Oklahoma City Federal Crimes Defense Lawyer
Federal criminal law deals with the most serious of crimes in the United States of America, and the sentencing guidelines for those found guilty of a federal crime reflect this level of seriousness. If you or someone you love is facing federal criminal charges, it is important that you know the difference in gravity between federal crimes and Oklahoma City state criminal offenses.
In comparison to state criminal offenses, federal crimes are tried in a federal court and are subject to much stricter sentencing guidelines that are applied systematically throughout the entire country. This means that a person facing federal criminal charges for drug trafficking in New York will be subject to the same federal sentencing guidelines as an individual being charged with the same federal crime in Oklahoma City.
In addition to this, federal criminal investigations are often far more extensive than state criminal investigations, as federal law enforcement agencies have a huge amount of resources. A federal prosecutor will usually have a wide range of experience in prosecuting federal crimes and will be backed by a team of federal agents who have thoroughly investigated your crime.
Attempting to go up against federal prosecutors without the backing of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney is a huge risk, and in most cases will result in a guilty federal criminal conviction.
Here at Cannon & Associates, our law office has the experience you need to fight against a federal defense attorney and win your case.
Our team of federal criminal defense attorneys will ensure that you receive the highest standard of legal representation possible and that your criminal defense is foolproof. We will fight tooth and nail to ensure that you do not fall victim to the federal court system. Our law office offers a free consultation for you to come in and receive legal advice about your federal charges at no cost.
Don’t waste any time calling us. The sooner you do, the more time we have to build up a strong criminal defense on your behalf.
Call us today at 405-591-3935 to speak to an Oklahoma city federal crimes defense attorney.
What is a Federal Crime?
In simple terms, a federal crime is an action that is in violation of federal laws, which are laws set up by the U.S. federal government. All citizens of the U.S. are required to abide by laws established by the state they reside in and, on top of that, federal laws, which essentially represent an entirely separate criminal system.
Most of the criminal charges that individuals are charged with in Oklahoma City are state crimes, which are prosecuted by local prosecutors and investigated by the local police force or state agents. In comparison, when a person is charged with a crime at the federal level, they are subject to a major investigation by federal agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). These agencies have an almost unlimited amount of resources and will carry out extensive investigative work on your case.
Some examples of federal crimes include:
- Drug trafficking.
- Organized crime, such as participating in gang activity.
- White-collar crimes, such as racketeering, money laundering, wire fraud, or embezzlement.
- Immigration crimes.
- Cyber crimes.
- Tax fraud.
- Some violent crimes.
If you are suspected of committing a crime at the federal level in the U.S., you will be subject to extensive investigation on behalf of federal district agencies, most likely in cooperation with the state police or sheriffs. If they can gather sufficient evidence to prove that you have committed the crime, the matter will be brought before a grand jury and you will be arrested.
How Are Federal Crimes Investigated in Oklahoma City?
As noted above, federal crimes are different from state crimes in that they have a separate federal agency investigating the crime before any charges are brought. These federal investigators have a huge amount of resources and are able to carry out extensive and comprehensive investigations for every case they deal with.
As the federal criminal system deals with country-wide law, rather than state-specific laws, investigators often deal with crimes that cross state lines, such as trafficking between states, or crimes that impact federal interstate commerce. They also, in some cases, deal with crimes that have been committed in a foreign country by a U.S. citizen.
Because of this, and because of the serious nature of federal criminal cases, they have these separate investigative bodies. Some examples of these bodies include the DEA, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, the Secret Service, Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Each investigative team is responsible for particular categories of crimes. For example, the DEA, FBI, and ICE will often deal with federal drug crimes, such as trafficking drugs and cases involving drug gangs or cartels. These cases can often involve multiple parties, sometimes more than 100 suspects, and can spread across multiple states, making them extremely complex cases.
The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) are responsible for investigating cases involving firearms and explosives, and the IRS mostly deals with financial fraud cases.
These agencies will work hand-in-hand with local police forces to try and gather as much evidence as possible about their suspects and to ensure that local police can keep an eye on them when possible.
Tools Used in Federal Criminal Investigations
In most cases, the individual being investigated by federal investigators will be unaware that they are a suspect. Investigative teams are skilled in building cases over a lengthy period of time, gathering evidence against the suspect by using some of the following tools:
- Wiretapping and surveillance – It is common for federal investigators to use wiretaps during an investigation, to try and gain information on planned or past criminal activities. In addition to this, federal officers often surveil their suspects by tailing their vehicles, parking outside of their property, and checking out their businesses.
