Most criminal law cases in Charleston that are prosecuted at the state level revolve around the interpretation of South Carolina criminal statutes. If you are facing federal criminal charges, though, it may be important to work with a Charleston federal criminal lawyer with experience advocating for defendants in federal court.

Not only are procedures in federal courts different from those in state courts, but the applicable laws and penalties differ as well. Fortunately, there are sometimes different avenues of defense available under federal law as well. An experienced federal defense attorney could help you take advantage of those opportunities.

Federal Crimes

Many types of conduct are criminalized under both federal and state law, so the decision of whether to try such conduct at the federal level often has to do with the scope of the crime. When multiple jurisdictions or numerous potential defendants are involved in a particular case, the federal government may decide to prosecute the crime as a federal offense. Federal law also inherently applies to crimes on federal property or those that involve federal officers.

Federal criminal proceedings involve evidence presented by agents from the FBI, DEA and other agencies, so it is essential to be prepared for this type of investigative evidence. Likewise, federal prosecutors are well-trained and usually have an extremely thorough knowledge of the laws they prosecute, so anyone facing federal criminal court should work with an equally experienced Charleston federal criminal attorney to fight the charges.

Federal Sentencing and Penalties

Often, state and federal crimes have similar definitions. The penalties assessed by the federal government, however, are often much more severe, especially when judges follow federal sentencing guidelines or impose mandatory minimums. Moreover, sentences for violation of federal law are served in federal prison rather than state prison.

In addition to potential incarceration and heavy fines, a federal criminal conviction can result in additional consequences that may linger indefinitely and affect a defendant’s employment and housing. An experienced federal criminal lawyer in Charleston could work to minimize some of these negative consequences and advocate for the least severe penalty under the circumstances.

Common Federal Crimes

Some federal crimes are prosecuted more frequently than others. Seasoned federal criminal lawyers often see federal charges involving:

In some cases, state law enforcement officials begin an investigation and uncover evidence of a criminal scheme that stretches across state or international borders, prompting federal agents to step in. If someone is charged with a crime in connection of immigration law issues, that may also become a matter for federal criminal court.

Consult a Knowledgeable Charleston Federal Criminal Attorney

Facing federal criminal charges can be a daunting prospect, but one that could be easier with an experienced advocate by your side. Choosing a Charleston federal criminal lawyer to fight for your rights and represent your interests should be the first step in dealing with federal charges.

The sooner you begin working with an attorney, the sooner your legal advisor could begin collecting and preserving evidence to establish a strong defense. To learn how an experienced federal attorney could make all the difference in your case, call now to set up an initial consultation.