Although there are very different processes and consequences involved in federal charges as opposed to state charges, the inherent differences between the two are minimal. In fact, some offenses that would normally be a state issue can become a federal case if committed on federal or government property. For example, a driving under the influence charge would normally be handled by the state, but if the initial stop occurred on federal property, it will be changed to a federal charge.
Furthermore, many drug cases can vary between federal and state charges depending on the circumstances. If the narcotics are bought and sold in the same state, the case is typically charged by that State. However, if narcotics are bought in one state and sold in another state, this is considered a conspiracy to transport and thus charged as a Federal case.
No matter what the case, if you are currently dealing with federal charges, it is vital that you take every step necessary to defend your name and freedom during this difficult and stressful time in your life. The most important thing you can do in this situation is immediately begin working with a qualified criminal defense attorney who has the procedural knowledge to guide you through the complicated process.
Being under investigation for a federal offense can be an anxiety-inducing and scary situation. It can seem as though the federal government can do whatever they want, whenever they want. Even though there have been instances of the federal government abusing their power, they are to be held accountable for their mistake similar to any other organization. A competent criminal defense attorney can effectively argue in your defense and make certain that the rights all of us hold so dearly are protected.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC are well versed in federal criminal law and can be counted on to provide the legal representation necessary to refute the charges against you and keep the federal government from encroaching on your rights. This commitment to excellent client service and the liberty of the people they defend has allowed the firm to productively argue many federal cases.
If you are under investigation for a federal offense, call (321) 253-3447 or send an online message to schedule a free and confidential consultation to go over the details of your case with the legal team at The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC. The firm proudly represents individuals throughout Central and Eastern Florida, including the cities of Melbourne, Winter Park, Orlando, Deltona, Holly Hill, Sanford, Vero Beach, Kissimmee and Saint Cloud, among many others.
When it comes down to it, there are two different ways in which you can be charged with a federal offense in the state of Florida. First, the more common charges stem from a violation of federal law. These offenses could include, but are not limited to:
The second and less common way that you can be charged with a federal offense is by committing a crime on federal property or against a federal agency. This could include, but is not limited to: airports and/or airplanes, Federal government buildings and Federal/National parks. This can mean getting pulled over for driving under the influence on federal property or robbing a federal bank.
There are a few key differences between how state and federal offenses are tried. First of all, there is no bail schedule for a federal case. If arrested on a federal charge, the arrestee must be taken before a United States Magistrate for bail to be set. Under the Federal Bail Reform Act, a person considered to be either a flight risk or a danger to the community can be detained with no bail.
During the pre-trial stage, the "pre-trial discovery" is different between the two, with federal court not requiring discovery until much later in the case. Under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the prosecutor is not required to provide witness statements until after the witness has testified in the trial, a rule that seems quite unfair and is disliked by some judges.
The largest difference comes into effect during sentencing. In Florida, state law allows a judge the right to exercise discretion and sentence under the mandatory/minimum where "unusual circumstances" exist. This means that, either by way of a plea bargain or, even without the concurrence of the District Attorney, a state judge can impose a lenient sentence if they are persuaded that it is appropriate. It is the defense attorney who should bring mitigating circumstances to the attention of the sentencing judge.
In federal court, both the United States Code and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines control sentencing. Under the Guidelines, a federal judge is required to sentence according to a formula, which is a combination of the offense of conviction and the defendant's criminal history. Once the offense of conviction and the prior record is determined, the judge uses a chart to determine the sentence that must be imposed. Since there are only a few ways to get a judge to depart from sentencing guidelines, it is important to be represented by an attorney who is thoroughly familiar with federal court procedures.
U.S. District court – Middle District of Florida – This is the main site for the United States District Court serving the middle district of Florida. It included information on the district judge and clerk or the court, along with resources on filings, criminal law, local rules, notable cases, orders and judicial information.U.S. Courthouse
Brevard County Clerk of the Court – This site is the main source of information on the various function of the Brevard County Court and its clerk. There are also resources on public records, legal interests and forms. You can access court cases, arrest records and document images.
U.S. Federal Laws and Regulations – this site includes all the relevant information on the laws and regulations that govern our nation. This page offers resources on federal bill of rights, code of federal regulations, the constitutions, federal courts, U.S. Department of Justice, public laws and many more.
If you or a loved one is currently under investigation for a federal offense in the state of Florida, it would be in your best interest to work with a criminal defense attorney who can effectively defend you against the charges that have been levied against you. With all of the complications and consequences that could stem from a federal charge, knowing you options and acting on them in a timely fashion is paramount in finding a favorable solution to this problem.
Call (321) 253-3447 or send an online message to schedule a free and confidential consultation today. The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC proudly represent individuals in and around Brevard County, Orange County, Volusia County, Seminole County, Indian River County and Osceola County.