- Undercover agents – Just like in a lot of movies, federal investigations are sometimes centered on an undercover agent who has infiltrated a gang or criminal organization. Undercover operations are often held to try and catch criminals who are high up in an organization. This type of operation will involve a federal officer, such as a member of the FBI, going undercover and befriending suspects and organization members. They will then try to use their associations to gather evidence to help build a case.
- Informants – A lot of the time, it is easier to arrest low-level criminals within an organization than it is to arrest the leaders. For this reason, federal agents will often get lower-level criminals to inform on their bosses to get more information and to try to successfully arrest them. In many cases, these informants and their families will then be given witness protection to ensure they are not harmed.
One of the reasons that federal criminal cases are so successful in Oklahoma City and throughout the United States is because they have access to a wide range of tools that are not available to investigators and prosecutors in a state court.
Federal Sex Crimes
The state court often deals with sex crimes in Oklahoma City. However, if a sex crime occurs on state property or if it involves the internet, impacted interstate commerce (i.e. if the crime crossed a state border, such as sharing a sexual image), or involved telephone communication, it will be tried as a federal criminal case.
Federal sex crimes are subject to strict sentencing guidelines, and those found guilty will often face time in federal prison. Some examples of these crimes include:
- Sexual exploitation of a child – Sex crimes involving children are mostly dealt with under 18.U.S. Code § 2252A. Sexual exploitation of children involves possessing or distributing images or videos of a minor under the age of 18 engaging in sexual acts or being sexually exploited by another individual. The penalty for this crime ranges from 15 years to 30 years in prison, and those with a prior conviction will face 25-50 years in prison.
- Possession of child pornography – If you are found guilty of possessing child pornography, you can face up to 20 years in federal prison. This penalty increases to 5-20 years in prison for the receipt of child pornography, and if you are caught soliciting a child to engage in sexual acts for the production of child porn, you can be charged with 15 years to life.
- Sex trafficking of minors – Section 2423 of U.S. Code 18 makes the transportation of minors across state lines for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual activity punishable by 10 years to life imprisonment.
- Solicitation of child pornography -If you are found posting “any notice or advertisement seeking or offering to receive, exchange, buy, produce, display, distribute, or reproduce any visual depiction involving the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct“, you can be found guilty of committing a federal sex crime, as provided under section 2251 of U.S.C. 18.
- Traveling to have sex with minors – It is a federal crime to travel across state lines or to another foreign jurisdiction for the purpose of having sex with a minor. Federal sentencing guidelines for this crime include a fine and/or imprisonment for up to 30 years.
- Sexual abuse or aggravated sexual abuse – Although sexual abuse is typically dealt with under state law in Oklahoma City, if the abuse or aggravated abuse occurred on federal property or territories, it can be charged in the federal courts.
If you have been charged with a federal sex crime in Oklahoma City, it is important that you contact a federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. It is one thing to be charged with a sex crime under Oklahoma state law however; it is a whole different situation if you find yourself facing federal criminal laws.
At Cannon & Associates, we can offer you the help of a highly experienced federal criminal defense attorney who will do everything in their power to ensure that you are not found guilty in a federal court.
Aggravating Factors in a Federal Case in Oklahoma City
Aggravating factors in criminal cases are certain factors that make a crime more serious or dangerous and can result in an extended sentence or upgrade a misdemeanor charge to a federal criminal charge. So, if you are charged with a crime in Oklahoma City, and it is discovered that there were certain aggravating factors that made the crime worse, you can be charged with an aggravated version of the crime, a felony, and face a longer prison sentence.
Some examples of aggravating factors for federal criminal charges include:
- Prior criminal history – Your prior criminal history will have a huge impact on your federal criminal charges. As per federal sentencing guidelines, your level of criminal history will determine how much your sentence is impacted. For example, a federal criminal defendant who has been found guilty of 0-1 crimes previously will be put into Criminal History Category 1, whereas a person who has committed over 13 crimes previously will be put into Criminal History Category 6. The sentencing you receive for your crime in a federal court will depend on your Criminal History Category, and the higher your category, the longer your sentence.
