AREAS OF PRACTICE

Federal Criminal Defense

If you are charged with a federal crime it is critical that you have an experienced, knowledgeable federal criminal defense attorney. Mr. Bennett is experienced, knowledgeable, effective and accomplished in the area of federal criminal defense.

There are significant differences between a local or state prosecution and a federal prosecution. Penalties for federal offenses are generally harsher or more severe. A federal prosecution more often leads to a conviction because the federal government spends more time and resources investigating a crime than the local or state government. The investigators for the federal government include the FBI, IRS, DEA, ATF, the Secret Service and other highly trained, skilled organizations empowered to investigate the commission of a federal crime. This is a luxury not always enjoyed by state or local prosecutors. Finally, the federal government, unlike some local or state municipalities, will not charge unless it is certain a prosecution will result in conviction (the federal conviction rate is 99%).

Unlike state or local criminal cases, federal criminal cases almost never go to trial because the federal prosecutorial system is designed to motivate a defendant into taking a plea by providing a much stiffer sentence for the defendant convicted at trial. Moreover, the federal criminal defendant, as a matter of law, receives a significant reduction in the time he or she receives as a sentence if he/she pleads out and/or cooperates with the authorities.

How much time, if any, a federal criminal defendant receives depends on the statute they were convicted of and the federal sentencing guidelines (a point value system for every crime and every characteristic of that crime.) The federal judge is no longer required to follow the sentencing guidelines but he or she rarely imposes a sentence other than that established by the guidelines. Punishment for a state or local crime is primarily determined by the statute or offense the defendant was convicted of.

The decision and timing of whether to challenge the case against you or plead out is critical to the overall outcome of a federal case. Most federal prosecutions are multi-defendant or multi-target/suspect cases. The first defendant to cooperate with the government against others will typically receive a greater reduction of time when he or she is sentenced. If you do not timely accept responsibility and/or cooperate you will not receive a reduction in the amount of time you receive as a sentence.

In summary, in a federal criminal case it is imperative to have an attorney with an effective working knowledge of the U.S. sentencing guidelines. An attorney who can obtain a downward departure from the sentencing guidelines or successfully challenge the number of points his client receives. (This reduces the amount of time a federal criminal defendant receives as a sentence.) An attorney experienced and proficient enough to conceive and timely execute proper strategy during all phases of the case: investigation, prosecution, conviction, sentencing and if applicable, incarceration. An attorney who has taken a sufficient number of federal cases to trial to have the knowledge and experience to properly evaluate a case and timely advise his or her client to plead out and/or cooperate or exercise their constitutional right to a jury trial.

Mr. Benett has extensive experience with the federal criminal justice system. He is knowledgeable and effective with the federal sentencing guidelines. He also has the requisite federal trial experience to conceive and employ effective and timely strategy and to properly evaluate a federal criminal case. Click here to view federal jury trial results Mr. Bennett has obtained for his clients.

Contact Mr. Bennett for a consultation on your legal matter today.