MIAMI, FL FEDERAL CRIME DEFENSE ATTORNEY
FEARLESSLY DEFENDING CLIENTS IN FLORIDA
Crimes may be prosecuted at any level of government, but when a crime crosses state lines or on federal property it falls under federal jurisdiction. These crimes are listed and sentenced according to the United States Code Title 18, which defines the crimes and punishments handled in the federal court system.
If you have been charged with a federal crime, you may feel hopeless, like your case is already over. At Prya Murad Law, PLLC, we believe that everyone charged with a crime deserves a fearless defender. Attorney Prya Murad has dedicated her career to fierce advocacy and has helped countless clients reclaim their lives after accusations of a federal crime. When you need a tenacious and compassionate defender, choose Prya Murad Law, PLLC.
Call our Miami federal defense attorney at (305) 393-0751 to find out how we can fight for you.
WHAT ARE FEDERAL CRIMES?
Title 18 is the comprehensive penal code for all federal crimes. According to the code, federal courts have jurisdiction over all criminal cases that occur on federal property, by or against federal employees, and crimes that cross state or international borders. For example, fraud may fall under state authority, but the federal court handles tax fraud cases. Immigration, crimes involving the US mail, and counterfeiting also fall under the federal penal code.
When investigating possible federal crimes, local law enforcement does not have jurisdiction. Only federal officials and investigative agencies can handle the investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) handles most cases, but other agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA) and United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) investigate more niche cases within the scope of federal jurisdiction.
If you are charged with a federal crime, this means a federal law enforcement agency is filing charges against you. This is a much more serious matter than facing any type of state-level prosecution, and you could be remanded to federal custody while you await your trial. Your Miami federal defense attorney is the best resource to consult when it comes to formulating an effective defense against the charges you face. They can prepare you for your federal court proceedings and help you understand the unique legal mechanisms in play in the federal criminal justice system.
Some of the most commonly prosecuted federal crimes include:
- Bankruptcy fraud. The bankruptcy system of the United States is designed to be a safety net from financial ruin and only accessible to those who qualify in good faith. Unfortunately, some people commit bankruptcy fraud, attempting to dupe the bankruptcy court into allowing them to avoid responsibility for legally owed debts. The penalties for bankruptcy fraud vary based on the details of each case.
- Counterfeiting and forgery. Printing counterfeit money or forging any type of legal document is a serious federal offense. Penalties for counterfeiting and forgery at the federal level often entail many years in federal prison, very heavy fines, and other penalties based on the unique details of the case.
- Drug-related crimes. Florida state criminal courts prosecute many drug offenses each year, but any drug crimes that involve crossing state lines fall into federal jurisdiction. Most federal drug cases are filed by the DEA, but the FBI may also file federal charges for drug-related offenses.
- Public corruption. Anyone who holds a public office has a responsibility to discharge the duties of their office in good faith and without seeking personal gain. Unfortunately, public corruption is commonplace throughout all levels of society in the United States, and various federal agencies prosecute these types of cases.
- Environmental offenses. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Department of Energy, and various other federal agencies may pursue criminal charges against individuals or companies found in violation of federal environmental protection codes. For example, illegally dumping industrial chemicals could easily lead to federal charges for whoever is responsible.
- Fugitives. A fugitive is any individual fleeing custody. When a person commits a crime, they are legally required to surrender to the authorities and face a criminal trial for their actions. A fugitive can be anyone who has escaped custody from any level of law enforcement or anyone fleeing arrest or questioning by police.
- Human trafficking. Unfortunately, the practice of human trafficking continues to be a serious problem throughout the world, and Florida is, unfortunately, a major hub of human trafficking activity in North America. Any participation in a human trafficking operation is very likely to lead to some of the harshest sentences possible under the federal code of criminal justice.
- Tax fraud. Intentional tax fraud of any kind is a severe offense that can lead to heavy fines, jail time, and a host of other penalties. The severity of the penalties the defendant faces typically hinge on the amount of taxes they owe and the steps they took to conceal or avoid their tax liabilities or how extensively they intentionally misrepresented information on their tax returns.
- Terrorism. Federal law enforcement agencies take threats of terrorism and acts of terrorism very seriously. Anyone who makes a terroristic threat can face severe criminal penalties, even if they had no intention or desire to actually follow through with the threat. Attempting to commit any act of terrorism is a serious federal crime and will likely lead to the most serious charges the federal justice system reserves for enemies of the United States.
- Wire fraud. This is a blanket term used to describe fraud committed over the internet or any other communication line. Penalties for fraud fluctuate on a case-by-case basis.
- Social Security violations. It is very difficult for people to qualify for Social Security benefits in good faith, so when individuals knowingly defraud the Social Security Administration to secure benefits that they are not legally owed, the agency takes this type of fraud very seriously. The penalties for this type of federal fraud hinge on the amount stolen and the depth of the defendant’s deception, but any form of Social Security fraud carries severe penalties upon conviction.
- Wildlife violations. The EPA and the US National Park Service are responsible for ensuring people do not harm federally protected wildlife. Cruelty to animals and certain wildlife-related offenses can qualify for federal prosecution in Florida.
- Embezzlement or theft from the government. Any federal employee caught embezzling is likely to face severe penalties for their actions depending on the amount they stole, how they stole it, and what lengths they went through to conceal their activities.
- Postal service offenses. Any willful interference with the United States Postal Service is a federal crime. This can include stealing mail, committing fraud through the mail, or opening someone else’s mail at any location.
- Money laundering. A drug trafficking operation or another criminal enterprise may launder money through a legitimate business to hide any ill-gotten gains, and the business owner may be threatened or bribed into compliance with this activity. If a business owner knowingly engages in money laundering, they can easily face federal charges depending on the scope of their activities and the amount of illegally obtained money they laundered.
- Computer and email intrusion. Hacking into anyone else’s computer or smartphone is a crime and doing so with federal property is a serious federal offense. For example, if a federal employee intrudes into their coworkers’ emails and personal devices using government property, they are likely to face prosecution in federal court for their activities.
- Civil rights. If any organization, such as a business or a school, engages in illegal discrimination or any other violation of civil rights, they can face severe penalties in federal court to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, liability for any damages caused to victims, and a severely tarnished public reputation.
- Immigration fraud and deportation. If you are concerned about your immigration status due to a federal criminal case against you, it is crucial to connect with an experienced Miami federal defense attorney who can address the unique immigration-related aspects of your case.
DOUBLE JEOPARDY IN FEDERAL CASES IN MIAMI, FL
The Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution includes a clause pertaining to “double jeopardy,” preventing a defendant in federal criminal court from facing prosecution for the same offense twice. Double jeopardy can be confusing without experienced defense counsel guiding you, and your attorney will advise you as to how this legal statute could apply in your impending case.
Because federal crimes fall under a different authority than state-level crimes, it is possible to be charged twice for the same crime – once in a state court and once by a federal court. Under normal circumstances, once a person is prosecuted for a crime, they cannot face criminal procedures for the same crime due to the double jeopardy laws. However, because states and the federal government have separate sovereignty, double jeopardy no longer applies.
SENTENCING IN MIAMI, FL
Federal crimes are sentenced differently. Instead of the district attorney filing charges, federal charges are filed by the United States Attorneys and federal judges appointed by the President and Attorney General. The prosecution of these crimes follows sentencing guidelines from Title 18 that establish a framework for sentencing that includes a hierarchical system.
All crimes are divided into felonies and misdemeanors and federal felonies are further divided into five categories: A, B, C, D, and E. Class A crimes are the worst while class E felonies are the least serious. Class A felonies are punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. Some felonies may be charged together or accentuated by other factors. For example, counterfeiting that involves murder or fraud could have worse consequences in federal court.
WHY YOU NEED A MIAMI FEDERAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Federal crimes are charged in federal courts run by elected judges and are punishable by time in a federally run prison. Facing any criminal court is complicated enough, but federal courts play by different rules entirely.
If you are facing federal charges, you must employ an experienced Miami federal criminal defense lawyer. These cases are complex and have serious consequences that could destroy your future. Attorney Prya Murad has extensive experience handling federal cases and is a leader among her peers. Her experience as a former public defender gives her insight into the criminal justice system and garnered her a reputation for excellence.
When you need a fierce defender, contact our Miami federal defense attorney.