- Presence of weapons – Stricter penalties are imposed on defendants who used a weapon, such as a gun or a knife while committing a crime. The federal advisory sentencing guideline range provides that the presence of weapons in a federal crime should automatically raise the crime’s seriousness up two levels, meaning lengthier sentences.
- Vulnerable victim – Another aggravating factor in federal criminal law cases is vulnerable victims. If a defendant committed a crime against a child, elderly person, or a person who had a certain level of trust in them which they then exploited, their sentence can be extended.
- Hate crime – It is a federal criminal offense to commit a crime against another individual or group of individuals because of their perceived race, religion, color, national origin, or gender. If a federal judge finds that you committed a crime for one of these reasons, your sentence will be dramatically increased.
What Happens in a Federal Criminal Court?
Federal criminal cases are complex and involve a lot of investigating, negotiating, and adjudicating in court. There are a couple of different stages, including the pretrial stage, the trial itself, and the sentencing.
The pre-trial stage generally involves a combination of thorough investigations, the submission of the case to a grand jury, and arrest. Once a federal agency, such as the FBI or DEA, has deemed that there is sufficient evidence against a defendant to bring criminal charges against them, they will bring this case to the assistant United States attorney.
Access to the grand jury proceeding is limited only to the side of the prosecution, and no federal criminal defense attorneys are allowed in at this time to defend a case. Typically, a federal magistrate judge will preside over the pre-trial stage of your case. The federal prosecutors will put forward the evidence they have gathered to the grand jury, present the case against you, and try to get an indictment from the grand jury.
If the federal grand jury decides that it is likely that you have committed a crime, and they indict you, you will be arraigned to appear in court. Your Oklahoma criminal defense attorney will then have to sift through the discovery evidence provided by the state. The state is not required to provide all evidence, which is why it is important that you have a criminal defense lawyer who knows what to ask for.
They will use this evidence to file motions on your behalf to get evidence suppressed or excluded, requesting for a bill of particulars, and motions to sever the jury for different charges.
Once you have been arraigned and either accept the charges or plead not guilty, you will have to start building a strong federal criminal case for your defense. At this stage, your federal criminal defense attorney may recommend entering into a plea bargain with the federal government.
There are certain benefits of entering a plea bargain, such as the likelihood that you won’t face a lifetime in prison, or the death penalty, and that your needs will be considered when discussing a fair plea.
However, if you are not guilty of the crime and you do not want to agree to a plea, going to trial in a federal court will be your best option. The most important thing for both negotiating a plea bargain and going to court is that you have a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with federal law by your side.
A federal judge will then try the case if you decide to go to trial, and the jury will decide your fate.
If you are found guilty, the sentencing judge will have to come up with an appropriate sentence based on the sentencing guidelines, the evidence set forth by federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, and the defense that your attorney has provided.
Three are certain factors they will have to take into account, such as whether you have a criminal history, whether it was a hate crime, if you took part in violent crimes, and if there was a vulnerable victim.
Although not always the case, federal criminal law cases often result in time in prison, especially if you do not have a strong criminal defense to argue against time in prison. The judge may allow you to apply for bail after a certain number of years or permit supervised release provided that you adhere to rules such as taking regular drug tests.
Why Do I Need a Federal Criminal Defense in Oklahoma City?
As discussed above, the federal criminal procedure is different from the Oklahoma State criminal system. When you are being prosecuted at the federal level, you are being prosecuted by the United States government, and more specifically, the United States attorney’s office.
Federal prosecutors are equipped with extensive experience and large federal agencies that will do everything in their power to ensure you are convicted. Unless you are part of a bigger picture, and you could offer some valuable information to a federal prosecutor, such as information about a gang, then they are unlikely to show you any mercy for the charges you are facing.
However, federal prosecutors often prefer to settle cases outside of federal courts, which is why they will try to reach a plea bargain with you. At this point, having a federal defense attorney is essential, as they are experienced in negotiating fair plea bargains that adequately reflect the seriousness of your case. If your criminal defense attorney sees that the United States attorney general does not have a lot of evidence, they can negotiate a much fairer deal on your behalf.
Alternatively, if you are completely innocent and you do not want to negotiate a plea bargain, your federal criminal defense attorney will need to start building up a strong case from the get-go, to get ready to protect your rights during a jury trial. It is possible to face federal charges without the backing of a federal defense attorney, however we strongly advise against this.
