienced Federal criminal defense lawyer. Choosing the right Federal attorney is your best defense, so take time to find a lawyer you feel comfortable with and can trust. Second, be involved in your own defense and keep the lines of communication with your lawyer open. We will always be available for you.
In some cases, it may be important to cooperate. We will advise you on whether this is appropriate for your case.
Finally, sometimes the best way to reduce your risk is to keep quiet. Again, we will advise you on whether or not this is the best course of action in your matter.
If you have been accused of a Federal crime, your best course of action is to contact federal criminal defense attorney Lori D. Palmieri at 813-254-0254 today.
Other Criminal Charges
To learn more about federal charges, click here. If you think you may be facing additional criminal charges in Florida, click here. Or view our list of other practice areas below: