Federal criminal cases are serious and complex legal matters that are best by an experienced criminal defense attorney. These cases cover a vast range of offenses, many of which carry harsh penalties.
Failing to handle these matters properly could negatively affect your rights and your future prospects. Once hired, a South Carolina federal criminal lawyer with a thorough understanding of federal laws and court procedures may be able to effectively defend your best interests.
What are the Penalties for Federal Crimes?
Federal crimes range from relatively minor offenses to very serious crimes. Title 18 United States Code §3559 classifies crimes at the federal level and describes the range of possible sentences.
The most serious category of crime is a Class A felony, which is punishable by life imprisonment or death. There are five categories of felonies in total, and a felony under federal law is any crime punishable by more than one year in prison. Misdemeanors are minor crimes carrying less than 12 months in prison. Infractions are ordinance violations with a maximum sentence of imprisonment for five days or less.
Even minor federal crimes that result in little or no prison time can have a severe effect on a person’s life. A conviction may result in a criminal record, fines, probation or parole, limited employment opportunities, and the loss of other valuable rights. A South Carolina federal criminal defense attorney could explain the potential penalties for a charge depending on the facts of a case.
Examples of Federal Crimes
There are many federal crimes that a criminal defense lawyer in South Carolina may be able to provide knowledge and guidance about facing. Common examples seen in South Carolina federal courts include but certainly are not limited to:
- Hunting within a federal wildlife refuge
- Bankruptcy fraud
- FEMA fraud
- SBA Disaster Relief fraud
- Bribery of public officials
- Shipping, manufacturing, or importing firearms in interstate or foreign commerce without a license
- Kidnapping involving transportation across state lines or otherwise within federal jurisdiction
- Drug offenses
Federal law also prohibits a variety of other acts, including financial fraud, terrorism, and counterfeiting goods. Prosecutors may also charge a person with conspiracy related to federal offenses or attempts to commit a federal crime.
What are Common Defenses for Federal Charges?
Just like in state-level cases, federal prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person committed the crime of which they are accused in order to obtain a conviction. In some cases, there may not be enough evidence or witnesses available for the prosecutor to meet this burden of proof.
Likewise, law enforcement may violate a person’s rights under the U.S. Constitution when obtaining evidence or confessions. A federal criminal defense lawyer in South Carolina may be able to stop this illegally obtained evidence from being used against a defendant.
Claiming Insanity in a Federal Court
A person may also claim insanity as a defense if they were unable to understand the nature or wrongfulness of their acts due to a mental disease or defect. However, successfully presenting this defense in federal court could be challenging. A seasoned legal team could help build the best defense for a federal defendant.
Hire a South Carolina Federal Criminal Attorney to Defend Your Rights
Defendants are expected to follow specific legal rules when appearing in federal court or filing documents. The consequences could be serious in these claims, so it is important to obtain knowledgeable legal support.
An experienced South Carolina federal criminal lawyer may be able to defend your rights and give you important advice throughout the case. By understanding the laws, possible defenses, as well as your legal rights, an attorney could improve your chances of winning a better outcome. Call now to begin talking about your case.