An experienced federal criminal defense attorney can dedicate the time and resources necessary to build up a strong criminal defense on your behalf. This defense will be essential to your federal criminal case at all stages. Schedule a free consultation with our law office today to discuss your federal case in Oklahoma City.
What Can a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Do For Me?
You may be wondering what a federal criminal defense attorney can actually do for you to help your federal case, and whether it is worth hiring an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer. Here at Cannon & Associates law office, we have a team of highly experienced federal criminal defense lawyers who can help you with the following:
The discovery stage of a federal criminal case, as discussed above, is when the defense gets the opportunity to examine the evidence accumulated by the prosecution. Good criminal defense attorneys know what to look for and ask for, and they will ensure that the prosecution hands over the most important information. This discovery stage is crucial, as your attorney can advise you on whether to go forward to trial or to negotiate a plea bargain based on the evidence.
If your attorney believes that the evidence is not strong enough for a conviction, they will submit motions on your behalf to build up your case. Some motions they submit could include requests to view witness lists, suppress evidence that is not relevant to the trial, and inquire into federal law arguments set forth by the prosecution.
The key function of a federal criminal lawyer is to negotiate, whether that is with the United States attorney’s office or with the judge regarding the admissibility of evidence. An experienced federal criminal law attorney will know how to negotiate effectively to ensure that your case is strong. This is why it is important to have legal representation.
Federal criminal law is not something that should be dealt with lightly. Federal judges are very unlikely to rule in favor of a defendant without legal representation. This is mainly because United State attorneys are highly experienced in fighting federal criminal cases, and they know what to say to ensure that defendants are found guilty. Our law office strongly recommends that you schedule a free consultation with us today to discuss your legal options.
How Much Do Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Cost in Oklahoma City?
Often, defendants are lucky to seek legal assistance as the cost of hiring a federal criminal defense attorney can be quite expensive. At Cannon & Associates law office, we always guarantee fair rates for our clients, and we believe in offering the highest standard of legal care possible.
When clients ask us how much it costs to hire a lawyer in a federal criminal law case, we ask them to consider how much they would pay to stay out of a federal prison, and to prevent the rest of their lives from being affected by a federal conviction.
We calculate our costs based on a number of factors, including the severity of your case, the length and time it will take to resolve your case, and whether you have a criminal background. Our promise is that our rates are fair and are an adequate reflection of the standard of legal representation we provide.
The only way to know how much a federal criminal lawyer will cost you is to call our offices today and schedule a free consultation. One thing we know for sure is that you will not regret investing in an experienced Oklahoma City criminal defense lawyer if it means that you stay out of federal prison.
How Long Does a Federal Case Take to Resolve?
There are a number of factors that will impact the length of your federal criminal case in Oklahoma City. If your case involves a lot of evidence, sensitive witness statements, and lots of back and forth between the prosecutor and defense attorneys, it can take much longer to resolve.
However, although there is no general timeframe, most federal cases in Oklahoma City last somewhere between 6 months and a year. If you decide to take a plea bargain, and your lawyer can come to a fair agreement with the prosecutor that you are happy with, the length of time may be cut even shorter.
Of course, if you decide to contest the charges and bring the case to a federal court, your case will take a bit longer. Having the backing of an experienced federal defense attorney can help speed up your case and ensure that you are not left waiting longer than a year for a result, particularly if you have been remanded while awaiting a verdict.
The sooner you speak with an Oklahoma City defense attorney, the quicker your case will be, as they can dive into your case instantly and begin looking at evidence and building a strong case on your behalf.
Call Our Law Office in Oklahoma City Today!
Facing the federal criminal system can be terrifying and daunting, particularly if you attempt to do it alone. Federal investigators are equipped with an almost unlimited amount of resources and are often successful in winning their cases.
The importance of having the backing of a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in federal criminal law cannot be stressed enough. Defense attorneys are skilled in fighting federal charges and they know the right tactics for fighting against the state.
Here at Cannon & Associates law office, our criminal defense attorneys are highly experienced in federal criminal law cases and will do everything in their power to ensure that you do not get convicted of federal charges. Our law firm has built up a strong attorney-client relationship through our years of dedicated practice and service to our clients. We want to help you as much as possible and ensure that your life is not ruined by a federal conviction.Call our law office today to schedule a free consultation at 405-591-3935.
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