A federal crime is an offense that violates U.S. federal law. If you are being investigated by a federal agency, we strongly advise you to consult immediately with a Moreno Valley federal criminal lawyer.

Our defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott Henry could vigorously defend your rights while aggressively fighting the charges against you. Representing you in a federal case takes a high level of experience and resources. Our attorneys have over 40 years of combined federal defense experience and the resources necessary to provide you with superior legal representation. With your entire future on the line, hiring a dedicated and qualified attorney could be the most critical decision of your life.

Federal Investigations

Any violation of federal law is investigated by various federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Agency, or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Depending on the complexity and seriousness of the alleged crime, investigations can last many months or even years before charges are filed. Federal crimes include:

  • Antitrust violations
  • Bank fraud
  • Child pornography
  • Drug trafficking
  • Embezzlement
  • Extortion
  • Human trafficking
  • Kidnapping across state lines
  • Mail Fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Tax fraud
  • Wire fraud

Federal crimes typically carry harsher penalties than state crimes. Several factors contribute to harsher sentencing. For instance, the maximum punishment for federal convictions is significantly higher than sentencing for state convictions. Additionally, federal prosecutors have considerably less discretion in offering and negotiating plea bargains, and federal judges must follow stringent sentencing guidelines. Finally, in many cases, federal crimes carry additional punishment enhancements. Depending on what type of federal crime you are facing, an attorney in Moreno Valley could help you prepare for the legal process.

What is Mail Fraud?

Mail fraud is a federal offense involving the U.S. postal system to carry out or attempt to carry out a scheme to defraud individuals out of money or personal property. The penalties are severe and include up to 20 years in prison. If the plan was to defraud a financial institution, penalties could increase to 30 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000. Three key elements must be proven to secure a mail fraud conviction:

  • The defendant created a plan to commit fraud.
  • The defendant sent or placed an item in the mail.
  • The defendant had the intent to commit fraud.

The scheme’s success has no bearing on mail fraud convictions. The defendant solely has to put one or more items in the mail system in an attempt to carry out the plan.

What are the Legal Defenses for Federal Crimes?

Federal convictions can result in life-changing consequences. Hiring a skilled federal defense attorney in Moreno Valley can make the difference between spending a lengthy time in prison and walking out of the courtroom. Several defense strategies could prove effective, depending on the circumstances of your case. Some of these defense strategies include:

  • Lack of intent
  • Self-defense or the defense of others
  • Entrapment by police
  • False accusation
  • Mistaken identity
  • Vindictive and selective prosecution
  • Insufficient or untrustworthy evidence

What to Do Following Federal Criminal Charges

If you are being investigated by a federal agency such as the FBI, IRS, or DEA, there are several steps you can take to ensure the best possible outcome. Firstly, federal cases are typically more complex than those tried at the state level. Hiring a Moreno Valley lawyer who has experience in federal investigations can drastically improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.

Additionally, you must keep in mind that you still have rights under the U.S. Constitution. If agents come to your home or business without a search warrant, you can refuse to let them enter. If they do have a search warrant, you should comply with the warrant but refrain from speaking with them outside the presence of your attorney. Remember do not lie to a federal employee. Under federal law, it is a crime to lie to an agent whether or not you are under oath. Each offense is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Do not destroy evidence. Tampering with witnesses, deleting files, or destroying other evidence is considered an obstruction of justice. It is a serious felony charge that can carry a 20-year prison sentence. Finally, if you are under investigation by a federal agency, the chances are federal agents will likely interview the people around you. Those same trusted individuals may even be subpoenaed and forced to testify against you. That is why you should avoid speaking with anyone but your attorney about the investigation.

Contact a Skilled Moreno Valley Federal Criminal Lawyer

If you feel you are being investigated by a federal agency or have already been charged with a federal offense, do not waste any time. Speak with a skilled Moreno Valley federal criminal lawyer immediately. Our highly experienced defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott Henry offer free, confidential consultations. Let us begin developing an aggressive strategy to get you the best possible resolution, given the circumstances.

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